How Nurses Are Reforming Antibiotic Practices

NursingMarch 03, 2017

Are your healthcare providers always giving you the right advice and treatment?

You’d probably like to believe they are, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that’s not always the case. In fact, prescription errors may be more common than you think. Studies show between 30 and 50% of the antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary or inappropriate. This includes antibiotics being given without proper evaluation, for too long a time period, or when they’re not necessary.

Stopping the overprescribing and misprescribing of antibiotics can help reduce rates of Clostridium difficile (a bacterial infection) and antibiotic resistance, and thereby improve individual patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

So, what role do nurses play in reforming antibiotic practices?

Direct care nurses have an opportunity to perform antibiotic therapy through antibiotic stewardship. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), this means they can put into place and carry out an antibiotic stewardship program “designed to ensure that hospitalized patients receive the right antibiotic, at the right dose, at the right time, and for the right duration.”  

Antibiotic Stewardship Program

An effective program should have seven basic elements: leadership commitment, accountability, drug expertise, action, track, report and educate. The actions of each and every nurse on the team are integral to the success of the program.

No question about it- inpatient antibiotic use needs to be improved. As a nurse, you can have a direct influence on improving the outcomes of your patients.

Nurses are crucial for hospital reform. If you want to become a nurse and have an influence on patient safety, you must first get the education and training.

Earn Your Nursing Degree

But, where can you go to get a nursing degree and eventually help reform antibiotic practices?

Fortis is one of the largest nursing education providers in America. Get started on your nursing career training today by exploring the various Fortis College and Institute campuses throughout the country that offer nursing programs. Visit our site to learn more