Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 2 (2008)

Medication administration and final year nursing students

Kerry Reid-Searl, CQU
Lorna Moxham, CQU
Sandra Walker, CQU

Abstract

The literature continues to report on medication errors occurring within Australian health care facilities every year. For this reason anyone who is admitted into a health care facility and is required to have medications is at risk of being the recipient of an unintentional medication error. Because nurses are primarily the health care professionals who administer medications to patients, students in undergraduate nursing programs are taught that this skill demands absolute vigilance in safety. This paper reports on a PhD study aimed at identifying the experiences of final year undergraduate nursing students when administering medications to patients in the clinical setting. A grounded theory approach with constant comparative analysis informed the development of an explanatory substantive theory. A sample of 28 final year undergraduate nursing students from a regional university provided data in order for theory development. This study identified that supervision was central to medication administration experiences for final year students. The discourse foci will be supervision levels provided by registered nurses. The findings in regards to supervision have numerous implications for safe medication administration practices of undergraduate nursing students in health care facilities throughout Australia which ultimately effect patient outcomes.

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