Writing Assignment #1:

Before submitting this assignment, be sure to read the assignment instructions here.

About 15,000 people die from dosage errors each year in America. About two-thirds of these deaths are children or infants. As a result, the health care industry is continually looking for ways to reduce medication errors. As you have already seen, many of the rules which have been established for reading, writing, and administering medicines have been chosen and continually updated to address this issue.

Your Assignment:
First, read the article, Tenfold Errors in Drug Dosages. This article describes a few cases of dramatic drug errors. (Scroll down to the bottom of the first page of the pdf file to see the beginning of this article.)

Then, write a 1500-3000 word essay which addresses the following questions:

  1. Explain why a 10-fold error is particularly dangerous. In order to do this, be sure to explain what it means when an error is "tenfold," and compare a tenfold error to other errors which might be less extreme.
  2. This paper describes two instances in which tenfold errors occured. For each instance, describe some actions that the nurse could have taken that would have prevented the error from occuring.
  3. Think about some of the errors that you have made while making dosage calculations, and think of at least one other way in which a tenfold error could occur when making dosage calculations or administering a drug to a patient.
  4. List at least one way in which the error you described in #3 could be prevented or addressed.

Your essay should flow smoothly - don't just answer each of the four questions - be sure to write so that your essay makes sense as a whole.

Also, write as though you were explaining these issues to a friend who is not taking this class; simple, clear language is best, and if in doubt, explain something before you discuss it.

You will submit this assignment under the "Writing Assign." button on the main course webpage.

Once you have submitted this assignment, you will be required to read the essays of 3 fellow students and to give each of these classmates feedback on their essays; the deadline for this feedback is one week from the deadline for this assignment. You will only be able to view other student essays once the deadline for submitting your first draft has passed.

Then you will have one week to revise this assignment and resubmit it before I assign a final grade.