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3 Ways Nurses Can Avoid Mistakes

Aug 28, 2017 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice

Nurses are often the first and last health care professionals many patients in Indiana interact with when they are in hospitals and medical clinics. Many of them are so overworked that mistakes are a common occurrence. Nursing errors often lead to long-term pain, poor health, suffering, death, and heartache for patients and their families. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, each year, medical mistakes contribute to 250,000 hospital deaths. Many of those errors revolve around infections, medication mismanagement, and improper documentation. These issues are often the result of nurses not communicating with doctors and other medical personnel who are crucial to the patient care process. 

Patients should learn about common errors that nurses make so they can take measures to avoid them. 

Use of defective equipment 

Some nurses do not receive formal training on new hospital equipment when it arrives. They do not know how to recognize malfunctions and defects or understand the measures they should take to report them. This causes them and other health care professionals to use defective equipment on patients, putting them at risk of serious injury and death. Training and ongoing education should be offered on all medical equipment and incident reporting procedures. Also, frequent equipment testing should occur. 

Patient falls 

Not all patients can get out of their hospital beds on their own when they are ill and after their procedures. However, that does not stop some of them from trying. Many of them are not willing to ask for help because they are uncomfortable and do not want to wait for their nurses to arrive. It is estimated that each year, anywhere from 30 to 51 percent of patients become injured in hospital fall accidents, states HHNMag.com. Nurses can prevent patient falls by observing them when they walk and making themselves available to assist. 

Documentation issues 

Documentation errors can lead to mistakes by other healthcare professionals who rely on that information to care for their patients. Nurses should review their documentation for accuracy and legibility. They should document all events, status changes and other important details regarding each of their patients in a timely manner. 

Nurses can take extra precautions to avoid mistakes. Medical professionals should get more rest so they pay better focus on their patients and job duties. Patients should choose their medical care facilities carefully and speak up to increase accountability.