Although healthcare is heavily regulated, so are the airline industry and the nuclear power plant industry. However, there doesn’t seem to be the number of mistakes in those latter 2 industries that we, in the nursing field, experience. Although to err is human, what happens when a patient’s life and limb are at stake? I believe the latest studies show that nurses are constantly bombarded with new information at least every 5 minutes.
So, how can we fully improve our practice so that we don’t make a mistake?
One suggestion is to be present in the moment and to be mindful. Now, I am the kind of person who likes to do things when I get them. Otherwise, I may forget.
However, this doesn’t work when I am focusing on something else. Instead, I write it down and return to the task at hand. Unless the new task is an emergency, finish what you have already started and be sure to be focused and to follow through on what you are doing.
And never take shortcuts. Shortcuts always lead to trouble.
When you make a mistake, I know it’s easy to want to cover it up, but that can lead to worse consequences, which could possibly even affect your license. When you do make a mistake and it is a system issue, the system needs to be changed.
Several years ago, there were cases of nurses administering adult dosages of heparin to babies in the NICU because that was what the pharmacy accidentally had placed in the Pyxis. It turned out that the adult and baby vials both looked very similar. That system issue needed to be addressed and it indeed was.
There has to be a way that we can cut down on the number of errors. You know, of course, better staffing is always one suggestion. However, even better staffing does not eliminate errors.
I do believe that nurses have the answers to the problems in healthcare.
What are your solutions to this problem to improve patient care and reduce the number of errors? I would love to hear your thoughts below.