Medication safety is essential because medical errors are the most common forms of clinical mistakes associated with high medical expenses in today's healthcare sector. In most cases, such costs are incurred when treating health complications in patients who have been victimized by medication errors. Subsequently, governmental healthcare institutions from around the world have enacted measures to prevent the occurrence of clinical mistakes in healthcare institutions. Moreover, some of such measures employed involve elevating the level of nurses' awareness and experiences in facilitating medication safety. Ultimately, nurses' expectations, as well as perspectives in reference to medication safety, can help in preventing medication administration errors in the healthcare sector.
This critical analysis focuses on nurses' experiences and perspectives in perpetrating medical safety practices, which details the research problem and significance, research design and methods, findings and their relevance to modern nursing policy and practice. The publication that will be critically analyzed in this study was authored by Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen (2014). In addition, the research publication was published in the Journal of Nursing Management in the same year. Additionally, the research was a qualitative study focused on investigating nurses' experiences as well as perspectives on the aspect of medication safety practices. Moreover, the research was focused on providing viable information to the healthcare sector pertaining the measures that can be adopted to enforce nurses' compliance to safe patients' treatment practices. Furthermore, with is with the aim of preventing the heightened statistics of medical errors occurrences reported in different parts of the world.
Research Problem and Significance
The research problem addressed was the determination of whether nurses' experiences and perspectives concur with their assumptions that they are in good position to enable the safe management of medication to patients. Moreover, addressing this problem was significant to the nursing practice in promoting the sector's effort reduce the number of medical errors affecting patients on an annual basis. Furthermore, past evidence has portrayed that such clinical errors are also associated with high mortality of patients around the world, with medical errors today accounting for the largest number of deaths after cancer and cardiac complications (Makary & Daniel, 2016; Marsack & Hollier, 2017). Ultimately, learning the significance of nurses' experiences in averting medical errors will aid in ensuring that safe medical practices are enforced in all healthcare institutions.
Research Design and Methods
The research design that was employed for this study was a qualitative exploratory study. Additionally, this research design was appropriate to analyze the research problem because it is employed when there are no studies that can be used to present the findings of a similar problem (Creswell, 2017). As such, no past publications could have been employed to predict the outcome of Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen's (2014) study. Moreover, in order to attain a broad perspective of the study subject, the purposive sampling technique was utilized. Furthermore, the snowballing sampling methodology was employed to attain the names of nurses in differing levels of training as well as seniority in the targeted healthcare institutions. In addition, this method was essential in attaining different levels of nurses' experience to be used as a factor in developing conclusive data to support the findings of the research. Lastly, the sample population that was employed for the study included 20 nurses who were obtained in an academic medical center and semi-structured interviews were administered in the data collection (Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten & Vermeulen, 2014).
Findings and their Relevance to Contemporary Nursing Policy and Practice
There are three key findings that were attained from Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen's (2014) research. First, it was ascertained that the roles and responsibilities of nurses in the medication safety, and the clinical reasoning of nurses are essential in upholding medication safety. Second, the research also ascertained that the ability of nurses to safely is also imperative in promoting safe medication administration in the clinical practice. In this case, Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen (2014) found out that the knowledge of risks associated with offering wrong medication to patients can aid in ensuring that safe medical practices are promoted in hospitals. Moreover, it was evidenced that work circumstances that could influence nurses' ability to attend to patients' safely could also lead to the occurrence of medication errors in a clinical setting.
Third, the ability of nurses to accept safety practices, like knowing the advantages, appropriateness, and feasibility of medication safety, can be effective incentives in encouraging nurses' acceptance of safety practices. In addition, this is in reference to handling patients in healthcare institutions. Ultimately, the findings of Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen's (2014) research had a major contribution in the today's modern nursing policy and practice. Additionally, this is because it provided the knowledge that safe management of nursing learning climates as well as professional practice environment can facilitate the improved development of professional nursing skills as well as knowledge. Subsequently, the attainment of such skills and knowledge can in the long run help in ensuring that safe medication practices have been attained.
The findings of Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen (2014) research can be supported by the discussion of other research executed in the research. For instance, Delamont's (2013) research found out that developing a good working environment where nurses can ask questions can help them to reduce anxiety and medication administration errors. Also, the importance of knowledge of safe medication administration in promoting patients' health safety like it was proposed by Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen's (2014) study was supported by research executed by Athanasakis (2012). The latter study stated that nurses' vigilance, as well as the adoption of precaution measures pertaining medication errors, can be effective in averting the occurrence of preventing clinical mistakes (Athanasakis, 2012).
In conclusion, ultimately, nurses' expectations, as well as perspectives in reference to medication safety, can help in preventing medication administration errors in the healthcare sector. Also, from the research perpetrated by Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten and Vermeulen (2014), it is evident that nurses' experiences concur with their assumptions that they are in a good position to facilitate the attainment of safe medication management. However, the research also ascertained that the potential of nurses to work well depends on their ability to work adequately in their nursing functions and their knowledge of risks assessment of medication administration to patients. Moreover, the nurses should possess the knowledge of determining the situations in which the risks associated with medication administration can occur. Also, the research found out that safe medication administration in the nursing profession can be attained through creating a learning environment as well as a professional practice environment for learning. Subsequently, such environments aid in the developing professional nursing skills as well as knowledge among nursing practitioners.
Athanasakis, E. (2012). Prevention of medication errors made by nurses in clinical practice. Health Science Journal, 6(4), 773-783.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Delamont, A. (2013). How to avoid the top seven nursing errors. On the Horizon, 11, 8-10. doi:10.1097/01.NME.0000426302.88109.4e
Makary, M. A., & Daniel, M. A. (2016). Medical error-the third leading cause of death in the US. BMJ, 353. doi:10.1136/bmj.i2139.
Marsack, K. P., & Hollier, L. H. (2017). Review of "Medical Error-the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US" by Makary MA and Daniel M in BMJ 353: i2139, 2016. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 28(5), 1390. doi:10.1097/SCS.0000000000003673
Smeulers, M., Onderwater, A. T., Zwieten, M. C., &Vermeulen, H. (2014). Nurses' experiences and perspectives on medication safety practices: an explorative qualitative study. Journal of nursing management, 22(3), 276-285
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