Perioperative nurses administer some medications but are primarily responsible for obtaining, preparing, and documenting medications. Unlike personnel in many other patient care areas, perioperative personnel may not have immediate access to a pharmacist; this lack of pharmacy support can complicate medication administration processes. A variety of medication errors occur in the perioperative setting and can negatively affect patients and personnel. Perioperative nurses should review regulatory information and professional organization guidance documents when they work with other health care team members to address medication safety issues. Some recommendations include submitting clear medication orders, using aseptic technique when transferring medications to the sterile field, and using standardized labeling. In addition, perioperative nurses should obtain only one patient’s medications from a dispensing unit at a time and prepare one medication at a time. After reviewing this article and the supporting literature, perioperative nurses should have increased knowledge about medication safety.
Key words: medication safety, adverse event, compounding, labeling, tall man lettering.