Summary of Studies
The article investigates different influences of medication errors and various strategies helpful in preventing them. Gorgich et al. (2016) note that medication errors are a serious international problem impacting healthcare sectors, threatening patient safety, and can cause death. Medical errors comprise the prescription of wrong medicine or inappropriate interventions at any stage of preventable treatment processes. Gorgich et al. (2016) add that undesirable consequences such as increased cost and length of hospitalization, readmissions, severe injury, disability, and death are associated with medication errors. The study is significant to nurses because it enhances their understanding of potential medical errors and appropriate strategies to prevent them. The researchers’ purpose and objective were to investigate various factors that lead to the occurrence of treatment errors and tactics that can be implemented to circumvent them from nurse practitioners’ and student nurses’ perspectives. The research question that guided the investigation was, “What aspects lead to medication errors and which strategies can help prevent them from nurses’ and nursing students’ perspectives?”
The medication administration process (MAP) has a significant role in nursing. Nurses, including registered nurses (RNs), are mandated to manage MAP in hectic healthcare facilities except for the medication prescription, which is done by physicians. Nevertheless, nurses contribute to all stages of MAP in some ways such as prescribing, dispensing, documenting, administering, and monitoring. Pirinen et al. (2015) evaluate the experiences of RNs with the process of medication administration. The article is significant to nursing because it helps identify potential problems nurses can encounter during treatment administration. The authors’ purpose and objective were to describe various stages involved in MAP from registered nurses’ viewpoints. The study also aims to apply new information technology to develop a medication management’s supportive MAP. The research question that guided the investigation was, “What is the registered nurses’ perception of the medication administration process?”
How the Two Articles Support the Chosen Nurse Practice Issue
The article by Gorgich et al. (2016) will help answer the PICOT question by investigating factors that influence nurses to medication errors. Notably, errors made by nurses attending patients in intensive care use contribute to increased rates of readmissions, especially after surgery. Therefore, understanding medication errors’ risk factors is the initial phase in developing appropriate strategies for mitigating the problem. Equally, nurses in the intensive care unit can quickly identify potential risks for committing medication errors and avoid them. Another article by Pirinen et al. (2015) will facilitate answering the PICOT question by identifying nurses’ challenges at various stages of the MAP. Notably, the encounters can be caused by multiple elements, including inadequate knowledge of MAP, leading to medication errors. There are no medical interventions or control groups involved in the two studies because they aimed to identify possible factors associated with medical errors. However, according to the PICOT question, the intervention will be training nurses on strategies for minimizing medication errors. Conversely, the control group will comprise nurses who will not participate in the training program.
Method of Study
Both articles applied the qualitative method of study to answer the research questions and achieve their objectives. However, they used different data collection methods because Gorgich et al. (2016) used questionnaires only while Pirinen et al. (2015) combined the feedback form and interviews. The surveys issued by Gorgich et al. (2016) comprised three parts: the first one involved subjects’ demographics, part two – causes of medication errors, and part three – ways of preventing medical errors according to participants’ viewpoints. Pirinen et al. (2015) conducted individual thematic interviews with the participants who also filled the questionnaires that comprised three questions and handed them to the researchers. The qualitative method’s essential benefit is that it generates a detailed description of participants’ opinions, feelings, thoughts, and experiences and facilitates interpretation of their actions (Rahman, 2017). However, complexity or difficulty in data analysis and interpretation is one limitation associated with the method.
Results of the Studies
The findings of the Gorgich et al. (2016) study identified the most common factors that contribute to medication errors. More than 65 % of the participants indicated that tiredness due to high workload, more patients with critical illnesses, damaged and unreadable order, and environmental distractions caused treatment errors in nursing. Conversely, nursing students’ perspectives linked wrong medication calculation, inadequate pharmacological information, the stress in emergency situations, and damaged and unreadable orders with medication errors. Reducing workload and training were leading strategies for preventing medication errors. Pirinen et al.’s (2015) findings revealed various challenges encountered by registered nurses, which can lead to medical inaccuracies. The problems include difficulties with information technology, equivocal prescriptions, changing medicine brands, medicines’ unavailability or incompatibility, and a significant amount of generic substitutions. Distractions and disruptions at every stage of the MAP were also noted as challenges experienced by the RNs.
Both articles’ findings show that most factors that cause medication inaccuracies in healthcare facilities are preventable. Additionally, healthcare facilities’ management can implement appropriate procedures to minimize the prevalence of treatment errors. For instance, management can increase the number of nurses and working hours to alleviate fatigue. Equally, they may develop a program for training all nurses on risk factors for errors in medical prescription and preventive approaches.
Informed consent and voluntary participation are essential ethical considerations in research. The former requires all subjects in any investigation to have full information regarding it (Mohd Arifin, 2018). They should know the study’s purpose, the people of groups funding it, and how the results will be utilized. Additionally, researchers should inform the contributors of potential adverse impacts associated with their participation and all parties who can access the findings. Notably, informed consent allows potential participants to make well-thought decisions as to whether they will be a part of the study or not.
Voluntary participation in any research means that the subjects are not coerced. They have the freedom to withdraw their participation at any time they wish without hurting their relationships with the research body or researchers involved (Mohd Arifin, 2018). Additionally, such a decision should not have any negative impact on involvement in the current program or future services. Notably, research subjects need not provide any explanation as to why they opted to terminate their participation.
How the Researchers Applied the Ethical Considerations
In the first article, Gorgich et al. (2016) described the study’s aim to all participants and how they were supposed to fill the questionnaires. This informed consent allowed them to decide whether to be part of the research or not and appropriately answer all questions. Additionally, they noted that the participation was voluntary based and subjects filled the questionnaires’ sections to their satisfaction. Conversely, Pirinen et al. (2015) provided all participants with informed consent and information leaflets before data collection and never coerced them to participate in the study.
Gorgich, E. A.C., Barfroshan, S., Ghoreishi, G., & Yaghoobi, M. (2016). Investigating the causes of medication errors and strategies to prevention of them from nurses and nursing student viewpoint. Global Journal of Health Science, 8(8), 220-227. Web.
Mohd Arifin, S. R. (2018). Ethical considerations in qualitative study. International Journal of Care Scholars, 1(2), 30-33.
Pirinen, H., Kauhanen, L., Danielsson-Ojala, R., Lilius, J., Tuominen, I., Díaz Rodríguez, N., & Salanterä, S. (2015). Registered nurses’ experiences with the medication administration process. Advances in Nursing, 2015, 941589. Web.
Rahman, S. (2017). The advantages and disadvantages of using qualitative and quantitative approaches and methods in language “testing and assessment” research: A literature review. Journal of Education and Learning, 6(1), 102-112. Web.