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Safely and Properly Administering Medication: A Comprehensive Guide for Nurses

  • Theary Ros
  • 18 Apr 2023

Administering medication safely is one of the primary duties of nurses. Ensuring patients receive their prescribed medicine at the proper dosage and time is integral for their well-being and recovery. This article aims to provide nurses with a comprehensive guide on safely and adequately dispensing it without ever jeopardizing patient safety.

1. Medication Administration Essentials (RMAEs)

Nurses should follow the Five Rights of Medication Administration to administer medications safely. These rights are a checklist to prevent medication errors and ensure patient safety.

a. Confirm Patient Identity: Always verify patient identity using at least two identifiers, such as name and date of birth. Also, compare identification bands against medication orders.

b. Correct Medication: Carefully examine the medication label against the medication order. Please acquaint yourself with its purpose, potential side effects, and possible medication interactions.

Calculating the Appropriate Dosage: Ascertain the appropriate dosage based on your patient's weight, age, and medical condition. Utilize a medication dosage calculator if necessary, but double-check all calculations thoroughly for accuracy.

d. Administer Your Medication Correctly: Make sure the medication is given using its intended route, whether oral, intravenous, or intramuscular. Familiarize yourself with each method for administering medicine to ensure an efficient administration process.

e. The Right Time: Administer the medication according to its half-life and your patient's schedule.

2. Proper Medication Storage and Handling

Store medications according to their manufacturer's recommendations, for example, in an excellent, dry location or refrigerate them as directed.

b. Maintain medications in their original containers with clear labels.

c. Discard any expired or unused medications according to facility policies and procedures.

3. Patient Education and Involvement

a. Educate patients about their medications, purpose, dosage, side effects, and potential interactions.

Encourage patients to ask questions and express their concerns regarding their medications.

Engage patients in the medication administration process by having them read and verify the dosage instructions on each medicine they're prescribed.

4. Documentation and Communication

Document all medication administrations, including date, time, medication type, dosage amount, route taken, and any potential reactions or side effects from patients.

b. Consult with other healthcare professionals regarding any changes or concerns related to the patient's medication regime, including any necessary adjustments.

5. Continuous Learning and Improvement

Stay abreast of the most up-to-date medication guidelines, best practices, and safety alerts.

Participate in medication safety education programs.

c. Analyze medication errors and near misses to develop preventative strategies and learn from their experiences.

Administering medication safely is an integral component of nursing care. By adhering to the Five Rights of Medication Administration, practicing proper storage and handling practices, engaging patients in their care process, maintaining accurate documentation and communication records, and continually learning and improving techniques, nurses can ensure they administer medications without ever jeopardizing patient safety.