The Rights Of Safe Medication Administration

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Nurses are the last line of defense when it comes to safely administering medication to patients. In the hospital setting, nurses are held accountable for implementing the 5 rights of safe medication administration, to prevent any possible errors from occurring. Research has shown that use of these 5 rights has helped to significantly reduce and prevent these errors.
Edwards and Axe (2015), found that nurses not only need to understand the issues related to the administration of drugs given but also aware of the full medication journey. The journey starts with the doctor writing the prescription, pharmacist looking over the medication and putting the order together, then nurses double-checking before giving it to their patient. Drug errors can occur at any point, nurses need to be on their toes at all times while giving medication. Drug errors can include the wrong quantity being prescribed, the drug being intended for another patient, poor labeling and storage, and out of date drugs NPSA, (2007). Jones and Treiber (2010) found that illegible or unclear physician handwriting and staff not following the five rights had the highest percentage of why drug errors occur.
Medication errors are the most frequently identified error that occurs in healthcare settings. To minimize these potential errors the five ‘R’s were put into affect. They include, right patient, which can be done by nurses checking their patient’s wristband, or asking name and date of birth. Right drug, the
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