Medication administration via enteral tubes : a survey of nurses' practices

Phillips, Nicole Margaret and Endacott, Ruth 2011, Medication administration via enteral tubes : a survey of nurses' practices, Journal of advanced nursing, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 2586-2592, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05688.x.

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Title Medication administration via enteral tubes : a survey of nurses' practices
Author(s) Phillips, Nicole MargaretORCID iD for Phillips, Nicole Margaret
Endacott, Ruth
Journal name Journal of advanced nursing
Volume number 67
Issue number 12
Start page 2586
End page 2592
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publication date 2011-12
ISSN 0309-2402
Keyword(s) enteral medication administration
patient safety
questionnaire survey
Summary Aim: This article is a report of a study examining the practices of acute care nurses when administering medication via enteral tubes. Background. Administering medication via enteral tubes is predominantly a nursing responsibility across countries. It is important to establish what nurses actually do when giving enteral medication to inform policy and continuing education development.

In 2007, a survey was conducted using a random sample of acute care nurses at two large metropolitan hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. There were 181 Registered Nurses who participated in the study; 92 (50Æ8%) practised in intensive care units, 52 (28Æ7%) in surgical areas, 30 (16Æ6%) in medical areas and 7 (3Æ9%) were from combined medical–surgical areas. The questionnaire was developed by the researchers and a pilot study was conducted in August 2006 to test reliability, face validity and user-friendliness of the tool.

Results: Nurses reported using a range of methods to verify enteral tube position prior to administering enteral medication; some were unreliable methods. A majority reported administering enteric-coated and slow or extended release forms of medication, and giving solid forms of medication when liquid form was available. Nearly all (96%) reported flushing a tube after giving medication, 28% before, and 12% always flushed between each medication.

Conclusion: Enteral medication administration practices are inconsistent. Some nurses are using unsafe practices and may therefore compromise patient care.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05688.x
Field of Research 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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Created: Tue, 03 Jan 2012, 14:16:39 EST by Jane Moschetti

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