Watch the first 7 minutes from Charged with Manslaughter for a Drug Error. After reflecting on the video content and reviewing the information in this module, discuss how you, as a nurse, will balance the ethical obligations you have to the patient for safe medication administration with the pressures and policies of healthcare institutions and your nursing workload. Develop a plan on how you will prevent yourself from becoming lax and using shortcuts in the medication administration process.

As a nurse, medication administration is a crucial part of patient care and safety. It is essential to balance ethical obligations to the patient with the pressures and policies of healthcare institutions and the nursing workload. This requires a comprehensive approach to ensure safe medication administration while preventing myself from becoming lax or using shortcuts. In order to develop a plan to achieve this balance, I will reflect on the video content and review the information provided in this module.

In the video “Charged with Manslaughter for a Drug Error,” we witness a devastating case involving a nurse who was charged with manslaughter after making a drug administration error. This case serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of medication errors and highlights the importance of upholding ethical obligations to the patient.

One of the most fundamental ethical obligations in medication administration is the principle of non-maleficence, which requires nurses to do no harm to their patients. This means ensuring that medications are administered accurately, in the correct dose, and via the appropriate route. It also involves being vigilant in checking for any allergies or contraindications that may affect the patient’s response to the medication. In order to fulfill this ethical obligation, I will prioritize accuracy and attention to detail in medication administration.

However, nurses often face numerous pressures and policies within healthcare institutions that can impact their ability to provide safe medication administration. These pressures include high patient loads, time constraints, and the demand for efficiency. In order to prevent myself from giving in to these external pressures and resorting to shortcuts, I will develop a plan that encompasses various strategies.

Firstly, I will prioritize thorough medication education and training. This will involve staying updated on the latest evidence-based practices, guidelines, and policies related to medication administration. By continually expanding my knowledge in this area, I will be more equipped to handle the pressures and policies imposed by healthcare institutions. Additionally, I will actively seek out educational opportunities such as workshops or conferences to enhance my medication administration skills.

Secondly, I will advocate for adequate staffing levels. It is well recognized that nursing workload and patient ratios can significantly affect the quality of care provided. By advocating for reasonable and manageable patient loads, I will be better able to allocate sufficient time for each patient and ensure safe medication administration. This may involve engaging in discussions with nurse managers, collaborating with colleagues, or participating in professional organizations to address staffing concerns.

Furthermore, I will utilize technological advancements and support systems to reduce the chances of errors in medication administration. This may include using electronic medication administration records (eMARs) or barcode scanning systems to ensure accurate medication administration. Embracing such technological advancements can provide an added layer of safety and reduce the likelihood of errors resulting from human factors or distractions.

Another strategy I will incorporate into my plan is the use of double-checking protocols. Double-checking medications with a colleague before administration can be an effective safeguard for preventing errors. It provides an opportunity for a second set of eyes to verify the accuracy of the medication, dose, and other relevant details. By integrating this practice into my workflow, I can increase the likelihood of identifying potential errors before they reach the patient.

Additionally, I will prioritize effective communication and collaboration with healthcare team members. Open lines of communication and a culture of collaboration promote a shared responsibility for patient safety. Consulting with pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals can provide valuable insights and help ensure accurate medication administration.

In conclusion, as a nurse, it is essential to balance ethical obligations to the patient for safe medication administration with the pressures and policies imposed by healthcare institutions and the nursing workload. To prevent myself from becoming lax or using shortcuts in the medication administration process, I will develop a comprehensive plan that includes strategies such as prioritizing education and training, advocating for adequate staffing levels, utilizing technological advancements, implementing double-checking protocols, and promoting effective communication and collaboration. By following these strategies, I can uphold ethical obligations while providing safe and effective medication administration to my patients.