During my nursing practice, I have come across several clinical practice problems that pose risks to patient safety, health outcomes, and the overall quality of healthcare delivery. One prominent issue that needs improvement in my practice setting is medication errors. Medication errors are defined as preventable events that can result in incorrect medication use or patient harm while under the control of healthcare professionals or patients (Tariq, Vashisht, Sinha, & Scherbak, 2020).
Medication errors have become a significant concern not only in my healthcare facility but also across the United States. Healthcare workers are constantly attending to an increasing number of patients and adapting to new technologies like electronic health records (EHR) systems. Factors such as overwhelming workloads and systemic issues contribute to medical errors. These errors can occur due to incompetence, shortcuts by healthcare workers, as well as faulty systems and working conditions. Nurses working long shifts can also experience exhaustion, leading to medication errors. The consequences of such errors can be devastating, including patient deaths, decreased satisfaction, and loss of trust in the healthcare facility (Sipherd, 2018).
NURS 4220 Week 1 Discussion
The magnitude of medication errors in the United States is alarming. Studies have shown that medication errors rank as the third-leading cause of death, surpassing respiratory disease (Daniel, 2016). In my own practice experience, I encountered a situation where a patient received insulin shots instead of an influenza vaccine. This mix-up occurred because the nurse mistakenly administered Humalog U-100 insulin from the same refrigerator where the influenza vaccine was stored. The lack of separate, labeled containers led to the confusion and subsequent administration of the wrong medication.
Recognizing the prevalence and impact of medication errors, I engaged in discussions with my unit manager to address this issue in our healthcare facility. Medication errors have become a top priority for our hospital management. I expressed my strong desire to be part of the team tasked with addressing this problem and provided my input and suggestions. The unit manager welcomed my commitment and promised to recommend me for inclusion in the hospital’s dedicated team focused on reducing or eliminating medication errors.
NURS 4220 Week 1 Discussion
In conclusion, medication errors represent a significant practice problem that requires improvement in my healthcare setting. These errors can have severe consequences for patients and erode their trust in the healthcare system. Recognizing the urgency and impact of this issue, I am determined to contribute to the efforts of a dedicated team in our hospital to address and mitigate medication errors.
Daniel, M. (2016). Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. Retrieved from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us Sipherd, R. (2018). The Third-Leading Cause Of Death In Us Most Doctors Don’t Want You To Know About.
Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html
Tariq, R. A., Vashisht, R., Sinha, A., & Scherbak, Y. (2020). Medication Dispensing Errors And Prevention. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.