Institutional Affiliation
ISMP Error Prone Medical Abbreviations
The Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) list contains the abbreviations, symbols and dose designations that are often misinterpreted and prone to error. For instance, “IJ” is supposed to mean injection but it is often mistaken for “IV” or” intrajagular” (Cohen et al., 2016) Nevertheless, the use of medical abbreviations in the ISMP error-prone list is highly discouraged be it in drug labels, during communication, in medical records or in pharmacy. In advanced practice nursing, proper use of abbreviations is vital as it ensures that the proper plan of care is administered for the well-being of patients. The paper will discuss how ISMP list of Error-Prone Medical Abbreviations, symbol and dose designations can be implemented in the nursing practice setting.
To start with, ISMP’s list of medical abbreviations which are prone to error can be applied in advanced nursing practice as a measure to maintain high standards of professionalism. Typically, nurses deal with people’s health and it is in their best interest to ensure they are doing the correct thing (Percival, 2014). Observing professionalism involves using the correct terms in all the states of healthcare administration. A small mistake such as a misunderstood abbreviation when developing a plan of care or treating a client can cause severe complications. For instance, a physician may recommend HCL which may be misunderstood as Potassium Chloride instead of hydrochloride by a nurse practitioner. As a result, a patient’s health may deteriorate and in serious cases, it can lead to death. As such, advanced nurse practitioners should use the ISMP Error-Prone Medical Abbreviations list as a guideline to uphold competence.
Besides, the ISMP list of medical term abbreviations which are more likely to be misinterpreted can be applied in the nursing practice setting to uphold the principles of medical ethics. Nursing is one of the fields where therapeutic morals are highly emphasized. Nurses are guided by moral code and moral justification, which is one of the main principles of medical ethics (Percival, 2014). Based on the code, nurses are expected and to be morally committed to providing good care to promote health integrity. By following the correction column on the ISMP Error-Prone Medical Abbreviations list, nurses avoid jeopardizing their patient’s well-being.
Biblical principles are also applicable in the context of advanced nursing practice in relation to ISMP’s error-prone list of abbreviations. Exodus 20: 13 states that “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus, 20:13). Based on the text, it is clear that human life is important and it should be preserved. As such, nurses in practice should respect and have high regard for human life as they are guided by the reading in the Bible. To ensure this, physicians should be careful whenever they prescribe drugs, make assessments, and administer treatment, among other health-related practices. They should memorize the ISMP’s list of abbreviations that are prone to errors to avoid killing patients as a result of medical terms interpretations.
Overall, ISMP list of error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations can be implemented in advanced nursing practice to act as a guide that may help the physicians maintain high standards of professionalism. It can also be applied to support the principles of medical ethics such as the moral code and moral justification. Preserving life is one of the most applicable scriptural principles that align with the usage of ISMP error-prone medical abbreviations.
Cohen, M., Vaida, A., Litman, R. S., & Jenkins, R. H. (2016). Error-prone abbreviations and dose expressions. Anesthesia & Analgesia122(2), 581.
Durham, J. I. (2018). Exodus (Vol. 3). Zondervan.
Percival, T. (2014). Medical ethics. Cambridge University Press.