Medication Administration Practices Among Nurses: An Observational Study from Oman
Safe medication administration is vital in ensuring patients’ safety and enhancing their quality of life. This study aimed to observe nurses' practice in medication administration in Hospitals and primary healthcare institutions to identify and examine the different steps of the medication administration process for quality assurance and safe drug administration. The methodology of the study employed a cross-sectional design using quantitative descriptive data within health institutions at South Sharqiyah Governorate. Data from the direct observation of 99 nurses (once at a time) were observed while they were preparing and administering medications using the disguised observation method (DDM). The data was recorded via Microsoft Access using a descriptive approach (frequencies and percentages) for analysis. The areas of concern in the study were: the five rights of medication administration, documentation, the use of patient’s identifiers, double checking and drug labeling. The trained observer completed the checklist after observing the nurses’ medication administration. Data were collected from 99 observations for analysis. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics in the SPSS software version 26. The quantitative data illustrates that only 34.3% of nurses performed an independent double check by another nurse, only 56.6% performed appropriate labeling, and 62.6% confirmed the patient’s identity using at least two patient identifiers. Most medication administrations meet the “Five Rights” criteria (right patient =92.9%; right medication=98%; right dose=97%; right route=98%; and right time=97%). A statistically significant association was found between the participant's age and right time (p=0.013); and between years of experience and right medication (p=0.005), right dose (p=0.019) and right route (p=0.004). In this study, the nurses' poor areas of practice in medication administration were identified as double-checking of medication, labeling, and use of patient identifiers. Checking the right of medication administration and documentation post the procedure was the most followed by nurses in the medication administration process. The relevance of the study to clinical practice is the continuing education and clinical audits for nurses regarding basic pharmacology, medication administration policy, factors contributing to medication errors, and strategies preventing medication errors should be a priority.