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For prevention of error, it is often recommended that three checks of the drug to be administered are made: when reaching for the package that contains the drug, when opening the drug, and when returning the packaging to its storage area. At times, calculations may need to be performed to ascertain the correct dose.
Medication records should be on hand at time of administration to ensure safe administration. As many drugs have similar spellings, this needs to be checked carefully.
The initials of the administering nurse or other health care provider and the time and date should be documented on the record next to the appropriate order.
Various institutions have policies and procedures regarding documentation.
Chamberlain, Permissions Specialist Kenn Zorn, Product Manager Michelle Di Mercurio, Senior Art Director Cynthia Baldwin, Senior Art Director Mary Beth Trimper, Manager, Composition, and Electronic Prepress Evi Seoud, Assistant Manager, Composition Purchasing, and Electronic Prepress Dorothy Maki, Manufacturing Manager Indexing provided by Synapse, the Knowledge Link Corporation. Preparation Preparation for safe medication administration requires a background of education and hands-on training.
Since this page cannot legibly accommodate all copyright notices, the acknowledgments constitute an extension of the copyright notice. New nurses and other professionals should be supervised until they demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and competent skills for independent medication administration.
Before administration, five factors often referred to as the “five rights” should be addressed. Avoid simply asking patient’s name or checking the name on the door as miscommunications can sometimes occur. Check record for name of drug and compare with drug on hand.
These calculations may vary according to the infusion equipment used, for example, varying drop factor ratings or use of a device called a buretrol that carefully measures infused medication.
Documentation of medication administration is an important responsibility.
This avoids the disposal, hoarding, abuse, or misuse of the medication, and assures the safety of the patient.
Patient refusals of medication also need to be documented, and the prescribing clinician should be informed. The prescribing clinician should be notified of errors.
Other information may be required, such as location and severity of pain when administering a pain medicine (analgesic) or pulse rate when administering certain heart medications (i.e., digoxin).