Math drills or memorizing patient rights won’t fix med administration errors.
They’re too messy and complex for any single solution. That’s why your nursing program’s medication administration training requires a comprehensive approach.
This medication administration training packet attempts to do just that. It includes three resources:
Together, these tools holistically address the complex issues that contribute to med administration errors made by new nursing students as they transition into clinical practice.
Here’s some context about this free resource. Our pedagogical approach is highly influenced by an excellent article, “Teaching Successful Medication Administration Today: More Than Just Knowing Your ‘Rights’.” It’s a brilliant article—with a slightly cheeky title. But beyond the title, we took several of the article’s recommendations to heart.
As nursing educators, you know that medication administration training requires more than just a skills check-off. And that’s why our download includes three resources for the different stages of a nursing student’s training.
Organized this way, these resources build off one another so students don’t feel overwhelmed. It also allows educators to segment and focus on key aspects of medication administration—communication, psychomotor skills, and critical thinking—individually.
Speaking of medication administration being more than a skills check-off: the first and final resources focus on critical thinking. The first—an assignment—asks students to consider how to best communicate medication information to their patients. Because of the different ages, cultures, languages, and genders that students will work with as nurses, this requires careful thinking.
The last resource also highlights a simulation experience where students make decisions. This was a page directly out of Dr. Bourbonnais and Dr. Caswell’s excellent article.
As the authors of “More Than Just Knowing Your ‘Rights,’” point out, too often senior students are asked to complete “beginning level of concrete, task oriented steps.” What they really need are “opportunities to make decisions” about med administration.
Our packet gives an example of a simulation experience that does just that. With this resource, you can help students move beyond psychomotor skills and truly practice critical thinking and clinical judgment in a safe environment.
Another recommendation from Dr. Bourbonnais and Dr. Caswell that we took to heart was creating realistic clinical environments in simulation experiences. Studies show that environmental factors play a key role in a fair number of med administration errors.
So it follows that med administration training should reflect those environmental factors (e.g., poorly written scripts and chatty patient family members). The last resource in the download provides articles and examples of how to recreate clinical chaos in your simulations.
This way your students expect and cope with realistic clinical environments before they matriculate. It also gives you an opportunity to honestly and accurately assess students before they begin working in healthcare.
There you have it: a brilliant medication administration training packet. It’s comprehensive, approachable, goes beyond psychomotor skills, and emphasizes critical thinking and realistic simulation experience. Considering that it’s free—what else could you ask for?
For more tips, read “3 Tips for Teaching Nursing Students Medication Administration” or watch our free workshop “Ready for Clinical Practice: Teaching Med Administration to Nursing Students.”