Research Paper

Duties Of A Nurse

The most important duties of nurses are to provide nursing care for the improvement of human health. Sometimes the patient’s health is threatened by mistakes made by nurses regarding the administration of medications. Such mistakes occur in every part of the world, and this increases the mortality rates among patients, increases the duration of hospital stay which escalates related costs. Medication errors are the source of many problems in nursing. Because most incidents of medication errors are not reported by nurses, nursing managers must demonstrate positive responses to nurses who report medication errors in order to improve patient safety.

This makes it essential to reduce medication errors for delivering safe and ethical care to patients.  Whether the error committed by nurses as a caregiver or observer, organizations depend upon them to recognize and report medication errors, many studies have demonstrated that this does not happen and the nursing staff usually try to cover up their mistakes which harm patients. Results showed that there are many factors for medication errors by nurses and include individual and system problems, an understanding of medication, drug distribution systems and the quality of prescriptions which result in deviations from procedures, distractions during administration, excessive workloads and the nurse’s personal knowledge of medicines.

Patient Safety

Patient safety is the very essence of nursing and nurses have the responsibility to do well and avoid harm to patients. Medication errors have serious consequences upon patients and usually because of a breakdown on disruption in care systems. The most frequent error is the failure of nurses to administer medication. This is deliberately not reported because nurses believe that this causes no harm to patients. Another act of omission that is not reported is administering an overdose or an under dose of prescribed medication. 95% of such incidences go unreported because of the fear of disciplinary action by their nursing managers.

Result of a Disciplinary Action

The disciplinary action might result in stiff penalties and even the loss of their jobs. Nurse Managers also fear for the reputation of their organizations if frequent medication errors are reported. Other reasons for not report medication errors is that nurses are in disagreement over constitutes a medication error and whether to report such discrepancies when they themselves were not sure that they had committed an error. Medication errors are a major problem for nurses. Since most cases of medication errors are not reported by nurses, nursing managers must demonstrate positive responses to nurses who report medication errors in order to improve patient safety. Better training of nurses and better pharmacological knowledge is the best prevention against medication errors.