When you entrust your health or post-operative recovery care to a medical team, you likely encounter numerous nurses, each working different shifts. New Mexico nurses are vital components of high-quality care in a hospital setting or doctor's office. At some point, a nurse may administer medication to you. What type, how much and why are factors that vary according to circumstances and your doctor's prescription.
You're at risk for serious injury, perhaps even fatality, if your nurse is negligent. Medication errors are inexcusable because there's a system in place to prevent them. It's known as "The Five Rs," and most nurses are familiar with these guidelines. In fact, they are supposed to put them into practice any and every time they dispense medication. What if one doesn't? Do you know where to seek support if a medical malpractice problems arises?
A breakdown of the five Rs
Five Rs is short for Five Rights of Medication Administration. The Five Rs are protective recommendations that can help avoid serious errors regarding patient medication. The following list provides basic information about each R:
- Before a nurse gives medicine, he or she is supposed to confirm that the right patient is receiving the medicine. Especially if you happen to have a name similar to another patient in the ward, things can get confusing.
- The second R is to make sure the right medication is being given. It doesn't help at all to have the right patient if you have the wrong medicine.
- Not only does a nurse need to make sure he or she is giving the right medication to the correct patient, dosage is a serious issue as well. Any nurse who does not check to make sure to give the right dosage is being negligent.
- The final two Rs in the nursing guidelines are the right route and the right time. Many antibiotics, for instance, work better if you take them on a regular time schedule, and your nurse should also make sure he or she is administering the medication via the proper route, either orally, topically or by injection.
Whenever human beings are involved in a process, there is always a chance for error. However, the five Rs are one of many systems in place that help nurses do their jobs in a safe, efficient manner. Such guidelines typically help keep injury risks to a minimum.
What if your nurse is negligent?
The consequences of nursing negligence can be devastating to patients and their families. If you take the wrong medication or your nurse gives you an overdose, you can quickly wind up in a life-threatening situation. Even if your life is not at risk, you might become ill or suffer severe adverse side effects from a medication error.
Many New Mexico medical negligence victims take their cases to court because the state allows them to seek financial accountability against those whose negligence directly resulted in their injuries.