6 rights of medication administration

Why is adherence to 6 rights of medication administration important in nursing practice? What are the risks involved in not following this practice?

5 Format: Report format- please review the ACU study guide for further information (link)

Discuss your approved project question including background and rationale for choice (100 words)

Find- five (5) journal articles related specifically to your approved question and provide a synopsis of your understanding of these articles. These articles MUST be either peer-reviewed primary research journal articles or systematic reviews. (400 words)

Whilst on placement take some time to critically observe the practices in your clinical area, in relation to your question, and record your findings. Critical observation can include: discussion, dialogue with clinicians in your area of speciality and/or observation of practice in other areas.

Discuss your observations in light of your readings. (400 words)

Report Format Essay

Background and rationale of choice

The six rights of medication administration that are of great significance in the nursing practice are; the right to the right drug, right frequency, right dose, right patient, administration,and right regimen. Nurses play an important function in the health care industry. The patients’ lives rely heavily on the proper functioning of the nurses. Errors have occurred severally during the various stages of medication (prescribing, documenting, dispensing and administering) prompting for intervention by the stakeholders. Mistakes by these professionals can result in detrimental consequences for the patients. The six rights of medication administration are designed to reduce the errors, focusing on an improved personal performance while dealing with patients. Due to the problem mentioned above, I have chosen to investigate whether nurses followed the advocated six rights of medication administration.


Franklin, N. (2011). Identifying medication documentation errors using handwritten versus pre-printed ICU flowcharts. Sydney, Australia.

The research paper seeks to identify whether the use of pre-printed ICU flowcharts resulted in a reduction in the number of medication documentation errors. The audit results demonstrated no significant difference between the use of handwritten ICU flow charts compared to using pre-printed ICU flowcharts. Although the difference is not as significant, the text insists on the need to follow the six rights of medication for better health care.

Griffiths, M. (2013). Nursing Standard. Medicines Management, 28(1), 29. 

This paper aims to examine the prevalence of all care left undone by nurses. Low nurse staffing levels in health care institutions is associated with worse patients’ outcomes. Increased workloads to the nurses reduce the competency levels and quality of work. Lack of maximal concentration is also evident in these cases, and the medical staff can wrongly administer medications. The text emphasizes on the use of the six rights as a way of ensuring no work is left undone by the nurses.

Hayes, C., Jackson, D., Davidson, P. M., & Powet, T. (2015). Medication errors in hospitals: a literature review of disruptions to nursing practice during drug administration. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(21), 14.

The study focuses on exploring the known facts about the distractions on the medical administration, especially by the undergraduate students. Although some interruptions are unavoidable, interruptions in the medical management process more so to the nurses is a substantial safety concern in the healthcare setting. There is, therefore, need to reduce these interruptions significantly. Since interruptions cannot be eliminated, the text emphasizes to educate nurses on how to safely and confidently manage the interruptions. The paper elaborates on the need to reduce interruptions in the workflow for better implementation of the rights of medication by the nurses.

Hewitt, J., Tower, M., & Latimer, S. (2015, January). An education intervention to improve nursing students’ understanding of medication safety. Disaster Management Nursing Education, Nurse Education in Practice, 15(1), pp. 17-21.

The paper identifies medication safety as a significant issue in the health industry. Medication events and associated errors result to system failure and further medical complications. Medication administration involves coordination of various medical staff; team factors, therefore, play a significant role in the quality of Medicare provided to the patients. Management design includes decisions by a multidisciplinary team making implementation of various health environment improvement strategies fail. The paper insists on proper coordination for proper implementation of strategies meant to insist on application of the rights of medication.

Ramasamy, S., Baysari, M., Lehnbom, E., & Westbrook, J. (2013, August). Evidence briefing on interventions to improve medication safety. Australian Commission on the Safety and the Quality in Health Care.

This briefing paper discusses double checking as a strategy of reducing medical administration errors and in turn, improves the efficiency of health care. Many medical institutions have strategies to double check, although the lack of explicit definitions making them is followed inconsistently. Studies insist double checking is a resource-intensive and better use of resources, coupled with reduced interruptions to work significantly increases the quality of care. Double checking is a strategy employed in the six rights to improve the quality of care as emphasized by the paper.

Placement period

During my placement, I interacted with various nurses every day.  Only one of the nurses followed the six rights of medication administration a case which raised concern. Most of the nurses did not check the expiry of drugs administered to the patients.  The nurses did not either check patient IDs nor have a medication chat with the patient to establish their ID. The act was attributed to their prior knowledge of the patients.  A more extreme case witnessed involved a nurse carrying medication of two patients with no labels in them. Familiarity with patients can bring about complacency in handling patients, underlining the importance forging the rights of drugs, for a reduction in medication errors (Griffiths, 2013).

A growing dependence on the medication therapy as the main intervention strategy for most illnesses, the patients due to receive medications are at an increased risk for harm. In a bid to avoid errors, the nurse has to have a complete and clearly written order drafted by the physician. The law should incorporate all necessary components the nurse may require. Concrete and do explicit rules have to be provided and vague dosages avoided. This will significantly reduce the instances of errors related to dosages and wrong medication to patients, ensuring a patient is given the relevant drug, and in the right dosage.

