Survey: Do you believe the nursing shortage is contributing to medication errors? - page 4

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   lateblumer
    I can't speak for everyone, but where I work, med errors aren't related to staff shortage. It is mainly due to transcription errors and failure to properly read the MAR's. Regular ole human error.
  2. by   justanurse
  3. by   psychonurse
    I don't think that it has to do with a nursing shortage either...I just think that nurses are always working short, to many patients and not enough staff to take care of them properly. I also think that many of the errors are also made on the pharmacy. They are understaffed also cause the powers that be think that they can work short staffed just like nurses.

    In the area that I work we are sometimes pushed by the management and by others to do our medication lines quickly so that the officers can do thier other duties and the med lines too. I think that as understaffed as we are we hurry through to many duties and mistakes are made because of that.

    So I don't just blame it on the nursing shortage....I also blame it on the powers that be :roll
  4. by   MikeLPN
    My primary wing is where I have made all my med errors. It's busy all shift every shift (AKA "The Wing From H***). The interesting thing is that when I get floated to a different wing (when day clinical coord. wants some OT) I don't make mistakes. I know these wings are less busy than mine because I have been rotated to all of them until previous primary quit d/t busy-ness +/ day clinical coord and I as a new LPN grad with long legs, good grades and strong arms got assigned. It's been downhill from there. Mostly it's with uncommunicated changes but last night I showed up after just getting over the flu (almost called in sick- wish'd I would have) and gave NPH 2hr late (5u) - Accuchecks usual. And let's not forget the time I found a missed oxycontin on days, spoke with day nurse @ this (didn't do a write up) and then she wrote me up to cover the count. Oh, right - back to the subject - I believe the question is misstated but very accurate. I believe that med errors are caused by too much information being processed on too many levels with too much proactive and retroactive interference, in other words, "Just Give Me 5 Bloody Minutes To Think, D*** It!!!"
  5. by   nursejudy15209
    Here's what I think. The "powers that be" are too busy keeping cost down. Did they forget that the nurse's role is to give the best patient care they are capable of?
    There is a nursing shortage, but there is also a shortage (imposed or actual) of Certified Nursing Assistants. Without them doing the "hands on care" it makes a nurse's job that much harder. How can a nurse manage families, doctors, answer the telephone, give meds, and in the midst of all that be expected to be perfect.

    There are errors, there are decubiti, (direct result of not enough time to provide basic nursing care), and there are falls. All this is factored in to the amount of paperwork each situation creates. We would have less paperwork if there were more staff available to care for our patients. Long term care is hit hard with having to do more with less. It's a shame!

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. Is it any wonder that you will find once-upon-a-time nurses working in other occupations?
  6. by   MoJoeRN,C
    "When you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember your here to drain the swamp"
    Old Cajun RN proverb
  7. by   K O'Malley
    Constantly being interrupted while preparing meds is mistakes waiting to happen. Anyone remember the days when the med nurse prepared meds in a quiet little room and was not to be disturbed or interrupted? That was a nursing principle. We have allowed the present system to ignore nursing principles to the peril of the pt. Pharmacy is way short staffed also. Many times meds are hours late getting to the unit. And no one has the courage to force doctors to transcribe their orders into the computer to eliminate chicken scratch that is easily misinterpreted. Instead everyone dances around the problem. Can't get the docs upset!
  8. by   MikeLPN
    :chuckle alligators :chuckle

    I'm gonna remember that one.
  9. by   Furball
    There's a problem in nursing? Huh?

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