Drug and medication safety take center stage when caring for a patient because if safety measures are not adhered to, there is a high risk of medical errors occurring which translate to medical expenses. Nurses spend a considerable amount of time with patience and therefore, they have to be equipped with sufficient skills to deal with drug safety. Drug safety which is also referred to as Pharmacovigilance (PhV or PV) is a science which related to collecting information which aids in detecting, assessing, monitoring and preventing negative effects as a result of pharmaceutical products (Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten, and Vermeulen, 2014).
Pharmacovigilance plays a key role in assessing the risks associated with different pharmaceutical products and making sure they are safe to be used by all patients with negligible side effects. According to Smeulers, Onderwater, Van Zwieten, and Vermeulen, (2014) the process is also important because it helps pharmacists to assess the risks of benefit of pharmaceutical products. Nurses usually take initiative and care for patients to make sure patients are not subjected to medical errors. Nurses normally prepare the drugs for the patients taking note of the required dosage. They also constantly monitor a patient and review the patient’s reaction to the medication which they have been prescribed.
A working strategy that could help nurses as well as patients promote drug safety is risk awareness (Aschenbrenner and Venable, 2015). Risk awareness is a powerful tool and strategy which could help greatly because nurses have knowledge on most of the drugs used to treat certain ailments. Nurses need to be educated on possible risks because it helps them to perceive risks from drugs issued. Another benefit of nurses being aware of risks from other drugs is that they are more likely to lase with physicians and offer helpful suggestions and feedback regarding the drug.
In their book, Aschenbrenner and Venable (2015) drug safety is important for registered nurses in advanced nursing practice because it helps improve quality of healthcare that patients receive. Nurses in advanced practice also work as drug safety associates and also as patient advocates and become involved in research to ensure patients get the best drugs.
Aschenbrenner, D. S., & Venable, S. J. (2015). Drug therapy in nursing. Vancouver: Langara College.
Smeulers, M., Onderwater, A. T., Van Zwieten, M. C., & Vermeulen, H. (2014). Nurses’ experiences and perspectives on medication safety practices: an explorative qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Management, 22(3), 276-285. doi:10.1111/jonm.12225