Quote from elmerj
How do I keep from making med errors when I don't know information? As an example, I didn't know we were not allowed to take the CNA/CAPs word for the blood sugar. Is this common knowledge? Where can I find information regarding medication administration that relates?
1. It's on you to find out the information you need to know. Look up results in the EMR, or visually see the results on the glucometer/VS machine/the patient. If a result is very abnormal, double-check it yourself. if a result is missing, get it. If you are not familiar with a medication, grab your drug reference and look it up. Most EMRs will have a reference feature in their MARs so you can look up med information.
2. Remember the 5/6/7/however many rights (the number varies depending on who you ask, but there's at least 6 IMO--almost everyone overlooks the patient's right to refuse).
3. Don't allow yourself to be distracted during medication preparation and administration. Focus only on the meds.
4. Don't rush either. Unless it's a code (and that's a whole other ball of wax), there's no need to do things as fast as possible.
5. Check, double-check, and if necessary, check again.
6. Also, if necessary, have a second nurse double-check. In fact, it's standard operating procedure in many facilities for 2 nurses to verify high-risk medications (insulin, heparin, et al.) before administration.
7. Last, be sure you're on top of your facility's P&P regarding medications. For example, I worked at one facility where it was acceptable to mix compatible medications in one syringe to give IM, and at another facility where medications could not be combined and each had to be administered as a separate injection. So mixing Haldol and Ativan IM would technically be a medication error at the second facility.