Medication errors in intensive care units: Nurses' training needs

Medication errors in intensive care units: Nurses' training needs



To describe which elements of nurses' knowledge, training, behaviour and attitude can prevent errors in intensive care units during all steps of the administration of intravenous medication.


An anonymous questionnaire made up of 43 items was drafted and delivered to a sample of 123 nurses at 2 university hospitals in Rome


The majority of the sample (96.7%) stated that topics related to the preparation and administration of intravenous medications were covered during the basic nursing course. Just over 95% of the sample considered it important to improve their knowledge about preparation and administration of intravenous medications; 94.3% said that teaching about the use of intravenous medications should be enhanced during the degree course they attended and 91.1% agreed that specific postgraduate courses should be set up on the use of intravenous drugs.


Pharmacological knowledge is a prerequisite for the proper administration of drugs and for the clinical evaluation of the effects on the patient. This knowledge implies the understanding of the theoretical and clinical principles of pharmacology, the ability to contextualise medication management according to the complex and changing needs of patients, and it also includes the appropriate skills of drug administration.


drug administration; education and training; intensive care unit; intravenous infusion; medication error; safety.


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