What are the causes of medication errors by nurses?

What are the causes of medication errors by nurses?

The level of staffing affects productivity in all organizations. Good staffing is associated with higher productivity, while inadequate staffing hurts productivity. In healthcare organizations, good staffing is associated with improved patient care, whereas inadequate or poor staffing leads to poor quality care of patients. Every healthcare giver has a moral or ethical duty to initiate or implement the required changes to solve any observed problem affecting the quality of care (Toren & Wagner, 2010). The purpose of this paper is to describe various aspects of my advocacy process meant to solve the problem of inadequate staffing in our organization’s labor and delivery department.

The problem and Outcomes of lack of Intervention

Our community healthcare organization is renowned for the quality healthcare services offered to patients for a long time. However, Mrs. Judy, one of the experienced nurses who have been working in patient care in the labor and delivery department, retired last week. Mrs. Kelly, another nurse who has been working in the same department, took her off early this week. As a result, only two of us currently work in the labor and delivery department. We are currently getting an overload of work, given that the number of patients served ranges between 7 and 12 every day.  The problem is compounded by the fact that the remaining colleague does not have adequate experience to work independently.

Failing to solve the problem will lead to our exhaustion due to overload. Exhaustion will lead to a delayed response to patients’ calls for assistance in the department. Unsafe deliveries are likely to occur due to the delay in response. Lack of adequate attendance is likely to lead to adverse effects on patients, such as injuries on babies and/or mothers, excess breeding of the mother, or even death of the baby and/or the mother. Due to the overload, I may be unable to give adequate guidance to the inexperienced nurse. An inexperienced nurse may give the wrong diagnosis or medication without adequate guidance. In short, the problem will lead to poor quality services in the labor and delivery department (Finkelman & Kenner, 2012).

The Needed Advocacy Skills, Dispositions, and Strategies

Communication skills are among the most important skills needed to achieve the advocacy objective. Good communication skills will help convey the issue to the organization’s supervisors, leaders, and managers. Specifically, speaking and writing skills will be very essential. Secondly, problem-solving and decision-making skills will also be essential since they will help to come up with the most appropriate solution to the problem (Finkelman & Kenner, 2012). The ability to interact with other people is one of the most important dispositions that will be needed to pass the message successfully. Other important dispositions needed include politeness and determination. To achieve the objective, I will adopt a persuasive strategy that will help sensitive the leadership and management on the need to hire additional staff in the department.

Various aspects affecting the advocacy

The advocacy is likely to succeed due to several reasons. To start with, the values and principles that guide the nursing profession require all nurses and other healthcare providers to fulfill the duty of care for all patients by providing them with quality care and preventing harm that may occur to them due to poor-quality services (Dempsey et al., 2010). The mission of our organization is “to provide the best quality patient healthcare services for all.” The organization’s vision is “to meet the critical healthcare needs of society.” The organization’s value statement is “to adhere to all the ethical standards of the nursing profession and to provide quality and satisfactory services that are valuable to all patients without discrimination.” The leaders and managers in the organization are competent, and they are supportive of quality healthcare. On top of this, my values are to ensure that the patients get the desired services and to suggest improvements to enhance the quality of care for all patients. My reasons for joining the nursing profession included the need to serve the community and contribute to enhancing equality in access to healthcare for all. I am motivated to proceed with my stance even when it is difficult since I understand that my move will prevent severe repercussions that may occur as a result of inadequate staffing.


In conclusion, the staff shortage problem in our organization’s labor and the delivery department may severely affect the quality of care. In this regard, there is a need for urgent intervention to solve the problem. I must apply the necessary skills, dispositions, and strategies to succeed. Fortunately, the professional, personal, and organizational values upheld in the organization are supportive of quality care services. As such, there is a high likelihood that the advocacy process will achieve success.











Dempsey, J., French, J., Hillege, S. & Wilson, V. (2010). Fundamental of nursing and midwifery

a person-centred approach to care. Broadway, NSW: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Pty Ltd

Finkelman, A. & Kenner, C. (2012). Professional Nursing Concepts: Competencies for Quality

Leadership. Massachusetts: Johns & Bartlett Publishers

Toren, O. & Wagner, N. (2010) Applying an ethical decision-making tool to a nurse

management dilemma. Nursing Ethics, 17(3), 393-402.


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