Medical errors by nurses in hospitals are the result of? - page 2

Survey question: Medical errors by nurses in hospitals are the result of: Mandatory overtime Budget cutbacks Incompetence Shortage of qualified staff FYI, here are the results of the... Read More

  1. by   saphie
    Amen space nurse! I can't see that I have had a shift quite as hairy as that but nevertheless, I have had hairy shifts! Nurses are to be the bottom line in med admin. but I agree with the above comments about some accountablity has to come to other parts of the health care team. i remember a story that an instructor told us in one class about a nurse that was charged with manslaughter after adminstering the wrong drug to the pt, however, it was the nurse that drew it up and the doctor that gave it to the pt. the doctor walked away with nothing, where is the justice in that... The nurse was wrong however, does not the physican also abide by the five rights, especially by giving the medication? Or how about all those times no one can properly read the orders or progress notes and get yelled at when you call to clarify? the nurse is the last line but there is usually a lot of other steps that were misplaced along the way. To be fair, there are wonderful physicans, that write clearly or/and check with the RN to be sure that you can read it, I wonder what the medication error on their pts are? My gut feeling would be that it is lower then those that can't write legibly and don't bother to clarify.
  2. by   teamrn
    I don't think that errors are the direct result of ANY of the 4 above causes. I feel that errors and other 'woes' in our health care system result from a lack of respect for the work involved in all health care fields. This lack of respect, in turn, results in less money being budgeted to fund health care by individuals not fully understanding what is needed to provide quality services. This decrease in available monies(budget cutbacks) THEN results in mandatory overtime, shortage of qualified staff, and (?)incompetence. Those are my thoughts and I'd love to hear what others think about getting to what I think is the REAL ROOT of the problem.
  3. by   Hazel
    I also must agree with Spacenurse. Incompetent nurses are seldom the reason for medication errors I have witnessed. Medications not given on time are usually the result of nurses who are overworked due to staffing shortages. It's not like nurses are sitting around drinking coffee instead of passing meds. The one incident report which I had to file involved giving a patient a stronger medication than she was supposed to have. This medication arrived in a bottle which had been mislabled in the pharmacy. I was unfamiliar with the medication, and even called the pharmacist before I gave it to verify that I had the correct medication. I was assured that it was correct, and the medication was given. Luckily, there were no adverse effects. But I hope the public knows that nurses alone can't be blamed for all of these problems.
  4. by   tlcalways
    Medical errors by nurses in hospitals are the result of:

    poor Hosp. Administrative staff = mandatory overtime
    Hosp. Administration payroll = budget cutback
    Administrative management team = Incompetence
    Administrative bonus pay = Shortage of qualified staff
    PLEASE go to all nursing topics-->Nurse issue/concern..-->article wrote on sept 18 title CA nurses, your help needed and title unsafe health care.
    Tell me they are on YOUR SIDE. The high N mighty Aministration is always ABOVE YOU. You RN are EXPENDIBLE because you are not on their team. They never make any mistake that you can't be use for an escape goat. Your break room is the unit 2nd stock room. Their is an oasis in comparison because that where the "STUFF" start to roll down to the bottom line, YOU.
    RNs you are dedicated, humanistic, big heart and your contribution will always notice by patient and patient alone. Your decision to be an RN is from your heart & soul. We all have our days but I believe in you as always.
    So let our voice be hear as one.

    TLC Always

    [This message has been edited by tlcalways (edited September 25, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by tlcalways (edited September 25, 2000).]
  5. by   oramar
    Originally posted by tlcalways:
    Medical errors by nurses in hospitals are the result of:

    poor Hosp. Administrative staff = mandatory overtime
    Hosp. Administration payroll = budget cutback
    Administrative management team = Incompetence
    Administrative bonus pay = Shortage of qualified staff
    PLEASE go to all nursing topics-->Nurse issue/concern..-->article wrote on sept 18 title CA nurses, your help needed and title unsafe health care.
    Tell me they are on YOUR SIDE. The high N mighty Aministration is always ABOVE YOU. You RN are EXPENDIBLE because you are not on their team. They never make any mistake that you can't be use for an escape goat. Your break room is the unit 2nd stock room. Their is an oasis in comparison because that where the "STUFF" start to roll down to the bottom line, YOU.
    RNs you are dedicated, humanistic, big heart and your contribution will always notice by patient and patient alone. Your decision to be an RN is from your heart & soul. We all have our days but I believe in you as always.
    So let our voice be hear as one.

