Prevent Medical Errors: Nursing is a profession that can be very rewarding for those who have the passion and dedication to help others. Sadly, however, this profession does have its share of challenges.
One major challenge faced by nurses is medical errors that can result in harm or death to patients and even nurses themselves.
To prevent these traumatic events, nurses need to be proactive in their approach to finding and implementing strategies that will minimize the occurrence of such errors. In this article, let’s explore some strategies that nurses can use when it comes to preventing medical errors in nursing practice.
Table of Contents
The Role Of The Nurse
Nurses must be responsible for the safety of their patients at all times.
It’s not enough for nurses to just do what is required of them by their supervisors and superiors. They have to make an extra effort to ensure that the overall quality of care given to patients is up to the most acceptable standards.
This includes following procedures, making use of checklists, and being well-acquainted with the necessary equipment and medicine for treatments.
Nurses should also be sure about ways they can prevent medical errors. They should constantly be alert and give immediate responses to critical issues like alarms, sudden changes in patient conditions, proper use of equipment, etc.
Why Are Nurses So Important In The Healthcare System?
Nurses have a significant role to play in the healthcare system.
Most of the time, this is because nurses are directly involved with patient care, and immediate decisions are needed to ensure that all goes well. Aside from that, nurses also take on a lot of responsibilities for their assigned patients and must be ready for any sort of critical event that may happen in the course of treatment.
For instance, when a patient gets an alarm for having low oxygen levels, nurses must act fast and measure the exact amount of oxygen that is still available in the tube or tank used for administering oxygen to patients.
If the reading is too low, nurses will then have to go through all kinds of procedures for replacing the tank or tube with a new one.
If the patient does not have enough oxygen available, nurses have to make sure that the patient receives more oxygen immediately. In other words, nurses are very much in charge of giving appropriate treatments and ensuring that their patients’ conditions remain stable and acceptably healthy throughout the duration of treatment.
Nurses play a vital role in preventing medical errors from occurring. They are at the forefront of patient care, so it’s only logical that they should be well aware of ways they can minimize errors.
What Are The Risks Of Poor Nursing Practices?
They can be life-threatening and harmful to others.
Improper use of medicines, incorrect procedure in following the nurses’ handbook or protocol, and misreading medical signs and symptoms are only some of the many mistakes that nurses commit.
These mistakes can result in misdiagnosis, treatments that are ineffective or even harmful, delayed diagnosis due to unreliable test results, as well as infections that occur because of non-sterile practices.
What Is The Impact Of Such Errors?
Nurses must be aware that errors committed during patient care can have a large impact on patients’ physical and mental health.
It can be very traumatic for the patient. In fact, some of the worst errors committed by nurses will result in the death of a patient.
For example, if a nurse misdiagnoses a condition and fails to treat it properly, there is a possibility that the patient might die from this condition.
If another nurse mistakes medication for another medication or substance, this could cause a patient’s death. It is also possible for patients to receive the wrong treatment because of wrong directions given by nurses or even for delays in administering medications to occurdue to poor communication between nurses and physicians.
Are Some Errors Beginning TO Be Overlooked?
Nurses must know that errors will never be entirely eliminated.
To prevent errors and mistakes from being overlooked, nurses have to always be mindful of the standards set by healthcare providers.
This includes the standards when it comes to the accuracy of test results, giving medications in a particular way, and taking care of other important parts of patient care.
The unfortunate truth is that nurses should not be spared from education. They should get enough knowledge on prevention strategies and strategies that can minimize errors in inpatient care.
How Are Errors Prevented? How Can Nurses Minimize Their Impacts?
They need to educate themselves on safe practices and procedures.
It’s very important for nurses to know everything about their duties and responsibilities. They should also be very familiar with the equipment and medicines that are used in a medical facility.
They must closely follow procedures and protocols set by the hospital where they work. Nurses should know what constitutes an error, as well as how to report such errors.
At times, nurses themselves commit errors, which is why they have to undergo regular evaluations of their performance. Knowing how to identify errors committed by other nurses will be beneficial when it comes time to report these incidents.
Preventing Errors Through Education
Learning about error reduction is something that will be part of most nursing courses; the FNP Program is a great example of this.
However, falling short of attaining the right level of knowledge means nurses will continue to make errors.
Nurses who are committed to preventing medical errors must be aware that they need to constantly monitor the process of care rendering and be ready to give immediate responses whenever there’s a critical situation that needs dealing with immediately.
Preventing Poor Nursing Care
When it comes to generic prevention of poor nursing care, there are a few things that you should bear in mind:
- Nurses should be aware that they are expected to perform their duties and responsibilities to the best of their ability in order to provide good clinical care.
