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Nurses develop disposable drug rounds tabards


Nurses have developed disposable drug rounds tabards that reduce errors, lower infection risk and cost 60% less.

Disposable tabards, developed by nurses and manufactured by GV health, are being introduced at a number of hospital trusts to minimise interruptions, reduce cross-infection risks and improve drug dispensing accuracy.

Reducing drug dispensing errors increases patient safety and reduces the cost and waste resulting from mistakes. Fewer interruptions also mean nurses can make more efficient use of their time.

Catherine Pegna, Managing Director of GV Health said “Reusable fabric drug round tabards currently used by some hospitals have been identified as a potential cross-infection risk particularly where time and financial restraints cause them to be used more than once without laundering. This has put nurses off using them and many hospitals have been looking for an alternative.

“We wanted to give nurses on drug rounds a safe way of putting up the ‘do not disturb ’ sign while saving nurse managers some money.”

The single size tabard can be adjusted to fit all shapes and builds and are suitable for use in all types of ward including general medical, surgical and SCBU.

In a recent survey, laundered tabards cost an average of 42 pence per use. Disposable tabards can cost from as little as 18 pence each, representing a saving of 60%.


Readers' comments (16)

  • I agree with Martin and jjjez; our nurses just use disposable red aprons (as opposed to the white ones used for hygiene care), and the drugs trolleys have a do not disturb sign. And if someone does approach a nurse during a drugs round, they will just ask them to wait or ask another nurse who is not doing drugs.

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  • I'm glad we're all in agreement here. We as Nurses must take control of our working practices and steer them away from the 'flimsy ideas' to one of professional and personal control. We are autonomous practitioners who have a great deal of untapped power to advocate not just for ourselves but for our patients.

    we should also never forget that many of us have been nurses for longer than the juniors have been doctors. We do often know best and what's likely to work out for the patients.

    We as the constant presence and providers have a more important role than almost anyone else, regardless of what their role is and it should be us, not the medical and surgical team who decide what's in a patients best interest when it is in our own field of competence.

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  • The red tabard in our trust.
    *we are still interupted+++
    *makes the staff a sitting target to be seen and interupted
    *one staff member quoted "like a red rag to a bull" it means there is someone now identified as "unable move far from the drug trolley"
    *laminated signs on the trolley requesting Do Not Disturb administering medication(we are still interupted).
    *the normal quote is "i know your giving tablets and should'nt disturb but......
    * It is not only visitors who interupt but MDT, who should know better!
    *I feel they do not work and at times the Red Tabard seems to encourage distraction from the job in hand, which we are all trying to protect and that is "safe administration of medication"

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  • I can't grasp the logic of the link, in one of the comments above, between all patients being washed before they take their medicines. What do drugs have to do with personal hygiene? Is this another of the useless and archaeic nursing rituals? Such petty rituals serve absolutely no useful purpose and have nothing to do with the needs of patients and take staff away from more important duties as well as being a waste of energy, time, money and human resources. They are also another desperate attempt for managers to assert themselves in their struggle for authority and control over those with professional training and knowledge and who know their patients better.

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  • Anonymous | 17-Jul-2010 6:30 pm

    I think it very much depends on where you work and how the ward is organised. For nurses on their own on a ward they are obliged to deal with every query and emergency as it arises as well as answering patients' bells, giving out bedpans, changing drips, stopping bleeding when the patient has pulled out their drip or sorting them out when they have pulled out their catheter, pulled off their dressing, got out of bed when they shouldn't to go to the toilet, wet their bed and risk damaging their skin, etc. etc. etc.
    when your boss, doctor, dietetician, consultant, professor, physio., psychiatrist, visitor, you are expected to stop what you are doing and reply straight away as well as taking any phone calls, answering students' queries about a patient, and all the million and one reasons which can interrupt your drug round.

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  • Don't you all know that by donning the tabard, you and your medication trolley are immediately enveloped in a magic bubble? Nobody but those you choose to can see you, there is no telephone reception in there and you can listen to soothing music.
    Those managers sure know what they are doing!

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