Essay on Causes of medication errors and methods to reduce errors

618 Words Nov 8th, 2013 3 Pages
Causes of medication errors and methods to reduce errors
Nurses have an ethical and legal responsibility to assess a patient’s need for a drug, administer it safely and correctly and evaluate the response to it. They should always make patient safety a priority because patients rely on the nurse’s skills, knowledge and professionalism.
Nurses have a critical role in administering medications to the patients by following the six rights of drug administration. These six rights are: Right medication, Right route, Right time, Right patient, Right dosage, and Right documentation. If any of these one rights is not used properly, it can cause medication error. Causes of medication errors are
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Consult the health care provider if the dosage is outside the recommended range. Administer only those medications that have been calculated and prepared by the nurse itself rather than administering medications someone else has calculated or prepared for you. Any drug error should be reported to the charge nurse.
Nurses should be able to identify what a medication error is, when to report and to whom. While personal responsibility is important, it’s more efficient to shift from blaming the individual to finding reasons on why the error occurred and how can it be prevented to avoid future mistakes. Thus, medication errors can only be prevented and reduced by focusing on the system as a whole, not on the individual nurse.

Tully, M.P. (2012, May 3). Prescribing errors in hospital practice. Retrieved from 1bbf74264259%40sessionmgr110&vid=2&hid=119 Unver, V., Tastan, S., & Akbayrak, N. (2012). Medication errors: Perspectives of newly graduated and experienced nurses. International of Nursing Practice, 16(4), 317-324. Retrieved from
Garner, S. (2012). Medicines administration: avoiding the pitfalls. Practice Nurse, 42(15), 26-30.
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