Enacting medication administration as nursing practice in a neonatal intensive care unit: a praxiographic study




Neander, Wendy

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The purpose of this research was to offer a description of the complexity of nurses’ medication administration practices in relationships with technology. The clinical situations and circumstances in which nurses administer medications today are comprised of rapidly changing technological initiatives that are intended to support safe, efficient care. Nurses’ medication administration practices are not immune to a rapidly changing technological health care environment. Research and literature has documented medication administration occurs in complex situations and nurses apply particular knowledge that supports decision-making and clinical practices for patient safety. Praxiographic methodology was used to describe deeply embedded knowledge and values that shape and guide contemporary nursing practice. Lack of attention to knowledge and values that shape and guide nursing practice and care, may contribute to the risk that those practices may be lost as nurses retire amongst a rapidly changing healthcare environment. A highly technical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was the location for the study. Participants included twelve NICU nurses and a pharmacist. The research findings included the significance of understanding NICU nurses’ use of local and universal maps to navigate the complexity of medication administration. Furthermore, the research documented NICU nurses’ medication administration practices as inseparable from technology. Further practice-based research is recommended to support the development of technologies that incorporate nurses’ medication administration practices.



Neonatal Nurses' Medication Administration Practices, Medication Administration and Technology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)