Just in case you are unfamiliar with one of the Greatest. Movies. Ever. Made., this is a photo of HAL, the computer from the Stanley Kubrick classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
You know, I’ve seen that movie about fifty times and I still don’t get the ending.
It seems that, just like poor HAL in the film, my mind is going.
I missed the deadline for Grand Rounds.
I never miss the deadline for Grand Rounds.
I blame Jazzercise.
If I hadn’t been dancing and sweatin’ to the likes of Gwen Stefani and Taylor Hicks, I would have been home writing a treatise on the ramifications of HIPAA or some other important topic.
Maybe it’s better I didn’t remember the deadline.
Back in the days of yore, nurses actually mixed the IV piggyback medications for their patients.
They took the medication from the cupboard, diluted it with the appropriate dilutant and injected it into the appropriate IV solution.
They labeled the bag with the patient’s name, the date, the time and the medication/dosage on a big honking florescent orange medication sticker that went right on the front of the bag, big as life.
One day it was decided that medication errors could be reduced if the pharmacy made the scheduled piggyback medications and delivered them to the floors.
This meant a great savings of time for the nursing staff. They could simply compare the big medication label to the medication record, then against the patient’s name band and hang the medication.
Lo and behold, it came to pass that a facility in a galaxy far, far away did not feel this was enough.
They required the nurse to highlight the patients name on the medication bag.
In flourescent pink.
And then they required the nurse to circle the name of the medication and the dosage on the big honking florescent orange medication sticker.
With a Sharpie.
Only a Sharpie.
A black Sharpie.
It then came to pass that the wise old wizards of medication administration policy at this facility in a galaxy far, far away decided that this policy should be practiced in the emergency department.
And so, in the middle of :
- Saving lives
- Treating migraines
- Reattaching amputated digits
- Relieving the agony of kidney stones
- Running patients to the cardiac cath lab
- Hydrating every case of vomiting in the county
- Dropping “extreme fevers” of 101 degrees
- Placing NG tubes in GI bleeders or the owners of bowel obstructions
- Cleaning up “incontinent” patients who are able to tell you that they are going to have diarrhea approximately ten seconds before producing said excrement
- Retrieving lost tampons…
…the emergency department nurses must now, for every single IV med, even if the bottle is hanging off the bottom of the bag in one of those “Addvantage” things:
- Place a patient name sticker on the bag
- Highlight it in pink
- Write the date, time, medication, and dosage on a big honking florescent orange medicine label and………..
- CIRCLE IT.
Something tells me if this facility in a galaxy far, far away has the time to nit-pick about the color of the highlighter used, they must have very few problems, indeed.
Oh, except for the nurse upstairs who was upset that their patient wasn’t fully undressed in the ER.
So, how was your night?