Nurses in Kentucky hospitals are generally the individuals who administer medication; hence, they are the last line of defense against medication errors—except for the patients themselves. When errors occur, nurses may be blamed.
Changing the System
Creating a culture of safety in which nurses feel comfortable reporting medication errors is not easy; ingrained systems are difficult to change. According to Ronda Hughes, associate professor at the Marquette University College of Nursing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, three things are required:
- long-term, hospital-wide commitment,
- strong leadership, and
- a lot of time.
“It’s something you have to do for years on end,” said Hughes. “It’s not something you can do for weeks or even a year.”
Old Fears Live On
Although the culture in hospitals is changing for the better, Hughes says that many nurses are still afraid of losing their jobs or licenses if they make a mistake. Even if this doesn’t happen, they may fear a negative judgment about their skills if they made the mistake or “silent repercussions” from doctors or other nurses if the error they report was committed by someone else.
Certainly, nurses and other health care professionals want to help, not hurt; but sometimes medication mistakes in Louisville hospitals do occur, and sometimes those mistakes can be extremely harmful to the patients. If you were harmed by a Kentucky medication error, contact the Louisville medication error attorneys at Gray and White Law. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation, confidential consultation.