Within this reflective essay, having kept a diary it was easy to reflect on my journey in the first year of university. It has been a welcoming journey with lots of things that were new to me and things that were challenging looking through my reflective diary I can see that things were very difficult at the start but with lecture slides and additional reading material it was a gradual learning process which has broadened my knowledge. This essay is a reflection on a situation that took place at work.
A datix was carried out due to the nature of the situation. I have chosen the Gibbs model of reflection (1988) to structure my reflective account. Within Gibbs reflective model there are six reflective stages these are important to the flow of the essay, they include description of the situation, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan.
14th October 2018, today at work there was a situation where a patient had been given the wrong medication, whilst on a surgical ward.
At the beginning of a shift the medication is checked by two nurses to make sure all drugs are accounted for. The nurse looking after the patient asked me to ask one of her co workers to retrieve the drug from the locked medication cabinet, having told the nurse what drug was needed the nurse signed the drug out and gave it to me, (Senior Healthcare Assistant) to give to the nurse that requested it as the patient was in isolation, due to them having loose stools. When the shift was almost finished two nurses were checking the medication and had noted that there was an error with one of the drugs on checking. When they found the signature of the nurse that had signed the medication out they found that it was the wrong drug that was given to a patient they approached the nurse in the side room and asked if the medication in question had been given when the nurse replied yes her colleague said that that particular drug was prescribed for a different patient she then tried to cover herself by saying that she had asked me to ask a nurse for the drug and I must have told them the wrong drug. I was called and asked to fill out a datix as I was involved in the incident.
When I received the call on the phone that I was wanted I thought that they needed something, but when I was told what had happened I was devasted and upset that a nurse was saying that I had asked for the wrong drug, when she knew that she had asked for the drug and I had repeated that drug to a nurse, who signed it out and gave it to me, to give to the nurse in the side room. I was angry and worried that they would believe the nurse over me and the patients wellbeing was at risk because of a nurses mistake and my involvement in the incident, my thoughts were that I would lose my job because of a drug error which was being directed at me. I asked how the patient was and was told she was fine as the medication given would not cause her any harm, I felt a sigh of relief that the patient was ok but felt betrayed. The Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC 2008) states that nurses should provide a high standard of practice and care at all times, this also applies to me as my job role comes under a nurses banding, and I felt partly responsible.
I have learnt a valuable lesson in future if I am asked to get medication for a nurse get them to write it down then the nurse cannot blame the Healthcare Assistant for something that is their fault. My main concern was that the patient was not seriously injured. I personally felt that the nurse was trying to get herself out of trouble and passing the blame onto someone else was me. This incident could have had serious consequences even fatality of which I would have been a part of. I am always wary when asked to get medication for nurses as I often try to ask a mother nurse that a fellow colleague is requiring medication for the patient. This then takes me the healthcare assistant out of the picture leaving me to play no part should there be a discrepancy. The advantage of this is that I have learnt a valuable lesson, according to Gladstone (1995) planning problem solving strategies and accepting responsibility is found to lead to positive changes. This scenario has caused for changes in the workplace healthcare assistants are not allowed to take medication to nurses unless they have had some form of training. Only nurses can take medication to nursing staff inside rooms, healthcare assistants can take creams and fluids for example bags of sodium chloride, fluid for the ventilator or equipment needed for the patient.
According to Gladstone (1995), drug administration is one of the highest risk areas of nursing practice in a matter of considerable concern for both managers and practitioners. At the workplace as stated above healthcare assistants are not allowed to take medication to nurses inside rooms. However detailed comprehensive procedures and standards exists making sure that the right medication is given, to the right patient, at the right time, in the right form of the drug, at the right dose and right route. Nursing and midwifery Council code of professional conduct (2004). This is an area for public safety and nurses generally follow the principles laid down by law according to the NMC the guidelines for nurses on Administration of medicines (NMC 2004).
Even though the policies and procedures were followed, the nurse was at fault as she has received adequate training for the administration of the drug the patient required. Although no one was seriously injured it is best that nurses are responsible for retrieving and administering medication and healthcare assistants should not be involved in any part of the collection of medication. As a healthcare assistant my training is up-to-date, and I have never been involved in any sort of drug error before. The nurse in question was scared to report the error due to the repercussions that may happen for example losing her pin, therefore blaming me was a way of getting out of trouble. According to the nursing midwifery Council it is advised that an open culture exists in order to encourage the immediate reporting of errors or incidents in the administration of medicines. It is also found that nurses who are disciplined for errors and incidents were less likely to report the incident. (NMC 2004). Furthermore, to learn from our mistakes, Williams (1996) believes that we first need to acknowledge that we have made a mistake. Making mistakes can be a learning experience and something that can be reflected on, so that it does not occur again.
the Administration of medication in a nursing role is very important. Administration of the wrong drug can prolong a patients stay in hospital and this can be very costly for the hospital (Webster and Anderson 2002).
every day we learn from our experiences, I have learnt that I will not be taking medication to other staff members unless I have been trained to do so. I have realised that the nurses error could have cost me my job and her job, and that mistake will not happen again whilst Im working at this hospital. Having spoken to the matron of the ward as a senior healthcare assistant I felt that training should be provided for all healthcare assistants since the incident, healthcare assistants have been able to put medication back into the drugs cabinet, but we are not allowed to take medication out. The matron has also stated that healthcare assistants should not be asked to collect medication for patients in side rooms as healthcare assistants may ask for the wrong medication and the area could take place again.