Verbal orders from the physician should not be accepted. Although many of the nurses encountered are aware of this, they choose to ignore it aiming to save time. Writing of orders for the physicians by the nurses is also not acceptable with this putting the patients at a significant risk, and consequently risking their nursing license. Nurses should also require clearly written orders to avoid confusion brought about by drugs with close names. Cefoxitin, for example, can be easily confused by Cefotetan if not written clearly.

The nurses have a right to have the correct drug route and drug dose provided to them. Pharmacists are tasked with providing of the right medication.  In instances of the wrong drug being administered, the nurse is supposed to notify the pharmacist for a correction.  In cases where the nurse is required to go and collect the medicine in person, quality time is wasted putting the patient’s life in jeopardy (Franklin, 2011). Time wasting in gathering the drugs necessary to care for the patient puts the nurse under unnecessary pressure to administer the drugs to the patient on time. In these situations, medication mistakes are likely to happen, coupled with not giving the patient drugs at the required time.

Nurses have an obligation to have access to the right information. Updated and easily accessible drug information should be available for the nurses to ensure proper understanding of the pharmacodynamics. The information is also necessary to help nurses predict the expected reaction by the patient. A close interaction between nurses and pharmacist is bound to increase the nurses’ knowledge of medications and consequently, improve the patients’ outcomes and reduce the instances of medication errors occurrence (Hayes, Jackson, Davidson, & Powet, 2015).

Proper structures are necessary to ensure nurses administer medications properly. Health care administration is tasked with formulating an efficient system to provide for optimal working capacities for nurses. Policies for protecting nurses against litigation should an error occur are necessary to ease pressure on the health care providers in their daily protocol, ensuring a convenient environment for the nurses.

Since nurses deal directly with the patients, involving them in the shaping of the system and designing solution for a safe administration of medication would greatly lead to a more efficient health care system. Observation of potentially harmful situations should prompt the nurses to speak up and report system glitches. By advocating for a better patient care system, the nurses also support for a better working condition for them. This ensures a smooth coordination of activities for better patient care outcomes (Ramasamy, Baysari, Lehnbom, & Westbrook, 2013).

Probably the most crucial aspect, when administering medications, nurses should be in a clear mind to avoid unnecessary mistakes. In a clear mind, one can readily recognize odd looking orders and ask for clarifications. This is especially crucial when administering unfamiliar drugs.  In this state administering of unsafe medication to the patient is substantially reduced, avoiding patient poisoning or the potentiality of death.

Giving the patient the correct dosage will reduce the chances of resistance brought about by incomplete doses. Administering of a drug to the wrong patient can be fatal and even lead to the death of the patient concerned. Failure to follow the laid down rights of medication administration by nurses would result in adverse effects to the patient and a further possibility of death. The rights of medicines, therefore, are applied as an intervention to these medication-related adverse effects related to system failures in the complex process of drug administration (Hewitt, Tower, & Latimer, 2015).

Upon discussion with the nurses, they identified setbacks which hindered the flow of work. Their ideas concerning regulations to be carried out for better patient care were not considered. Physicians’ failure to comply with given ideas also hindered progress. As a result improved management intervention to perfect the current system was necessary to bring about improved patient care.


Franklin, N. (2011). Identifying medication documentation errors using handwritten versus pre-printed ICU flowcharts. Sydney, Australia.

Griffiths, M. (2013). Nursing Standard. Medicines Management, 28(1), 29.

Hayes, C., Jackson, D., Davidson, P. M., & Powet, T. (2015). Medication errors in hospitals: a literature review of disruptions to nursing practice during medication administration. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(21), 14.

Hewitt, J., Tower, M., & Latimer, S. (2015, January). An education intervention to improve nursing students’ understanding of medication safety. Disaster Management Nursing Education, Nurse Education in Practice, 15(1), pp. 17-21.

Ramasamy, S., Baysari, M., Lehnbom, E., & Westbrook, J. (2013, August). Evidence briefing on the interventions to improve medication safety. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Looking for Discount?

You'll get a high-quality service, that's for sure.

To welcome you, we give you a 20% discount on your All orders! use code - NWS20

Discount applies to orders from $30
All Rights Reserved, Nursingwritingservice.com
Disclaimer: You will use the product (paper) for legal purposes only and you are not authorized to plagiarize. In addition, neither our website nor any of its affiliates and/or partners shall be liable for any unethical, inappropriate, illegal, or otherwise wrongful use of the Products and/or other written material received from the Website. This includes plagiarism, lawsuits, poor grading, expulsion, academic probation, loss of scholarships / awards / grants/ prizes / titles / positions, failure, suspension, or any other disciplinary or legal actions. Purchasers of Products from the Website are solely responsible for any and all disciplinary actions arising from the improper, unethical, and/or illegal use of such Products.