Survey: Do you believe the nursing shortage is contributing to medication errors? - page 2

Here are the results of last months survey question Have you ever consulted with your facility's ethics committee about a patient? : Please feel free to read and post any comments that you... Read More

  1. by   Stargazer
    As P_RN says, how could it NOT?

    My only surprise is that so far, almost 11% of survey respondents have answered "no."
  2. by   niteshiftnurse
    Its a law suit waiting to happen
  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I DO NOT think the "Nursing shortage" is contributing to med errors.

    NURSE:PT RATIOS (too many pts, too few nurses) are one of the primary causes, IMHO.

    "Shortage" or no "Shortage", nurse-to-pt ratios are based on what employers can get away with, not how many licensed nurses are available to work in a particular geographic area.
  4. by   CANRN
    Yes it does. I hate fly-by nursing.
  5. by   maizey
    No doubt about it. If you are rushing to get everything done with less help you are bound to make errors.
  6. by   Granted Fal
    I believe it's possible. What i've experienced is this shortage has lowered the admission requirements to a lot of schools so now you have, "lower requirement" people being admitted to the program. I was classmates with many who could not pass anatomy and physiology a basic requirement. I'm not saying A&P was a blowoff for me, however, if one fails this basic class they should maybe consider an alternative field. What type of care may they provide for you if they are "C"ing their way through everything? It definitely concerns me.
  7. by   Gailsimpson
    I would have thought that if you are very busy and rushed it could potentially cause more errors.

    BUT !!!!

    We have just been looking at the drug errors in our PACU over the last year. We are responsible for all the controlled drugs in the theatre complex, we give lots of IV morphine, make up lots of PCA's and give epidurals with fentanyl.

    For some strange reason, all the errors have been made when we have been well staffed and have few patients in the Unit. The only reason I can think of is that people become complacent when it is quiet, and maybe too many people are involved so nurses think that someone else has done what has been needed. We don't appear to have errors when it is busy! - maybe we concentrate more.

    Any other suggestions for this anomaly are gratefully accepted!!
  8. by   altomga
    I agree with the one post her.....WELLLLL DUHHHHH HUHHHHHHH!!!!
    We don't have time to pee now let's figure the short staff, charge with patients, total care patients, needy families (instead of pt's), other lazy staff that didn't do their work, so you are catching up from the last shift plus your own work, too many inexperienced staff that you have to follow-up on, the extra, over-abundant (?necessary) did I alread say extra?.....CHARTING!! Now lets get the meds into people or hope like H*ll you didn't forget to give something......add into that residents that do not have a freakin' clue trying to tell a inexperienced nurse what to do and the charge with pt's trying to stop an inappropiate order....on and on and on........if only we could do our JOBS!!! everyone is going to screw up some time or another, but with all the extra charting, added responsibilities/duties, when is the time for patient care and double checking meds, charts, etc????? If only the administrators could come out to the floor and work...oh thats right...most of them don't have any sort of medical degree; nursing or otherwise.......only in my dreams....
  9. by   ChristenLPN
    What really amazes me is the attention this kind of thing attracts from the media. Any kind of mistake that takes place in a hospital is blown up for an hour on Nightline, or makes a headline in Reader's Digest. I make a point to read a lot of these articles and pay attention when "Hosptial Errors" are talked about on TV, and NO ONE ever clues in to the fact that 1) Name me one human anywhere who has never ever made a mistake at work or 2) When your workload is increased beyond reason because of the cheapness of your employer, mistakes of all kinds are going to be more likely.

    It just really sticks in my craw to see things like this blown up and nobody ever says, "Hey, since nurses have really serious jobs with so little margin for error, the suits in charge should be forced, if necessary, to make sure hospitals are staffed adequately."

    Are nurses the only ones who have a clue here?
  10. by   laurako
    I don't think it is the nursing shortage. It is the greedy companies that cut labor costs to save money. High patient to nurse ratios makes for all the errors in the world, as well as poor care for patients. I would hate to be a patient now. I can only hope things will get better when I approach my geriatric years.
  11. by   Tweety
    Yes.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Oh sure, yes...but i also hold the belief that this is a multi-disciplinary problem, involving pharmaceutical companies (labeling things alike), pharmacy, doctors, nurses and administration. You and I both know, it's too damn easy (and has been traditional), to blame it all on nursing one way or the other. It's time we are brutally honest in these cases and do what we can to clear the problems up! Studies show there is plenty of "blame", if you will, to go around. But the shortage sure is not HELPING the situation any, that is a no-brainer, slam-dunk!
  13. by   mattsmom81
    The answer to this question depends on whether you believe there is a dire shortage behind the short staffing...or if the shortage is a red herring to mask facility greed.

    I believe short staffing would occur no matter how many nurses were available...and have seen way too many nurses canceled over the years when they were needed. I've also heard staff tell me they offered to work but the super told them no. I've watched this short staffing game played for many years. So I'm cynical about all the problems of the hospital world being blamed on a 'shortage of nurses'. I'm sure some areas could use more working nurses, but not all.

    As mentioned, med errors/mistakes are multicausal and short staffing stresses are definitely one issue behind them.

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