Trial and error and nursing practice? What are disadvantages?


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Beth Kennedy Profile
Beth Kennedy answered
There are several nursing practices widely used on a regular basis. This includes trial and error, past experience and intuition practice. Trial and error nursing practice is adopted when the illness is unknown. However, there are some disadvantages to using trial and error nursing:

  • The patient's life may be put at risk
  • Using incorrectly learned procedures
  • Medication errors
When a nurse uses the trial and error practice there is always a risk of harming the patients. Nurses may use a procedure that isn't used that often or could administer an incorrect drug. This could make symptoms worse or even put the patient's life in danger.

The nurse may have been taught a procedure incorrectly. If she then decides to go ahead with that procedure she could potentially harm the patient. The nurse could then pass down his or her knowledge to other nurses, thus the incorrectly-taught procedure will be spread throughout the hospital and more patients could be incorrectly treated. Also, all procedures don't end the same way. A patient could have a completely different reaction to a procedure and/or medication than another patient.

Medications errors can involve anything from using the incorrect dosage to using medication that the person may be allergic to. Nurses may not complete a thorough patient assessment, meaning the patient is at risk of developing complications or being treated incorrectly. Using gut instinct with trial and error could be potentially dangerous. It is rather like following your heart as opposed to your head, thus an irrational decision could be made.

Overall, trial and error nursing practice is a good way to discover new cures and treatments but it can be a risky method.

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