Nurse practitioners are vital to the healthcare industry as they work directly with doctors and patients. As well-trained and educated as any nurse is, errors can still happen. We’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes to avoid for nurse practitioners to give professionals an idea of typical errors that arise.
Medication Administration Errors
The most common malpractice claims against nurse practitioners (NPs) have to do with medication administration. NPs administer medicine to patients countless times every day, so it’s not unlikely that mistakes are made regarding the amount of medication, the type of medication, or even medication administered to the wrong patient.
Whether you’re a new nurse or a veteran, mistakes happen, so having a malpractice insurance plan for nurse practitioners is crucial. NPs recommend highlighting the patient’s conditions and the essential information to ensure they receive the proper medication. Also, double-check the chart and documentation to ensure the medication list is updated accurately.
One of the starkest dangers facing patients is infection. As NPs come into close contact with so many patients regularly, they carry the potential of spreading bacteria and causing infections.
Infections are persistent, so NPs can never be careless when it comes to personal hygiene and equipment sanitation. Every NP already knows this, but it’s crucial to emphasize infection prevention, even if the practices become repetitive.
Documentation is another common area where NPs can make errors. NPs are responsible for filling out a lot of paperwork, so it’s not surprising that mistakes can happen or their handwriting becomes illegible to others.
The best advice NPs have to offer is to fill out documentation promptly, write as clearly as possible, and pay extra attention to the details. A misread chart or improperly filed documentation can lead to severe consequences for the patient.
NPs are responsible for the health and safety of patients most of the time, including protecting them from themselves. One of the most common hospital injuries is when patients attempt to move or get out of bed and fall.
NPs can’t physically restrain all of their patients, obviously, but they should always try to watch their patients. Explain to them the dangers of overestimating their strength and trying to move before their body is ready.
Nurses have many responsibilities and duties to complete every day, so the occasional error happens. But, keep an eye on these common mistakes to avoid for nurse practitioners, and you’ll improve your job performance and better legally protect yourself.