Welcome to Episode 96
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Tip of The Week- Medication Administration
Administration of medications is a chief responsibility of a nurse. It involves providing the patient with a substance prescribed and intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a medical illness or condition.
Since a lot of problems arise from medication errors, nurses should be knowledgeable on the type of medication they are about to administer including the safe dosage and the right route for the drug. The following are tips for nurses to ensure safe medication administration and eliminate errors.
Be familiar with the medication
Commonality of medications depend on the clinical area. For example, in surgical units, expect post operative patients receiving pain control meds and antibiotics. If a nurse encounters a medication for the first time, she should make an effort to know more about the drug and make sure the order is consistent with the drug facts.
Know the drug class and what it is for including the routes of administration and how the drug moves into the body. Some examples of medication routes are parenteral (use of injection), oral (by mouth), topical (applied to the skin), suppository (vaginal or rectal), and inhalants.
Effects of the drug
The therapeutic effect are the desired or intended effects of the drug though it may normally come with expected side effects, either from drug interactions, route of administration or the drug itself, may cause discomfort to the patient and should be addressed. Adverse effects are abnormal and should be dealt with immediately. Educate the patient about these for them to be able to report symptoms of adverse affects to the nurse or the physician. Drugs may also interact with food or other medications so it is important to know all the drugs the patient is taking including their diet.
Doses ordered do not always match the stock doses in the pharmacy, not to mention the use of diluents. Safe administration of medications greatly lie on the accuracy of dosage computation. A single decimal point can make a huge difference that can yield drastic effects to patients. To avoid such mistake, calculations should be double checked. The use of medication math techniques can also be helpful.
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