    TLC Always

    [This message has been edited by tlcalways (edited September 25, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by tlcalways (edited September 25, 2000).]
    When I read this post something popped into my mind. I remember watching huge carts piled high with goodies being pushed by lackies{like myself) to managment meetings for everybody from supervisor up to CEO. I watched these carts travel to the conference rooms on many occasions. No floor nurses were ever invited, of course. These were the meetings where they decided to freeze my pay, cut my benefits and drive me to an early grave. God I hate them all. While they were stuffing their faces with free food they were killing me.

  6. by   still licensed!
    Sad to say that health care today is being managed by individuals who have little if any healthcare experience. Hospitals have turned to finance executives, who are very good at what they do, to simply turn a buck for the facility. Hospital profits increase while patient care, safety, and satisfaction are lost in the gray area. I am a realatively new grad with 1.5 years experience. I am currently persuing my BSN and I am in contact with many new nurses (100's). 80% of these nurses report little or no job satisfaction and fear for their licenses. Many are persuing higher ed. simply to get out of floor nursing. We all loved the beautiful picture that was painted in nursing school that depicted nurses helping others in time of need. The reality of it is that we were all sold a dream. There is rarely time to give the back rub, talk on a personal level, or even establish a therapeutic nurse client relationship. Wouldn't it be something if nurses could design a hospital. Plenty of staff with a nurse patient ratio of 2:1 where patients left feeling that they recieved the best possible care. Not feasible! Think again. Who's hospital would you like to be in the one ran by finance executives or by nurses? I vote we put nurses who are pt advocates in management positions. My views on errors are that we are responsible for these errors however it is a direct result of cutbacks by execs. We need more help! A time is fast approaching where there will be one very large and strong group that empowers nurses. I smell the U word. Anyone else in favor?
  7. by   fireandice
    Dear colleagues, the main reason of all this problems is simple and yet complicated enough to cause lives..and that is...our Health system sucks!
  8. by   bluesgirl
    Originally posted by spacenurse:
    The survey gave only one choice! All of the above apply!
    Floating without training and orientation to the new unit and patient population can cause mistakes and/or late doses. Many times errors are made due to distractions caused by short staffing. Meds are not always available on time due to poor systems (computers?), short staffed pharmacy, and insufficient and/or poorly trained clerical workers. How can a nurse give meds on time when there is never a moment free of call lights, phone calls, codes, MDs asking for help, and new admissions and transfers?
    The Department of Medicine Report quoted in the article also documented that RNs intercepted 86% of potential medication errors in hospitals (Handwriting related or wrong med sent by pharmacy).
    They need to improve systems and staffing to save lives.

