The nurse enters patient data into the automated medication dispenser; the machine opens the correct drawer and directs the nurse to the correct drug compartment where the medication can be found. Verify the right medication Ask questions if the medication looks different than usual. Also, if your drugs do come up ready to give from pharmacy, ensure that the dose ordered is actually what is in the syringe. Medication administration is probably one of the scariest things to learn as a new nurse and it is also probably one of the most dangerous. For example, Acetaminophen 2 tablets po prn should now be written as Acetaminophen 650 mg.
Think about your patient and if the medication you are giving makes sense for the patients diagnoses. This can happen more easily than you think when you are caring for multiple patients to be sure to take the time after your medication administration to properly document what you have given. Nurses cognitively know this but often in the interest of saving time may be tempted not to practice it. They come in lots of different forms and we take them in many different ways. However, such costly systems may take years to implement. Right Route - Always be sure that you are giving a drug via the route that is ordered.
Nurses have the right to speak up when they see situations that can potentially result in medication errors. Sometimes, the nurse is told there is no one from pharmacy available to deliver the medication. Let them know what they are and have them tell you if they feel an unwanted reaction to the medication. Nurses are primarily involved in the administration of medication across various settings. They were drilled into our conscious in nursing school until they became part of our unconscious behavior as practicing nurses.
Despite the fact that the answer to the first question is obvious, there are cases when the check is not performed. Safety should be the first thing on your mind with medications. Keep small children in mind. Every institution has recommended time schedules for medications ordered at frequent intervals. Nursing practice is governed by the Board of Regulation in Nursing but nursing policies are what guide nursing practice at that health care entity. As pharmacology and technology advances, patients should be able to expect a nurse who is continually updated on new medications and the ways they are delivered.
For all medications, you should only give the dosage described in the prescription label or other instructions. Many of these problem areas can fall within the realm of nursing administration of medications. Safe medication administration is not an accident but a well-planned system. Medication errors can drive nurses to feelings of guilt, and sometimes worse. An alert client will know if a medication is different from those received before.
Hand them their meds and let them take them. Nurses should also document injection sites. Right Drug - Always be sure to check the label of your drug for the correct patient name and the correct drug name. For instance, on my own nursing brain, I put circles around and highlight all of my medication time. A wrong prescription made by the doctor or the wrong interpretation of it will lead to taking an inadequate dosage of the drug. The reason for doing this can be laziness of the personnel or the illusion of good relationships between the nurse and the patient.
For example, if you gave a beta-blocker to your patient with hypertension, check the patient later to determine if the blood pressure did, indeed, decrease. It is when the error comes all the way to administration that the most harm occurs. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice. Just as you would advocate for a patient, you should advocate for your ability to practice in a safe setting. Standard Precautions Wear gloves for parenteral injections Wash hands before beginning medication pass Keep medication cart clean If you do more than hand the pills to a patient, wash hands before leaving the room Wear gloves if helping put pills in mouth. And those are just the reported mistakes.
If the medicine is supposed to be taken through the injection, all the other ways are considered as wrong ones. Standards are those actions that ensure safe nursing practice. Right Dosage This is one of the most important in the 10 rights of medication administration. Well, one of the important rights gets commonly left out of the mix. Nurses have to find better ways of streamlining their process and handling medications safely. Then, once I have documented the medication, I put another line through it making an X.
Right Patient - Make sure you are preparing medications for only one patient at a time. Author Lynda is a registered nurse with three years experience on a busy surgical floor in a city hospital. Right Patient Make sure you are giving the right medication to the right person. Check the label every time you grab your bottle to take a dose. The right time defines the efficiency of the drug that the patient takes.
For some medications, dosage must be determined by trial and error. Apply the nursing process: assess, plan, and evaluate both before and after giving a patient a medication and you both should come out safely. In the first case, the management of the hospital should take care of this. It is sometimes a tedious job, and can take hours from start to finish. Calculate the dosage yourself to make sure it is right.