Adverse Drug Events And Reactions Essay


Drawing on Standard 4 of The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS), outline the responsibilities of the nurse in regards to safe medication administration.



The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS), provides explicit guidelines on the responsibilities of a nurse when administering medicine to the patients. The NSQHS is geared at looking on safety measures that are laid down to see to it that the nurses are conducting their duty more professionally without causing any threat to the lives of patients. According to Institute of Medicine (IOM), morbidity and mortality are mostly caused by errors in the dispensation of medicine which is mainly carried out by the health professionals. It is in this view that the measures above have been put in place to ensure that the safety of the patients is given prominence even when a particular medication is being administered to them.

Adverse Drug Events and Reactions

Ideally, the term as mentioned above refers to the injuries that are caused which at a time is as result of errors in dispensing that medicine (Hayes, Power, Davidson, Daly & Jackson, 2015). On the other hand, an adverse drug reaction refers to those responses that are undesirable and are associated with medications that may compromise medical value and thereby inhibit its efficacy or performance in the body.

High- Alert Medications and Black Box Warnings

According to Davies, Mitchell and Coombes (2015) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came up with some strategies with the aim of alerting the prescribers on the risk factors of a particular drug administered to the patient. It is incumbent to note that these warnings are apparent on the label of the drug providing some precautionary measures. The research conducted by Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), indicate that high alert medications may have the adverse effect to the patient taking it and thereby being susceptible to great harm. According to Liu, Manias, and Gerdtz, (2014), it is challenging to get rid of medication errors if the information granted to the nurse is inaccurate or contains some missing details which are relevant in aiding nurses in their line of duty.

Drug Administration

Moini (2012) asserts that nurses bear the responsibilities of administering medications across the board. According to FDA, some of the common medication errors are the wrong prescription to the patients, mislabelling of drugs, miscommunication, and lack of prior knowledge on the particular drug. The NSQHS has set up the Rights of Medications Administration with the view of ascertaining that transparent procedure has been followed to reduce the risk factors as a result of medication errors. The first step is for the nurse to confirm if they are the right patients. The nurse may check the name of the patients or even ask the patient to identify themselves to be sure that he/she is aiding the right patient (Sulosaari, Huupponen, Torniainen, Hupli, Puukka & Leino-Kilpi, 2014). Similarly, in a more advanced health center, the nurse may use the technological devices that are in place such as the use of bar code system in an identification of the patient. Secondly, the nurse ought to check on the right medication by critically looking at the label and confirming whether it is the right medicine they have for a particular patient. This may also go along way checking the order if it does cohere with the report of the patient at hand. Right dose is the third concept that a nurse should consider. By so doing, the nurse is expected to confirm the efficacy of the treatment using the references of that current drug. To heighten the efficiency of the dosage of the drug, the nurse is expected to calculate the dose and, if possible invite another nurse to do the same for accuracy purposes. The fourth step is for the nurse to check on the right route which implies confirming that the ordered route is the one used to receive the prescribed medication (Gilmartin, Marriott & Hussainy, 2014). Additionally, the nurse is expected to check at the right time by examining the frequency of the prescribed medication. It is imperative for the nurse to double-check the drug to be sure that they are administering the correct medication at the right time. The prescription may be possible if the nurse can get the information of when the last drug was given to the patient.

Moreover, it is the responsibility of the nurse to ensure that they have documented everything concerning the patient as this would aid in tracking the record and improvement of the patient based on some factors (Aydon, Hauck, Zimmer & Murdoch, 2016). The rationale for taking the prescribed medication ought to be established through ascertaining the right reason for making it. The rationale is realizable through building the patient’s history and the reason that prompted the patient to take that medication. Lastly, having followed the aforementioned and steps to the latter, it will be essential for the nurse to determine the right response having satisfactorily (patient) completed taking the prescribed medication (Atsariyasing & Goldman, 2014). The nurse needs to confirm whether the drug has had the desired positive effect on the patient. In essence, this is the stage that the nurse is required to ascertain whether there was some significant improvement on the part of the patient when they take a particular medication. The nurse is expected to examine the blood pressure of the patient and whether there are some changes realized when the patient uses antihypertensive.


Nursing is a field that requires teamwork as there is a lot consultation that has to be done to make sure that an individual course taken by these nurses are unison for the betterment of the patients. The NSQHS has played a very significant role in setting some measures to see to it that the nurses carry out their activities in a more professional way and as such reducing medication errors.


Atsariyasing, W., & Goldman, M. (2014). Management of Medication-Related Adverse Effects.

Aydon, L., Hauck, Y., Zimmer, M., & Murdoch, J. (2016). Factors influencing a nurse's decision to question medication administration in a neonatal clinical care unit. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25, 2468-2477.

Davies, K., Mitchell, C., & Coombes, I. (2015). THE ROLE OF OBSERVATION AND FEEDBACK IN ENHANCING PERFORMANCE WITH MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION. Journal of Law and Medicine, 23, 2, 316-21.

Gilmartin, J. F.-M., Marriott, J. L., & Hussainy, S. Y. (2014). Exploring factors that contribute to dose administration aid incidents and identifying quality improvement strategies: the views of pharmacy and nursing staff. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 22, 6, 407-414.

Hayes, C., Power, T., Davidson, P. M., Daly, J., & Jackson, D. (2015). Nurse interrupted: Development of a realistic medication administration simulation for undergraduate nurses. Nurse Education Today, 35, 9, 981-986.

Liu, W., Manias, E., & Gerdtz, M. (2014). The effects of physical environments in medical wards on medication communication processes affecting patient safety. Health & Place, 26, 188-98.

Moini, J. (2012). Comprehensive exam review for the pharmacy technician. Australia: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Sulosaari, V., Huupponen, R., Torniainen, K., Hupli, M., Puukka, P., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2014). Medication education in nursing programmes in Finland--findings from a national survey. Collegian (royal College of Nursing, Australia), 21, 4, 327-35.

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