Challenges of safe medication practice in paediatric care – a nursing perspective
Article first published online: 9 APR 2013
©2013 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 102, Issue 5, pages 532–538, May 2013
How to Cite
Star, K., Nordin, K., Pöder, U. and Edwards, I. R. (2013), Challenges of safe medication practice in paediatric care – a nursing perspective. Acta Paediatrica, 102: 532–538. doi: 10.1111/apa.12212
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 9 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 23 FEB 2013 01:01PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 18 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 DEC 2012
- Medication errors;
- Paediatric nurses;
- Safe medication practice
To explore nurses’ experiences of handling medications in paediatric clinical practice, with a focus on factors that hinder and facilitate safe medication practices.
Twenty nurses (registered nurses) from four paediatric wards at two hospitals in Sweden were interviewed in focus groups. The interviews were analysed using content analysis.
Six themes emerged from the analysed interviews: the complexity specific for nurses working on paediatric wards is a hindrance to safe medication practices; nurses’ concerns about medication errors cause a considerable psychological burden; the individual nurse works hard for safe medication practices and values support from other nurse colleagues; circumstances out of the ordinary are perceived as critical challenges for maintaining patient safety; nurses value clear instructions, guidelines and routines, but these are often missing, variable or changeable; management, other medical professionals, the pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and informatics support need to respond to the requirements of the nurses’ working situations to improve safe medication practices.
Weaknesses were apparent in the long chain of the medication-delivery process. A joint effort by different professions involved in that delivery process, and a nationwide collaboration between hospitals is recommended to increase safe medication practices in paediatric care.