Medication Errors Curtailed Using Patient Education

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Nurses can cause medication errors as they hand out the medications. To prevent this a nurse can use the 5 rights. Right drug, right patient, right dose, right route, right time all need to be thought of before the nurse passes medications. As the original post states another way problems can occur is by the patients, what is not mentioned is the fact that the nurse also has a hand in preventing the errors by the patient! The responsibility of educating the patient about a medication can be the nurses. As a nurse I can teach the patient about the medication like the side effects that are expected, and the ones they should notify their physician if they starting to have. I can teach them about the interactions between the new drug they are prescribed and the other medications they take. What should they do if they miss a dose, take an extra the next time or will that cause more harm than missing a dose? Foods have different effects on medications, some helpful, some harmful. Some medications can be crushed to help in administering others can not. All these are things a patient may not be aware of. Even though most of this information comes on a sheet when we get prescriptions filled now a days, nurses are able to teach the patients in case they do not read the papers. Our understanding of the pharmacology of a medication is crucial in our ability to help our patients. We can do this by keeping up to date with new medications, and looking up any older medication we are not familiar with before we speak to the patient. It is not only our action of passing medications on the hospital floor, it is the conversation we have with the patient as we did it.

Original Post:
May 29, 2009
Title; Medication Errors
Nurses can cause medication errors as they hand out the medications. To prevent this a nurse can use the 5 rights. Right drug, right patient, right dose, right route, right time all need to be thought of before the nurse passes medications. As the original post states another way problems can occur is by the patients, what is not mentioned is the fact that the nurse also has a hand in preventing the errors by the patient! The responsibility of educating the patient about a medication can be the nurses. As a nurse I can teach the patient about the medication like the side effects that are expected, and the ones they should notify their physician if they starting to have. I can teach them about the interactions between the new drug they are prescribed and the other medications they take. What should they do if they miss a dose, take an extra the next time or will that cause more harm than missing a dose? Foods have different effects on medications, some helpful, some harmful. Some medications can be crushed to help in administering others can not. All these are things a patient may not be aware of. Even though most of this information comes on a sheet when we get prescriptions filled now a days, nurses are able to teach the patients in case they do not read the papers. Our understanding of the pharmacology of a medication is crucial in our ability to help our patients. We can do this by keeping up to date with new medications, and looking up any older medication we are not familiar with before we speech to the patient. It is not only our action of passing medications on the hospital floor, it is the conversation we have with the patient as we did it.

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