    yes Spacenurse--
    I want to march!!!!!!!!!!!
    One other thing here to mention--
    Management Turnover
    I complained on my last yearly evaluation.- turnover in management is too high. I haven't had the same DON for a year--CEO came in on last meeting with DON and said,-"what do ya mean?"--WE,RE
    HERE TO STAY!!!!!LOLOLOLOLOL. We can have no continuity of care if we have no continuity of staff.---Charge nurse's--I.E. Pt. CARE Managers turn over every three mos. and everybody picks their favorites don't they?----One charge nurse has 6 kids, the next has a new trans AM (car) and is thinking about a swimming pool, and the next is f***ing the tech on days.
    All I do is patient care. The Pharmicist was caught on tape, taking po lortab, while office/hospital gossip said it was the nurses,-------- and all I do is patient care. We are here to stay and I'm supposed to say Hurrah?
    We're ( the management) is here to stay?????
    Next time I called the CEO, He was on vacation.
  9. by   bluesgirl
    Originally posted by Steven Coppock:
    Let me tell you a storyaoubt a Woman's Hospital. There once was a hospital where the administrator who read an atricle posted in Chicago, hint. After reading this artical she or he copied portions of said artical. I bet no one can guess which parts were left out. Yes you guessed right, the conclusons regarding poor staffing overworked staff ect. We as a profession need to ban togeather. Your My and our state boards of nursing are not there for us.
    Story nuber two.
    When I was in school I was tought that if you did not accept an assignment for reasons of safty for your licence or pts you could not be held accountable. There once was an CICU who had worked in CI for ten years. One eveing she went to work. When she got there she discovcerd she was the CN and had seven pts, three fresh hearts, two new MI's one 24 hour old MI and a 6 hour post cath. this in it's slef was not differnt for most days, however to help in the unit she a New Grad, with one mont exp, and an agency nurse, who's specialty was oncology. She refussed, having not taken report on any pts. The hospital was unable or unwilling to get qualified personal to worrk on the unit. she went home. The hospital filed charges of abandoment with the state board of nursing. GUESS WHO THE BOARD SIDED WITH? You guessed right. The Hospital.
    So there again who is out there watching out for you.........No One
    I am of the firm opnion that we need to have some one watching out for us....just as we are supose to watch out for are pts, whichis really why we are here.
    We should not have to worry about retribution in the work place for doing the right thing.
    damn right---!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No union-let's march
  10. by   avicky
    Medicine errors are not in my opinion due to the above reasons, but the constant interruptions of Beeper and portable phones (one on each hip, truly), charge nurse informing you of adm or transfer, and ER on the line NOW, and Cncerned family wandering around wanting to know the location of the doctor, time date of test not to mention the results and why s/he can't eat, for which you have explained for the hundreth time, and each family member has to call long distance individually and ask about bowel habits, ALL while you are passing your meds. And you ask me why errors occure. I have known this for years and still haven't figured out how to keep distraction at a distance.
  11. by   oramar
    Originally posted by avicky:
    Medicine errors are not in my opinion due to the above reasons, but the constant interruptions of Beeper and portable phones (one on each hip, truly), charge nurse informing you of adm or transfer, and ER on the line NOW, and Cncerned family wandering around wanting to know the location of the doctor, time date of test not to mention the results and why s/he can't eat, for which you have explained for the hundreth time, and each family member has to call long distance individually and ask about bowel habits, ALL while you are passing your meds. And you ask me why errors occure. I have known this for years and still haven't figured out how to keep distraction at a distance.
    You have accurately described an average day on a average unit, now add the cut back in staff and supplies that has occured over the last two years and you got the reason for most med errors.
  12. by   -jt
    "......What sparked this survey question is that the Chicago Tribune ran a series of articles on September 10, 11, and 12 on medical errors resulting in patient deaths and injuries. Here they are if you are interested in reading them:
    Nursing mistakes kill, injure thousands http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=278
    Training often takes a back seat http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=279
    Nursing accidents unleash silent killer http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=280
    Oversight panels don't see all facts of medical mistakes cases http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=281
    Problem nurses escape punishment http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=282

    Many Nursing Associations responded to the articles with press releases, here are a few of them:

    Minnesota Nurses Association http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=274
    Washington State Nurses Association http://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=277

    Please post your thoughts or comments on this issue.........."


    ok - Here's a link to the response from the president of the New York State Nurses Association:
    (I agree with her)


    Getting Past the Headlines:

    "Im sure many of you have heard about the series of Chicago Tribune articles, which appeared in major newspapers across the country and on the Internet from September 10 to 12. Although we know logically that the media depends on sensationalism and attention generating headlines to sell newspapers, physically the nausea you feel when you see nursing portrayed so negatively has you reaching for an emesis basin! There were five articles published
    with titles such as Nursing mistakes kill, injure thousands, and Nursing accidents unleash silent killer. My immediate reaction to the headlines was concern over the damage to the publics trust of the nursing profession. As I read the articles, however, I found myself agreeing with the substance of the reporting.........."
    http://www.nysna.org/pubs/report/report00/1011002.htm

  13. by   -jt
    "ok - Here's a link to the response from the president of the New York State Nurses Association: http://www.nysna.org/pubs/report/report00/1011002.htm
    (I agree with her)"...........


    and heres a link to the what the reporter had to say on why he wrote those articles & what he learned:

    "Why the articles were written

    Michael J. Berens, author of the series, says he began to investigate the topic after the Chicago Tribune noted that no large newspaper had taken a hard, critical look at the conflicting stories being told by nurses and the hospital industry. Nurses claimed RN staffing and mandatory overtime adversely affected their patients. When Berens talked to the American Hospital Association (AHA), they said, Hey, theyre nurses. They have a vested
    interest. The result, Berens explained, was a he-said, she-said story, which drove us to investigate and to quantify. The key to the story was getting the data. Nurses complaints get dismissed too casually because they dont have hard data.........."
    http://www.nysna.org/pubs/report/report00/1011001.htm


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