Archive for April, 2008

Laughter as stress management; Laughter is not a crime

April 2, 2008

As a new nurse, the very first time that I was involved in a real “Code Blue” situation I was appalled at the disgusting jokes and remarks made by this team of professionals. There were no family members at the code to over hear the horrid jokes and remarks but it weighed heavy on me for several days. I did not know how such a team of professionals could be so crude a time of stress and heartache. Not mentioning any names, I discussed this with one of the Sisters at the hospital. She explained to me that sometimes humor is the way that some individuals deal with stress. That they were not as “cold hearted” as they appeared. Over the years and many Code Blue situations behind me, I find myself at times being that professional that I was so appalled at, in the beginning my career. When I stand back and view the situation to try to understand why I would say such a silly unprofessional remark, I realize that “if I didn’t laugh at that time, I would probably cry. This was no time to cry because the Code Blue Team was depending on me at this time of stress.

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Medication Errors Reduced

April 1, 2008

Medication errors has been greatly reduced as a increased awareness of both the nurse who actually gives the medications and the hospitals providing the financial backing to provide the nurse with computer assisted medication dispensing machines.
The potential for a medication error is greatly reduced by the use of computer order entry from the original person ordering the medication to the person administering the medication and all the steps in-between. With the physician using order entry directly into a computer program potential errors are flagged immediately for review of the prescribing physician. The pharmacist is no longer trying to guess what the chicken scratch is really saying or if the dosage is written incorrectly. The nurse uses computer assisted dispensing cabinets and in some cases bar coding of medications to assist in the prevention of the wrong medication being given.
Despite all this high technical devices that are available mistakes still happen and medication errors happen but not nearly as many as occurred when I first started nursing and we poured from bulk bottles and hoped in our frazzled world that we grabbed the right bottle. We also hoped that the physician had proper rest and wrote down the correct dosage to give the patient.
Computers, education, ready accessible reference books have been the reason that we have seen a reduction in medication errors. Singularly any one of these items can and does reduce the potential for errors but packaged together they form a safety net for all involved. Mistakes will still be made but hopefully they will become a thing of the past.

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