Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Lived Experience of Making a Medication Administration Error in Nursing Practice
by Lall, Seema, Ph.D., Adelphi University, 2017, 197; 10610421
Abstract (Summary)

Medication administration is an important task performed daily by nurses and is one of the key aspects of safe patient care. The multiple and varied roles of nurses, complexity of workplace, chaotic and technical nature of the work environment may result in cognitive overload that may overwhelm nurses, which may possibly lead to medication errors. All medication errors committed are considered serious events but some may consequently be harmful to patients. Research indicates that when medication errors occur the concern is usually for the patients involved in the incident. However, making a medication administration error has a lasting effect on the nurse as well as the patient (Schelbred & Nord, 2007; Treiber & Jones, 2010).

This study examined what it was like to make a medication error for eight registered nurses through in-depth and focused face to face interview using the descriptive phenomenological approach rooted in the philosophical tradition of Husserl. Two interviews were carried out with each participant and the research data were generated from a total of sixteen interviews and field notes. The transcripts were analyzed using the seven-step methodological guidelines developed by Colaizzi for data interpretation to understand the meaning of the nurses lived experiences of making medication errors.

Five theme categories emerged: Immediate Impact: Psychological and Physical Reactions; Multiple Causes within Chaos: Cognitive Dimensions; Embedded Challenges: Healthcare Setting; Organizational Culture: Within the Place/Within the Person; Dynamics of Reflection: Looking Forward. The essential structure of the phenomenon of making a medication administration error included the realization that a profound experience had happened to them. This resulted in physical and emotional upheavals, a threatened professional status, with low self-esteem and confidence. An overwhelming workload, a stressful work environment and ill-treatment by peers were descriptions of the cause of the errors. Nurses did offer ways to improve the system but felt their concerns were often not valued. Implications for nursing practice to improve patient outcomes, and for nursing education, to radically change the teaching of medication administration were formulated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Donohue-Porter, Patricia
School: Adelphi University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Nursing, Health care management
Keywords: Contributing Factors of Medication Errors, Medication Errors, Nursing, Nursing Students, Safety Culture, Underreporting Errors
Publication Number: 10610421
ISBN: 978-1-369-84866-3
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