“Medication errors can happen in any healthcare setting,” write authors Pamela Anderson, MS, RN, APN-BC, CCRN, an adult nurse practitioner at Clarian Health in Indianapolis, Indiana; a resource pool float nurse at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana; and a p.r.n. ICU nurse at Tipton Hospital in Tipton, Indiana; and Terri Townsend, MA, RN, CCRN, BC, CVN-II, who works in the cardiovascular ICU and the cardiac telemetry unit at Ball Memorial Hospital and holds an adjunct clinical faculty position at Ball State University School of Nursing in Muncie.
The article, which is accredited for 1.6 contact hours of continuing education (CE) credit, addresses each of the 10 key elements of medication use from The Institute for Safe Medication Practice. Tips for avoiding medication errors, the role of fatigue, education, and the use of order entry systems round out the article.
Anderson and Townsend warn nurses about the fatigue factor, writing, “Fatigue and sleep deprivation are linked to decreases in vigilance, memory, information processing, reaction time, and decision making. A person who works a 12-hour shift and has a long commute may need to stay awake for up to 18 consecutive hours.”
“Medication errors can not only harm patients, but also cause nurses mental anguish,” says Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC, Editor-in-Chief of American Nurse Today. “We want to do all we can to give nurses the tools they need to prevent errors from happening.”
American Nurse Today reaches 175,000 nurses including 160,000 members of ANA. In addition to keeping nurses abreast of ANA’s advocacy for the profession, American Nurse Today provides valuable, peer-reviewed, evidence based clinical, practical and career information that nurses can assimilate into their busy practices immediately.
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