Author(s): Page K, McKinney AA
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Abstract Medication errors are a persistent problem in today's National Health Service (NHS). Many factors contribute to drug incidents occurring, from the initial prescription stage through to administration and arise from both individual and system failures. The literature identifies the multi-disciplinary nature of the problem and highlights the important contribution that nurses make with regards to ensuring medication safety. However limited evidence exists in the literature regarding the extent to which the current content of undergraduate pharmacology education prepares nurses for their role in the prevention of errors. The report "Building a safer NHS for patients-improving medication safety" [Department of Health, 2004. Building a Safer NHS for Patients: Improving Medication Safety. The Stationary Office, London] concludes that it is now imperative that undergraduate education should emphasise the issue of medication safety. An educational initiative was therefore introduced to address this problem. A "Medication Safety Day" which focused on the causes of medication errors was implemented to highlight how and why drug incidents may occur. This initiative recognises that nurse education should not only ensure adequate theoretical knowledge of pharmacology but should also equip students with an awareness of how many diverse factors may contribute to the occurrence of medication errors.
This article was published in Nurse Educ Today
and referenced in Enzyme Engineering