Using simulation to assess undergraduate nursing students’ competency with medication administration to a limited- English language proficiency patient

Mary Jo C Stanley, Lynn Philips, Ben Galatzan


Background/Objectives: Medication errors continue to be an area of concern in health care and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Little consideration has been given to the role of the patient in the medication process; patients with limited-English language proficiency (LEP) may be at risk for medical errors and drug complications. The purpose of this research study is to assess undergraduate nursing students’ competency with medication administration to a simulated patient with LEP.

Methods: A non-experimental quantitative design using the Medication Administration Safety Assessment Tool (MASAT) (Copyright © 2013 Goodstone & Goodstone) for student competency in medication administration perfor-
mance was conducted in a simulation environment. Qualitative data was also collected during debriefing for questions specific to safety, medication administration, and barriers related to care.

Results: Student scores on the MASAT identified a less than expected probability of success. Students’ performance did not show proficiency in the six rights of medication administration; in addition, students’ were inattentive to the language needs of a LEP patient.

Conclusion: Results from this study indicate further experiential learning activities may be necessary to reinforce safety in medication administration. Students were not attentive to the language needs of the simulated patient and may require additional learning opportunities through simulation to assist students in responsive behaviors that support LEP patients.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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