1. It’s the right resident. We avoid a serious mistake by making sure we have the right individual and only preparing the medication for one person at a time. We compare the resident’s name on the prescription label with the medication order and the medication log.
2. It’s the right medication. We read the medication label carefully so that there is no doubt about whether the medication name is correct and that the medication name is on the medication label. We ensure that the medication name on the label, the medication order and the medication log match before giving the medication.
3. It’s the right dosage. We always ensure how much of the medication to give the resident at one time. To determine the dosage, we first need to know the strength of each medication. In the case of liquid medications, we need to know the strength of the medication in each liquid measure. The dose equals the strength of the medication multiplied by the amount. We compare the dose on the prescription label, the medication order and the medication log each time we administer medications to ensure that they match.
4. It’s the right time. Some medications must be administered only at very specific times of the day. For example, some medications must be given before meals, one hour after meals, or at bedtime in order to work best. It’s very important for medication to be given at the time of day that is written on the medication order. We compare the prescription label, the medication order and the medication log each time to ensure that we are administering the medication at the right time.
5. It’s the right route. The right route is how and where the medication goes into the body. Most medication is taken into the mouth and swallowed, but others enter the body through the skin, eyes, ears, nose and lungs, or by injection. We compare the route on the prescription label, the medication order and the medication log to ensure we have the right route each time.
6. It’s the right documentation. Each time a medication is administered, it must be documented by the caregiver at the time that the medication is given. We keep complete records in a medication log of the medications that our residents take.
Most of our seniors require assistance with medication. Medication assistance, or medication management, is the monitoring of medications that a resident takes to confirm that he or she is complying with a medication regimen, prescribed by his or her doctor, while monitoring for potentially dangerous reactions or complications. This is especially important for those taking large numbers of medications.
Medication assistance begins with a prescription from the resident’s doctor.We also assist with obtaining physician’s standing orders for over-the-counter medications that are taken as needed (PRN medications), such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, and antidiarrheal medicines.
When assisting with medications, we first explain to the senior what we are doing before we give medications. We want the senior as involved as possible in the process. We provide privacy for the resident. First we wash our hands. Then each time we administer medications, we ensure that: