When you entrust your health care to a licensed medical nurse, you expect that he or she will adhere to accepted safety standards and regulations set by Georgia law to help you avoid injury. There’s no question that nurses typically have stressful jobs. They work long hours and often have to juggle many tasks at once. If you’re on a nurse’s list of patients, it’s understandable that you expect high quality care.
On the contrary, substandard care can have disastrous effects. In fact, your life itself might be at risk if a nurse is negligent. Medication errors are among the most common types of medical mistakes that occur in this state and throughout the country. It’s important to know where to seek support if you fall victim to a nurse’s careless or reckless behavior on the job.
Protocol exists for good reason
Nurses have many tools at their disposals to help them avoid making medication errors. The following list includes ideas that most nurses would consider standard protocols for nursing care:
- When patients’ names are similar, nurses can post name alerts at their stations to help them avoid making potentially deadly errors.
- In addition to name alerts, the average nurse has had training in using the five rights of medication administration to avoid mistakes. This means checking and double-checking to make sure a nurse has the correct patient, correct medication, correct time, dosage and dispensing means before giving any patient medicine.
- Nurses should reconcile your care instructions regarding medication with the nurses at the new location if you transfer from one hospital to another. This involves checking the five rights, and nurses should make sure they have received proper instructions to help you avoid injury.
- Nurses should always review medication administration records, especially if they change shifts or receive a new order.
- Nurses should read a prescription back to the physician ordering it to help avert potential tragedies. A doctor might hear a mistake that he or she missed when reading his or her own handwriting.
You might receive repeated doses of medicine in the hospital. A nurse might also instruct you regarding self-medicating once you leave the hospital. Either way, you have a right to ask questions and request information to make certain you are taking the proper medication at the proper time with the correct dosage. Combining certain drugs can be lethal, so it’s also critical to make sure your doctors and nurses are aware of any and all medications you are currently taking before dispensing something new.
Did you suffer injury because of nursing negligence?
Medication errors are often preventable. If you get sick or suffer injury because a nurse provided substandard care, Georgia law enables you to seek a monetary judgment against any and all parties deemed responsible for damages.