The reasons for these errors are many. Nurses work long hours, caring for many individual patients. A normal shift is eight hours, but nurses often work double shifts. They are often distracted and tired. Bad handwriting on the doctor's orders can also cause nurses to make medication mistakes.
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Consider this: In a typical hospital setting, one patient can receive up to 18 doses of medication a day, and one nurse working an eight-hour shift can administer up to 50 doses of medication. If she works a double shift, that's 100 doses of medication to many different patients.