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Trends and reporting of medication administration errors among nursing students at a higher education institution in the Western Cape
Abu-Saksaka, Yousef Ahmed
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One of the most important issues in the provision of healthcare services which threaten the patient's safety, is medication administration errors. These could compromise patient safety and may lead to patient disability or even death, besides the financial cost of these errors. Nurses are responsible for administering medication to numerous patients. They thus are the last defence line against medication administration errors. All student nurses are trained very early in their courses on how to administer medication and all the complications and implications that accompany this important procedure. Although lecturers spend time and effort in teaching nursing students about protocols for safe medication administration, nurses still commit medication administration errors. The aim of the study was to determine awareness and perception of the occurrence and reporting of medication administration errors (MAEs) among nursing students. A descriptive quantitative design was employed. A questionnaire was used to collect data. Responses were collected from 291 nursing students at a higher education institution in the Western Cape, South Africa. Nonprobability proportional quota sampling was used in this study for data collection. Data was analysed with IBM SPSS® software. Data was presented in graphs, percentages, means, and standard deviation, while inferential statistics were conducted. The findings of the study reveal that 85.2% of the respondents were aware of MAE occurrence, but 40.1% were unaware of reporting of these errors. The top and most significant subscale for MAE occurrence was the physician communication subscale, while the top and only significant barrier to reporting these errors was the fear subscale. In conclusion, most of the respondents were aware of MAE occurrence, while more than a third were unaware of the reporting of these errors. The study recommended building non-punitive blame-free reporting systems to emphasise the importance of reporting errors.