Preventing Medication Errors : Nursing Course


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OR REVIEW THE FOLLOWING NURSING CLASS KNOWLEDGE BLOCKS


When a medication is removed from its original container, and is stored in a syringe or medicine cup, it must be:

labeled

Rationale: In order to prevent errors that occur when a medication is removed from its original container and placed in a syringe or medicine cup, the new container must be labeled. The only exception to this rule is if the person that draws up the medication administers it immediately, and there is not left over medication to administer at another time. Medication labeling does not only apply to prescription medications, but also all over the counter medications, vitamins, and vaccines. The label should always include the drug name and strength. The original container should remain in the area for reference until the medication is administered.


When writing out a medication dose, a decimal point should always be proceeded by a:

zero

Rationale: A zero should always proceed a decimal point in order to prevent medication errors. For example, a medication written as .1 mg could be misinterpreted as 1 mg if the decimal point is missed, leading to a patient receiving 10 times the amount of medicine needed. If a zero was used to proceed the decimal, it would appear as 0.1 mg and the error would be prevented. A common medication error is when using a trailing zero after a decimal point when writing a dosage. This can lead to a medication error in which the patient received ten times the intended dose. For example, writing a medication dosage as 1.0 mg may be misinterpreted as 10 mg, if the decimal point is not seen. A way to remember this rule is "Always lead, never follow".


Medications that have an increased risk of causing harm to a patient if used in error are called:

high-alert drugs

Rationale:

When a patient is admitted to the hospital or medical facility, their medications should be reconciled within:

24 hours

Rationale:

To prevent errors when administering medication, the rule is to give the right medication, to the right patient, at the right time, by the correct route, and the correct dose. This is known as the:

5 rights of medication administration

Rationale:

When writing out a prescription or medication that has been given, healthcare professionals should write out complete words and not use:

abbreviations

Rationale:

If a medication error does occur, you should:

report it

Rationale:

It is estimated that the number of patients that are harmed each year by medication errors is:

1.5 million

Rationale:

Comparing medications that are ordered for a patient to a list of medications that they have previously been taking is known as:

reconciliation

Rationale:

The primary cause of medication errors, approximately 15% of the time, is:

poor handwriting

Rationale:

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