When it comes to the safe administration of medications, you may never be too attentive. Nurses are always accountable for the safety and quality of patient care. Many nursing duties are dangerous, but drug delivery is perhaps the most dangerous. Medication mistakes, unfortunately, can cause harm or injury to patients. Some people are permanently disabled, while others die as a result of their mistakes. According to many studies, up to 10% of patients have unwanted side effects or responses, and administration mistakes account for 60% of all drug errors.
Medication administration rights exist not just to prevent the harm caused by medicine mistakes, but also to protect the patient and the nurse who administers the medication. Preventing medication mistakes is therefore always a top priority. You should always follow the 7 rights of medications to help prevent these mistakes.
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7 rights of medications
You should double-check that you have the proper medicine throughout both preparation and administration. There are numerous look-alike or sound-alike medicines that require extra caution to ensure the patient receives the correct medication.
Those who are giving the medicine should compare it to the signed form to confirm that the medication’s name on the bottle or package matches the name on the signed form exactly. This should be verified each time the medicine is given. It’s best to keep the medication in its original container. Here is the checklist for the right medication:
- Check carefully the medication’s name; brand names should be avoided.
- Verify the expiration date.
- Check the prescription.
- Ensure that medicines, particularly antibiotics, are evaluated on a frequent basis.
When giving medication to a patient, two forms of identification should be used to verify the patient’s identity. This might entail having the patient give their name and date of birth as you compare their responses to the armband. Besides, it is critical to ensure that patients understand what medication is used for.
For example, the risk of improper medication administration increases during certain seasons of the year when multiple children require medication or if your program has several children enrolled who require medication support (such as asthma, diabetes, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). To guarantee that the correct kid receives the medicine, identification forms and medication must be double-checked.
- Check patients’ information carefully
- Check whether patients are aware of the medication’s purpose or not
- Make them aware that if they suffer any adverse effects or reactions, they should seek medical help.
To ensure that the patient does not receive too much or too little of a specific drug, the ordered medication dosage should be double-checked. When diluting a concentrated medication or splitting or combining pills, this is especially true. Using the medication spoon given with the medication by the pharmacy is a great method to ensure this. It’s not the place for guessing when it comes to medication administration. Any questions should be sent to the guardian for further explanation.
- Check carefully the prescription.
- Using the BNF or local recommendations, confirm that the dosage is appropriate.
- Calculate the dose if necessary, and have another nurse do the same.
Medication can be given in a number of forms. Some medications must be taken orally or intravenously. Some intravenous medicines are also too caustic to be administered through a peripheral IV. Ensure that the medicine is taken by the route specified in the prescription order as well as a route that is appropriate for that medication before giving it. The method confirmation should be written on both the medicine and the signed form.
- Check the order and appropriateness of the prescribed route once more.
- Confirm that the patient can take or receive the medicine according to the prescribed method.
Patients typically have complicated medication schedules since certain drugs must be taken with or without meals, while others must be redosed on a specific date. Most facilities consider medicine to be on time if it arrives within 30 minutes of the scheduled time.
The medicine’s time should be clearly noted on both the medication and the signed form. When the patient arrives, it’s also important to clarify when the previous dosage of medicine was given and when the next one is due.
- Check the frequency with which the recommended medication is taken.
- Check to be sure you’re administering the medication at the right time.
- Confirm the time of the last dosage.
Even though the physician would generally recommend drugs based on the patient’s conditions or requirements, you should do your own assessment before giving the prescription to ensure that the medication is appropriate for the patient (For example, Tylenol during teething discomfort, or a breathing medication for an asthma attack). If you have any concerns, you should consult with the care team before administering the medication.
- Make sure your patient truly requires the medicine.
- Make sure there are no contraindications.
- If necessary, do baseline observations.
It is critical that the drug administration event be properly documented once the medication has been administered. This should include the delivery time and dose so that following care providers know exactly what was given and when, since they may make decisions depending on the patient’s response to the medicine. Furthermore, if the patient has an unusual reaction to a drug, it should be documented in the patient’s chart and reviewed with the care team.
- Make sure you sign for the medication AFTER it has been administered.
- Make sure that the medicine is prescribed appropriately, including a start and stop date if necessary.
The above article has provided you with 7 rights of medications as well as their medication administration checklists that can help you prevent medication mistakes. We all hope that you guys can have more beneficial information for better work.