This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Making a mistake in the medical field can be costly. It is stressful trying to stay on top of everything during the day while still providing a high level of care. A nursing career is extremely rewarding, but can also be overwhelming. Unfortunately, while humans are not perfect, achieving perfection in the healthcare field is crucial.
One of the biggest errors in hospital care is in the administration of medication. Dispensing the wrong dose or giving the wrong drug fall into this category and may prove to be fatal. It’s an error that happens to new nurses or veterans who have been practicing for years. There are a few things you can do to help avoid making a medication error. Get in the habit of asking yourself consistent questions before administering any medication. Too often, while under the stress of a busy schedule, you may begin giving medication while thinking of your next task. Instead, ask yourself if the medication, dose, and patient are correct. Check and double-check the time it should be given and be sure the route you’re using is the right one. Before giving any medication, verify with your patient if they’ve had any reactions or allergies.
Infection control is a common problem within hospitals. In fact, infections acquired in the hospital have their own unique name — nosocomial infections. As a nurse, you have an opportunity to minimize that risk by educating your patients and their families. You should also practice the best way to avoid transmitting infections from patient to patient by using good hand-washing techniques and observe standard precautions.
Documentation may be time-consuming and boring, but it is essential it’s done in a timely fashion. It’s a common pitfall for nursing staff since it often feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done. Take time when things happen to be sure they’re documented, whether directly in the patient’s chart or on your report notes that you can later transfer into the chart. Health parameters such as blood pressure, fever, heart rate, and heart rhythms should be documented immediately. If a patient’s condition is declining, assign one person the responsibility of documentation while others are administering care.
Patient falls cause stress for nurses, patients, and their families. When a patient gets out of bed to move around on their own, they may fall victim to a trip or fall, or still be weak and unsteady on their feet. Often, patients will feel uncomfortable asking anyone for help as they were independent before being hospitalized. Accidents happen when there’s no one else around to help. The best way to avoid a fall is to educate your patients about the risks, request they ask for help and consistently check on their progress.
Whether you are giving a report to the incoming shift or calling for help from a physician, it’s important you always have complete information. Giving an incomplete report can effectively trigger a medication error or treatment that may ultimately prove to be fatal. Write down the pertinent information and ask yourself if you’ve covered the patient’s condition from head to toe.
Medical errors may be costly to you and your patient. Developing habits to reduce the potential for making them is a skill you practice and develop over time. At Capital Healthcare Solutions we’d like to support your professional journey by helping you find the best position for your skillset. Contact our recruiter today so we can start working together to achieve your goals.