Nurses at Basildon Hospital have come up with a way of improving safety and warding off constant interruptions when handing out medication to patients.Great! Now they just need to fend off colleagues, patients and visitors asking them ‘Hey, why are you wearing that red apron?’
Staff across Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals are now wearing distinctive red aprons when preparing and administering pills.
It is hoped when a nurse is wearing a red apron, fellow colleagues, patients and visitors will think ‘can it wait?’ before interrupting.
Jerusha Murdoch-Kelly, clinical practice facilitator at the hospital, said: “Just from our own experiences, we knew interruptions are frequent during drug rounds and even a momentary break in concentration can lead to mistakes being made.Well, yes, I’m sure it is.
“It is much safer if you can concentrate on the task in hand and not have to turn your attention to anything else.”
But life isn’t like that, and if this task is so critical that nurses can’t do it AND deal with patients, perhaps the time has come to look at your staffing levels? Or perhaps look to do the actual dispensing somewhere else, and hand out the pre-dispensed medication?
Or are they worried they’d then get the names wrong?
Out of three wards looked at, one ward lost 117 minutes in valuable time due to interruptions, another lost 82 minutes and the third lost 43 minutes…I’d like to know why they started with the conclusion that the time spent with medications is ‘valuable time’ while the time spent dealing with patients and visitors isn’t ‘valuable time’…
Miss Murdoch-Kelly said: “Most of the interruptions were from telephone calls and other members of staff, although patients and visitor queries were also a factor.”Those bloody colleagues, patients and visitors, eh? How dare they believe that nurses are there to multi-task, like, say everyone else in the world….