Medication Errors Over Medication <Course Research Paper

Pages: 3 (1162 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Medicine


Perhaps one of the most insidious aspects of overmedication is its effect on cognition and the mental capacity of seniors (Siri, 2008).

Falls are a major negative effect of overmedication. Thirty percent of people 65 years and older fall each year. Falls account for ten percent of all visits to the emergency department, and one out of ten results in a serious injury. The following have been associated with an increased risk of falls: arthritis, depressive symptoms, orthostatic, environment factors, cognitive impairment, impaired vision, balance disturbances, gait disturbances, decreased muscle strength, and use of four or more medications (Barber, 2008).

Role of a nurse in elimination of medication errors:

The nurse literally plays the role of a lifeguard in medication administration. S/he often provides the last opportunity for the health-care team to identify and correct errors in prescribing and distributing medication. Although the physician prescribes the medication and the pharmacist fills the prescription, the nurse usually administers the medication. S/he is the last link in medication administration and a safeguard against error.

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Prior to administering medication the nurse should verify the patient's identity. The "Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing" reports that "patient misidentification continues to be the root cause of many errors." To prevent errors, the nurse should use two sources of identification and check for matching information. The nurse should compare the patient's wristband identification with a written document such as a MAR or physician's order. Alternately, the nurse may ask the patient to state his name and birth date and match the information to the patient's wristband.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Medication Errors Over Medication Assignment

In safely treating the patient, the nurse should observe six patient rights by ensuring that the right medication is administered, in the right dosage, to the right patient, at the right time, via the right route, in accordance with the physician's orders. The process should be completed with the right documentation. In addition, before a nurse administers medication, she should be aware of the expected effect of the drug. A nurse should then monitor the patient and report any adverse reactions to the medication.

Health-care providers prescribe and administer medication according to a medication distribution system. The nurse is responsible for verifying medical calculations with a colleague and to consult the prescribing physician or the nursing supervisor if s/he suspects that a prescribed dosage of medication is unsafe. The nurse should also identify prescribed medications, over-the-counter drugs, and client allergies that can interfere with the physician's recommended drug therapy. S/he is responsible for gathering data pertaining to the patient's medical history and comparing it to the MAR to identify incompatible drug combinations or possible allergic reactions to medication.


It is undeniable that drugs do save lives, but few prescription medications are completely free of risks or side effects. The risk of adverse interactions and potentially devastating side effects increases when more than the required dosage of drugs is taken. In conclusion, overmedication is a serious problem because it can greatly impact the quality of life of patients. Overmedication often leads to increased drug interactions, unwanted side effects, medication noncompliance, and unnecessary costs for patients. It is important the patients, doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers work together to prevent overmedication from occurring.


Barber, C. (2008). "Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation"

Deene, L. (2009) "Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing" Is This the Right Patient?

Siri C. (2008). "The epidemic of overmedication Use of multiple drugs, especially in older adults,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Medication Errors Over Medication <Course" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Medication Errors Over Medication <Course.  (2011, October 4).  Retrieved September 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Medication Errors Over Medication <Course."  4 October 2011.  Web.  24 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Medication Errors Over Medication <Course."  October 4, 2011.  Accessed September 24, 2021.