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Nursing students and the supervision of medication administration

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Kerry Reid-Searl, Brenda Happell, Karena Burke, Cadeyrn Gaskin
Up to one in five medication administrations in Australian hospitals involve an error. As registered nurses (RNs) are at the forefront of medication administration, they have been the focus of attempts to reduce errors. Given that nursing students have reported errors or experiences of near misses, their practices, as well as the supervision they receive from RNs, also deserves investigation. The aim of this study was to investigate student nurses’ experiences of supervision while administering medications. Students (N = 45) completed a questionnaire on their supervision experiences while administering medications. The findings revealed that 88% of students agreed that they had been directly supervised during the entirety of administration procedures. Although 7% of students reported not receiving supervision throughout medication administration, higher percentages of students indicated that they received lower levels of supervision when wards were busy (66%), when they felt under pressure to comply with the wishes of RNs (40%), when students had been in clinical settings for extended periods of time (51%), and when the RNs trusted the student nurses (37%). Approximately one third (29%) of student nurses disagreed that RNs followed the six rights when administering medications. These findings suggest that student nurses are not always adequately supervised and are at times administering medications outside the parameters of the law. Healthcare organisations need to adapt their policies and practices to ensure that the legal requirements surrounding student nurse administration of medications are being met, as well as the educational and welfare needs of neophyte nurses.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

20

Start Page

109

End Page

114

Number of Pages

6

ISSN

1322-7696

Location

ACT

Publisher

Elsevier Australia

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Collegian.