One important role that nurses often have in hospitals is delivering medications to patients. Not only that, but they also have to make sure that patients take the medications as directed.
Failing to get patients their medications on time or failing to make certain that they actually take those medications could lead to accusations of negligence that could threaten your nursing license.
Forgetting medications: An impossibility in medicine?
Is it impossible to forget to give a patient their medications? Current electronic systems are designed to prevent this by sending reminders to nursing stations or tablets when the patient’s medications are due. Many nurses have rounds on a specific schedule to help make certain that patients get their medications on time.
It is possible that a nurse could be called away from what they’re doing and end up forgetting to give a patient their medications. Unfortunately, depending on the medication, that forgetfulness could end up harming a patient.
How can you avoid missing a patient’s dose of medication?
There are some techniques to implement. You should try to get to know the patient and their information. This is sometimes tricky if you have many patients, but try to keep a chart on the patient with you if you can’t remember yourself. Use the patient’s armband to double-check their information when needed.
Double-check any high-alert medications before they’re given, and absolutely document each and every dose of medication the moment it is given. If you do identify a dose that is late or that was skipped, follow hospital protocols to get the patient the treatment they need.
If your memory lapse or distraction led to an injury due to missed medication doses, you may need to defend your license. Take this seriously, because a patient’s injury or death could mean the end of your career if you don’t take the right legal steps to protect your license as soon as possible.