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Tennessee nurses should know how to avoid medication errors

There are any number of adverse health conditions that you might suffer that prompt a doctor to prescribe medication as treatment. Especially if you have recently had surgery and are in recovery, you may need pain medication, antibiotics or other drugs to aid you in the healing process. Not all medications are compatible, meaning, it can be quite dangerous to take them simultaneously.

As a patient in a Tennessee hospital or other medical facility, you have the right to reasonably expect that doctors know what they're doing when they recommend taking a particular drug. You also should be able to feel confident that a nurse administering your medication knows how to avoid error. If you suffer injury because a licensed medical professional was negligent, you're entitled to seek restitution.

Nurses typically practice these methods

Tennessee nurses often have to multi-task, taking care of the needs of numerous patients at once. Just as receiving the right medication at the right time can help alleviate your discomfort and promote healing, a single error can have devastating, even life-threatening, results. The following list includes practical actions most nurses use to avoid medication errors: 

  • The average nurse is familiar with the five rights of dispensing medication. These include checking that the correct medication is given to the correct patient at the correct time by proper dosage and correct means. 
  • If a nurse notices that the doctor has recommended oral medication, then he or she should not give the medication through a syringe.
  • You might have need to transfer from one unit to another in a hospital or even from one hospital to another medical facility. It's not your job to make sure staff members have reconciled proper procedures.
  • Medical teams must communicate to ensure that they follow the five rights of medication administration, especially if a patient transfers from one location to another.
  • Attention to detail is a critical component of patient safety. For instance, misreading 0.25 mg as 25 mg can place a patient at risk for serious injury.
  • Proper documentation is necessary to avoid medication errors.

If you suspect that a nurse or doctor is making a mistake regarding your medication, don't be afraid to speak up and question him or her. You have a right to be proactive in your own health care. That said, it is never your responsibility to make sure licensed medical professionals adhere to accepted safety standards and state laws that govern their behavior in the workplace.

Victims of medical negligence deserve justice

If you're one of thousands of patients in Tennessee or beyond who has suffered injury or witnessed an immediate family member's suffering because of medical negligence, it's understandable that you might have a strong desire to seek justice. The state recognizes this and therefore enables victims of medical malpractice to file personal injury claims in civil court.

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