Most Common Nursing Errors and How to Avoid Them

Nurses have one of the most grueling (and often thankless) jobs in America. They deal with cranky patients, field countless distractions, frequently work 12-hour shifts and often suffer from fatigue—which unfortunately also makes them susceptible to making mistakes. While most nurses have the best intentions toward their patients (even the cranky ones), the best among them sometimes fail to provide the best care—which is why patients and their families must be watchful and diligent. Let’s look at a few of the most common nursing errors to watch for. Medication Errors Administering medicine incorrectly is one of the most common nursing…

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How Fatigue Can Affect Your Doctor’s Judgment—And What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

The medical profession has some glaring gaps when it comes to patient safety—and one of the biggest is the lack of protections against doctor fatigue. Hospital physicians and nurses are among the most overworked and under-rested people in our work force today. Studies repeatedly show that adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimum health. When you consider that resident doctors typically work 80-100 hours a week and frequently work for up to 28 hours at a time, you realize that they aren’t getting anywhere near these amounts of sleep. Under these conditions, even the most competent doctors…

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Risks and Dangers of Medical Test “False Positives”

A woman goes in to see her doctor for a routine Pap smear. To the woman’s dismay, the test comes back positive for cervical cancer. The doctor recommends an immediate hysterectomy—a devastating recommendation considering the woman, in her prime childbearing years, was trying with her husband to conceive her first child. Preferring life to childbirth, she agrees to the hysterectomy. Except there was no cancer. After the hysterectomy, the doctors discover the woman’s Pap smear had yielded a “false positive,” identifying an illness that wasn’t really present. Sadly, this scenario happens more often than you might think. Medical tests of…

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