I am also seeing more legal cases involving adverse drug reactions. Lawsuits are not limited to catheter related complications like extravasation. As the nurse administering any medication, it is our responsibility to know the medication – indications, contraindications, how it should be diluted, rates of infusion or injection, compatibility, stability, side effects, and adverse drug reactions. It is our responsibility to monitor the patient’s response to the medication and document it. This applies to all medications in all healthcare settings.
Knowing the technical aspects of how to administer an I.V. medication is required but nursing responsibility does not stop there. It is the nurse’s job to know what adverse reactions can happen, be able to recognize them, communicate all data to the other professionals involved in the patient’s care, and provide the necessary follow up care.
This brings up the question of what drug references are available to you. In my opinion, the only drug reference that provides all necessary information about I.V. medications is Intravenous Medications by Gahart and Nazareno, published annually by Mosby. Click here to learn more about this valuable resource. . If this is not available to you in your workplace, it is well worth your personal investment in this book.