- They should know how to read and interpret medical screenings, x-rays, and other tests. This is necessary in order for them to provide effective care.
- They must know how to explain diagnosis and treatment plans clearly and correctly so that patients can follow them correctly.
- Nurses must know how they can avoid errors while performing their duties. This means they need to constantly think of things that may make a patient’s condition worse.
It must also be stressed that nurses should be very familiar with the equipment and machinery used in a medical facility. They must be able to differentiate between various medications and substances used in the hospital.
Nurses must also know how to handle various medical instruments. This is important in order for them to make sure that they are very careful when handling these instruments. It’s also important so they can avoid leaving behind harmful substances when they’re done using them.
They need to understand that patient confidentiality is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to information regarding a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, etc.
Preventing Medical Errors In The Wider Healthcare Setting
The problem of medical errors is not limited to hospitals alone. It is also found in the wider healthcare system, where a large number of nurses work.
Accidents are a part of many professions, such as those in the military, construction, farming, and other activities that require risk-taking and much physical labor. It’s inevitable that accidents will happen from time to time.
However, how this happens plays an important role in whether the injuries are serious or if they’re minor. In general, it’s better to avoid unnecessary risks by ensuring all procedures have been fully reviewed and approved by a medical professional prior to implementing them.
The Importance Of Adhering To Standardized Procedures
It’s important that nurses are familiar with the procedures that are followed by healthcare providers.
This will enable them to have a clear understanding of what part of the treatment they should perform and what part they should leave to other nurses or other medical staff members.
Additionally, they must understand what is expected of them in terms of responding to and reporting potential medical errorscommitted by other nurses.
It’s also important for nurses to know which machines or equipment they can use without supervision from any healthcare professional.
They should be aware of what kind of protocol should be followed when it comes to the use of such equipment.
Also, they must learn the standard protocols in case there’s an emergency that requires the use of dangerous machinery or equipment.
Nurses should always be familiar with all safety measures that are followed by other medical personnel in case they will have to fill in during an emergency. They should know who they can contact in order to get instructions during an emergency, and what measures they should follow.
What Are Some Steps Nurses Can Take?
Good nurse practice is all about responding to errors, analyzing these errors, and taking corrective action where necessary.
Nurses can take several steps to prevent such errors.
One of the first things they should do is fully understand their duties and responsibilities, as well as the procedures and protocols that are followed in a medical facility.
They must also be aware of how they can correct errors that they may make while performing their duties. This is why it’s very important for them to identify what constitutes an error and how to report it.
Additionally, nurses must be very familiar with the equipment and medicines that are used by healthcare providers. They need to know where those items are located, so they can easily make sure they don’t bring harm to any patient if this equipment is not properly secured and labeled.
Nurses should always know what kind of protocol is followed in an emergency. An emergency can include a life-threatening situation or a non-life-threatening situation.
In case of a life-threatening situation, nurses should follow the steps that need to be followed in such cases, and they must know who they can call for assistance.
While this may seem like a lot of work to those who have never been in this kind of setting before, it will get easier as time goes by because proper education and training will help with this.
Also, nurses must always remember that they can call anyone to help them or ask for instructions if they are unsure or not sure what to do.
What Is Standardized Nursing?
Standardization is simply the process of developing uniform policies and procedures.
This is very important in order to ensure that all nurses are able to practice nursing in a given country, state, or area while following the same standards and protocols.
Thus, standardization can be simply thought of as one way of establishing universal healthcare among all health practitioners in a specific country or area.
Benefits Of Standardized Nursing
Standardized nursing can help lessen the risk of medical errors among healthcare providers.
This is mainly because standardization helps ensure that all nurses are using the same procedures and protocols.
Thus, it’s very important that nurses who work in different parts of the country, state, or area, follow the same set of procedures in order to make sure they’re doing things right.
It’s also a good way to prevent medical insurance fraud performed by healthcare practitioners that aren’t licensed to practice in specific areas.
Conclusion And Next Steps For Improving Patient Care With Better Mistake Prevention Methods
Medical errors are very prevalent in many healthcare facilities, and this is an issue that must be addressed.
Nurses and other medical staff members must be aware of all the risks they face while working, and they must know how to respond in case any errors occur.
However, it’s also important that patients understand some of the most common issues that lead to medical errors.
They should recognize the vital role their participation plays in avoiding many of these errors.
This means knowing what to do when making a hospital or clinic appointment. It can also mean listening carefully and following instructions when talking to your physician or any other healthcare provider regarding your health status or symptoms.