Nursing 5 Patient Rights

5 Rights to Prevent Medication Errors in Nursing
June 17, 2017 – 01:14 pm

Inside Rights and Responsibilities of Nurses as the Basis for Their

Every nurse makes a mistake at one point in time. We are only human. Because of the high risk of malpractice suits and adverse reactions to medication errors, the risk of a lawsuit is higher than ever. What can we learn from making such mistakes? What should we learn?

When I was a new nurse back in the mid-1980's I had just graduated and was in my first job as a "real" RN. Back in those days you could practice with a temporary RN license until your board results came in. Sitting for boards only took place twice a year and it could take eight to ten weeks to get your results. I had just gotten that brand new license and was eager to prove myself as a new nurse. Unfortunately, I became overly confident in my skills and failed the first rule of giving medication, I forgot to follow the five rights.

Right Medication

My medication error was that I gave the medicines to "Mr. Smith" when it should have been "Mr. Jones." I had pulled the medications from the slots (no fancy medication dispensing machines in those days), looked at the room number and bed designation and went to what I assumed was the "B" bed. I had guessed wrong. At that hospital the "A" bed was always to the right and the "B" bed always to the left. I had assumed that "A" bed was next to the door all the time. Identify your patient, some facilities uses patients barcodes for proper identification.

Right Patient

Let's look at what all I did wrong. I did not verify the patient using two forms of identification (remember one of those two forms should never be the room number and/or the bed designation). I simply pulled the medications and went to the room. I failed to check the arm band and I failed to even address the patient by name. "Mr. Jones" and "Mr. Smith" could both respond and would have if I had called them by the incorrect name. I made matters worse by not reporting the medication error to my charge nurse. I didn't want to admit that I had been wrong and could have been dead wrong (as in patient dying).

Right Dose

This part includes checking the dosage of the particular medication to be given. Make sure that before you administer, it is indicated on the doctor's order. Remember, wrong dosage may lead to serious condition or even death, always ensure your patient's safety.

Right Time

Beforehand, understand that medications need to be given in substantial compliance with the physician's order. Also, attend first to compliant patients so that you can deal with the less defiant ones, in that case the time in administering the medications isnot compromised.

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