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What should nurses do if they make a medication error?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2022 | Nursing License Defense |

When nurses in hospitals and nursing homes administer medication to their patients, it’s imperative that they understand the orders from the doctor so they can provide the patients with the treatment they need.

It’s possible that a nurse can make an error with the medication administration. This includes giving the wrong dose or the incorrect medication. It may also be giving it at the wrong time. While it’s possible that the error won’t impact the patient, there are times when patients can suffer serious effects.

Be proactive

If you realize that you made a medication error, you need to determine what corrective measures to take. Trying to cover up the error can make the situation worse. Plus, it could mean that the patient suffers irreversible harm. You have to remain ethical, even when you make an error. Be sure you understand the protocol at the facility where you work so you can follow the proper steps.

Document the incident

You should clearly document what happened when you made the error. Never try to offer excuses or shift the blame. Instead, the documentation should focus on exactly what happened. For example, maybe the two medications had similar packaging or you were interrupted while you were preparing the medication. Shift fatigue or understaffing should also be included in the documentation.

You should never try to ignore the situation if you make a medication error. These are serious matters that must be handled accordingly. Ensuring that you have appropriate representation for disciplinary hearings can help you to protect yourself. The sooner you get to work on your case, the more time you’ll have to consider the options so you can make decisions that you feel are in your best interests.