The art of making the right exception to the “rule” : Nurses' experiences with drug dispensing in nursing homes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSolberg, H., Devik, S. A., Bell, H. T., Olsen, R. M. (2022). The art of making the right exception to the “rule”: Nurses' experiences with drug dispensing in nursing homes. Geriatric Nursing, 44 (2), 229-236.doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2022.02.019
Nurses are key professionals in ensuring safe drug management in nursing homes, and their practice is regulated by a number of guidelines. The present study aimed to explore nurses’ experiences of dispensing drugs to older people in nursing homes by using an exploratory qualitative design. Focus group interviews were conducted in three nursing homes in central Norway; the data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The results indicated that drug dispensing was perceived as a complicated process during which both anticipated and unforeseen challenges arose that influenced the nurses’ abilities to follow professional standards. In these situations, the nurses had to apply their knowledge and make various adjustments based on conditions in the organization and the needs of individual patients. The findings have implications for facilitating nurses’ working conditions and resources to avoid drug administration that limit the discretion of nurses and threaten patient safety in nursing homes.