Medication Errors in Nursing Essay Paper

Medication Errors
Medication Errors

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Medication Errors


 This study basically analyzes the perception of nurses with regards to errors in medication. It has been pointed out that different nurses have diverse perceptions in relation to the causes of medication errors. Some of the major causes include indecipherable handwritings by physicians, distractions, exhaustion, and tiredness. A few nurses believe that many cases of medication errors have been reported and those that have not been reported are often as a result of peer pressure or fear of the managers. The results of this study can be essential in the programs intended to encourage detection of medication errors and the elimination of the obstacles that prevent people from reporting such incidences.

Medication Error among Nurses

Medication errors can be described as failure to follow the physicians’ prescription. Medication errors in hospitals are extremely common and are realized almost each and every day. The most common sources of these errors include provision errors, calculation errors, administration errors, and monitoring errors (Feleke, Mulatu, & Yesmaw, 2015). All the staff in the medication department including pharmacists, nurses, unit clerks and physicians can cause the occurrence of a medication error.

When it comes to drug administration errors, nurses are ranked at the fore front since they are responsible for administering those drugs to the patients. These errors have adverse negative impacts on the nurses such that they are often victims of psychological effects since most nurses who get involved in medication errors face trauma while others end up being devastated.

First and foremost, nurses care about their patients; hence, those errors can cause guilt and some of them feel extremely terrified and upset (Oshikoya, Oreagba, Ogunleye, Senbanjo, MacEbong, & Olayemi, 2013).In addition, they lose confidence in their professional abilities. Also, they get angry at themselves and end up criticizing their own selves. Any nurse is capable of committing medication errors regardless of their years of practice, education or age.

Application of Evidence-Based Literature

Most medical institutions rely on the nurses to identify and report any medication errors regardless of the cause of the errors. Researchers have pointed out that most nurses do not report such incidences (Feleke, Mulatu, & Yesmaw, 2015).In order for the prevalence medication errors to be reduced, the nurses have to take the initiative of accurately reporting such cases so as to help in establishing appropriate remedies that would help to deal with the crisis. In case an incident of medication error is not reported, it conceals the defective systems which can lead to more damages.

It is important to consider the fact that the medical institutions that rely on reports of such incidences to provide information often tend to overlook issues to do with date errors. Reports are provided by the nurses who recognize the errors which are then forwarded to the administration, department of risk management, or quality department. The systems of reporting primarily depends on the conviction of the nurse that he or she has committed the mistake, ability to identify the occurrence of an error, accepting that there is a probability that the nurse in question might be dismissed , and the belief that the error needs to be reported (Russo, Buonocore, & Ferrara, 2015). 

The most underreported incidences in medical institutions concern administration of medicine.  This occurs mainly because the nurses believe that this does not have adverse effects on the patient’s health. On the other hand, the most often reported cases involve overmedication. Nurses intentionally choose not to report medication errors due to fear of punishment that may often lead to termination of their services. They also fear that they might be mistaken to have committed the medication errors intentionally.

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Analysis of Literature

In healthcare institutions, drug interventions are intended to accomplish positive results for different patients as well as preventing the occurrence of undesirable drug reactions. It has been pointed out that most cases of deaths occur due to medication errors hence creating a significant need to research more on these errors; thus,  placing high attention on the nurses (Russo, Buonocore, & Ferrara, 2015). The management of medication is acknowledged as an elemental aspect of the role of nurses since it is mostly connected with extensive risks.

Continuous observation should be maintained so as to evade the possibility for medication errors. Nurses have been assigned with the task of administering medicines to all the patients; hence, they should be at a position to report any incident of medication errors.  Medication errors can be stated as failure of completing planned action or using a wrong method to achieve a medical based objective (Ammouri et al, 2015). Most events that have been realized are often as a result of dispensing, distribution, errors in professional practices and wrong prescription. Hospitals which lack disciplinary actions are likely to report a rise in the occurrence of medication errors amongst their staff especially the nurses.


All the staff in the medication sector including nurses, pharmacists, unit clerks and physicians can lead to the occurrence of a medication error. Whenever medication error is identified, and no action is taken, this can lead to an increase in costs. It is essential to note that any nurse is capable of committing medication errors regardless oftheir years of practice, education or age. In medical institutions where disciplinary action is not considered important as such, there is a likelihood of an increase in the number of incidences to do with medication errors.


Ammouri, A.,et al  (2015). Patient safety culture among nurses. International Nursing Review, 62(1), 102-110. doi:10.1111/inr.12159. Available From:

Feleke, S. A., et al (2015). Medication administration error: magnitude and associated factors among nurses in Ethiopia. BMC Nursing, 141-8. doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0099-1. Available From:

Oshikoya, K., et al. (2013). Medication administration errors among paediatric nurses in Lagos public hospitals: An opinion survey. International Journal of Risk & Safety In Medicine, 25(2), 67-78. doi:10.3233/JRS-130585. Available From:

Russo, M., et al (2015). Motivational mechanisms influencing error reporting among nurses. Journal Of Managerial Psychology, 30(2), 118-132. doi:10.1108/JMP-02-2013-0060. Available From:

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