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Pharmacology - Preventing Medication Error | 11th Nursing : Chapter 11 : Pharmacology

Chapter: 11th Nursing : Chapter 11 : Pharmacology

Preventing Medication Error

To help prevent errors, perform ‘three checks’ and “six rights’’ when giving medication.

Preventing Medication Error

To help prevent errors, perform ‘three checks’ and “six rights’’ when giving medication.


Check each medication three times as a nurse:

·           BEFORE you our mix or draw up a medication, check its label against the entry on the MAR. be sure that the name, route, dose, and time match the MAR entry. [medication administration record]

·           AFTER you prepare the medication, and before returning the container to the medication cart or discarding anything, check the label against the MAR entry again.

·           AT THE BEDSIDE, check the medication again before actually administering it.

Observing the “three checks” rule will help you to practice the “six rights”


Six Rights of Medication Administration

Practicing the six rights’ will help to ensure accurate administration. This means the nurses will give the right medication to Right patient, by using Right dose, at the Right route in a Right time, and Right document ation is necessory for medication administration.

1.        RIGHT DRUG:

·           Always check the doctor order before administer.

2.        RIGHT DOSE:

·           Be sure that the dose is within the recommended range for the patients age and condition.

3.        RIGHT TIME:

·           Exact time of administration of the medication is needed.

4.        RIGHT ROUTE:

·           Be sure that the drug is in the proper form for the route ordered. Be sure about site of administration.

5.        RIGHT PATIENT:

·           Always double check the patients identification. To ensure correct patient.


·           After administering of medication, document it immediately on the patients case sheet.


Patient Rights:

In addition to the” “six rights” already discussed, patients also have the following rights.

1.        RIGHT REASON:

Right to not receive unnecessary medication, for example sleeping pill should be give because the patient is very anxious or cannot sleep not for the convenience of the caregivers.

2.        RIGHT TO KNOW:

This means that you tell the patient about name of the medication, why it is being given, its action, and potential side effects

3.        RIGHT TO REFUSE:

The patient always as a right to refuse a medication.


Medication error can be defined as ‘a failure in the treatment process that leads to, or has the potential to lead to, harm to the patient’.

These are not adverse drug reactions

Medication errors can occur in:

·           choosing a medicine—irrational, inappropriate, and ineffective prescribing, underprescribing and overprescribing;

·           writing the prescription— prescription errors, including illegibility;

·           manufacturing the formulation to be used—wrong strength, contaminants or adulterants, wrong or misleading packaging;

·           dispensing the formulation—wrong drug, wrong formulation, wrong label;

·           administering  or  taking  the drug—wrong dose, wrong route, wrong frequency, wrong duration;

·           monitoring therapy—failing to alter therapy when required, erroneous alteration.


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