Nurses’ experiences and perspectives on medication safety

Nurses’ experiences and perspectives on medication safetypractices: an explorative qualitative studyAim To explore nurses’ experiences with and perspectives on preventingmedication administration errors.Background Insight into nurses’ experiences with and perspectives on preventingmedication administration errors is important and can be utilised to tailor andimplement safety practices.Methods A qualitative interview study of 20 nurses in an academic medical centrewas conducted between March and December of 2011.Results Three themes emerged from this study: (1) nurses’ roles andresponsibilities in medication safety: aside from safe preparation andadministration, the clinical reasoning of nurses is essential for medication safety;(2) nurses’ ability to work safely: knowledge of risks and nurses’ workcircumstances influence their ability to work safely; and (3) nurses’ acceptance ofsafety practices: advantages, feasibility and appropriateness are importantincentives for acceptance of a safety practice.Conclusions Nurses’ experiences coincide with the assumption that they are in apre-eminent position to enable safe medication management; however, theirability to adequately perform this role depends on sufficient knowledge to assessthe risks of medication administration and on the circumstances in which theywork.Implications for nursing management Safe medication management requires alearning climate and professional practice environment that enables furtherdevelopment of professional nursing skills and knowledge.

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