In "Oral Medication: Unfamiliar Syringe, Wrong Route" (Medication Errors, March 2006), a nurse mistakenly gave Tussionex, an oral cough suppressant, I.V. The article mentioned the nurse's unfamiliarity with oral syringes, but I was more concerned to read that she was unfamiliar with the drug itself. As a nursing instructor, I teach my students that they need to know the purpose, route, dose, and adverse effects of any medication before administering it. If the nurse in this case didn't know what Tussionex is, her first priority should have been to look it up in a drug reference. In addition, she should have clarified the administration route with the prescriber if this information was missing from the order.
CYNTHIA A. MCGUIRE, RN, MS