Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 4
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care unit], wrong amounts, calculation errors, and misplaced decimals were many times more
common in children" (p. 1). The most common types of harmful medication errors were
improper dose/quantity (37.5 %), omission error (19.9%), unauthorized/wrong drug (13.7%), and
prescribing error (9.4%), followed by other errors (United States Pharmacopia (USP) Medmarx,
as cited in OR Manager, 2006). Human factors, such as miscalculations of dosage or infusion
rate, accounted for 42% of the medication errors reported in 2001 (Thomas, Holquist, & Phillips,
as cited in Harne-Britner et al., 2006). Some possible human factors related to medication errors
are staffing issues, stress, fatigue, distractions, not double checking, not being familiar with the
medications, and not having adequate skills. Some of the identified reasons for committing a
medication error include performance deficit (43%), knowledge deficit (29.9),
procedure/protocol not followed (20.7%), miscommunication (16.8%), calculation errors, and
improper use of pumps (USP, as cited in Tang, Sheu, Yu, Wei, & Chen, 2007).
Many errors related to medication calculations and administration can be prevented. "It is
the responsibility of every health care provider, including nurses, to continually work toward a
safer health care delivery system" (Bell, 2010, p. 510). Nursing, the largest group of health care
professionals, has a responsibility to improve safety processes and decrease medication
calculation errors. Nurses are the last line of defense for averting many medication errors
because they are at the patient's bedside.
Significance of Study
Errors in medication doses and intravenous (IV) rates can be fatal. The media has
recently reported several cases of patient deaths due to the administration of inappropriate doses
of medications (Institute for Safe Medication Practices [ISMP], 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c;
"Methodist Hospital Admits," 2006; "National Pharmacist Group," 2008; Stokowski, 2008).
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Melius, Joyce. Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115119/m1/12/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .