Leave me alone when I'm passing meds!!!!!

  1. 6
    How would you answer this question?

    When nurses are interrupted during medication administration, errors can occur in practice. What percentage of the time do nurses make mistakes when interrupted during medication administration?

    a. 22%
    b. 31%
    c. 74%
    d. 100%

    The correct answer is "c" 74%.

    In a study by Westbrook, et al. (2010), the authors found that interruptions occurred in about 53% of medication administration events resulting in at least one procedural error in 74% of patients, and one clinical error in 25% of administrations. Although many errors were considered to be minor, 2.7% were considered to be major errors resulting in complications or mortality.

    The take home point here is that nurses are interrupted frequently during medication administration and that mistakes happen frequently, some leading to catastrophic results. Seek a quiet environment when you give medications and give your peers a break, by leaving them alone during their medication administration.

    From:
    Westbrook, et al. (2010). Association of interruptions with an increased risk and severity of medication administration errors. Arch Intern Med, 26(170); 683.
    INLPN93, casi, Successfully123, and 3 others like this.
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  3. 45 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    This is a serious issue that really should be the focus instead of worrying about wiping down the glucometers.

    I get more interruptions during a medpass from CNA's than I do from family members and they should know not to interrupt the nurse during the medpass. "So and so wants pain medicine" "So and so needs xanax" "So and so wants her pills".

    Unless its a critical issue, save it. I am aware of the patients who need pain medicine and know when their next dose is going to be. Everyone will get their pills.
  5. 1
    Quote from dajulieness
    This is a serious issue that really should be the focus instead of worrying about wiping down the glucometers.

    I get more interruptions during a medpass from CNA's than I do from family members and they should know not to interrupt the nurse during the medpass. "So and so wants pain medicine" "So and so needs xanax" "So and so wants her pills".

    Unless its a critical issue, save it. I am aware of the patients who need pain medicine and know when their next dose is going to be. Everyone will get their pills.
    Were I used to work in LTC as a CNA I only saw the nurse during medpass or if they were charting. I never could find a good time to ask them for something.
    juliaann likes this.
  6. 6
    My CNAs rarely interrupt me. It's the ringing phone, family members, or department heads saying "do you know you have a call light?" that stops my med pass. I want to say "I know I have a dang call light but I also have narcs sitting on my cart so it is gonna have to wait; I also have CNAs that WILL get it as soon as they finish with their current resident." My med passes take me forever, largely due to stupid interruptions.
    CTNurse678, 1uvakindmom, inkydorei, and 3 others like this.
  7. 4
    An LTC med pass could easily take a full 2 hours, is it realistic to NOT interrupt the nurse? Of course, I agree that interruptions should be minimized and others should use good judgement to wait on non-urgent issues.

    One of the things that really gets to me about many clinical settings is the amount of interruptions one has to deal with. As well as the amount of interrupting one has to do to get things done. Some degree of that is inevitable, but certain systems can help to facilitate smooth communication.
  8. 4
    Okay...I get being interupted by CNAs and most of the time, they will only tell me stuff I need to know right then and there or even I will answer call bells or do other stuff related to direct resident car BUT what kills me is the phone calls. We have a "weekend manager" that is on duty (normally only works days) or sometimes have other managers in the building that for the most part sit at their desks (yes...I have done their jobs before and I really do know what happens) and the refuse to answer the phones. SRSLY??????

    A lot of the calls we get are from families that want to speak with their loved ones and then we need to hunt them down or get them to a phone and normally they call a nurse. I didn't realize you needed to be a nurse to use the phones.

    Sorry for the rant....interesting article!
    StNeotser, prinsessa, carolmaccas66, and 1 other like this.
  9. 3
    ROFLM(sick)AO!! *cough cough*

    ... gah... can I shove this on my management people who just recently gathered us licensed nurses and chastised us for focusing only on medpass, that we should pay more attention to our surroundings and answer call lights, etc. "Customer service, guys. Remember, customer service." is what our admin said.

    Normally I am sympathetic to our admin, DON, everyone... they're all nice people. But now I'm sick, miserable, and not looking forward to dragging my heavy self for another shift of all that BS.
    Leelee2, carolmaccas66, and Pegasus65 like this.
  10. 3
    This is one of the main reasons I quit my part time job in a LTC. And I do NOT miss it.
  11. 0
    The other day I had an OT come upto me as I was preparing an IV medication to tell me the pt down the hall would like a soda, she had to pass the soda machine to tell me! Now she was not asking if the pt could have one, no she wanted me to get the pt one. I was speechless. S\
    he ended up getting the pt a soda.
  12. 5
    This was a big problem at my old work. They ended up getting aprons saying "DO NOT INTERRUPT DURING MEDS" for the nurses to put on just before the med pass. People finally started getting the message.
    CTNurse678, INLPN93, JavaMama98, and 2 others like this.


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