Home Health Blogger

6 'Right' Things to Do When Helping Administer Medications

Posted by Joy Joan E. De Castro, RN, MSN on Feb 20, 2018

Encouraging self-administration of medication is believed to increase patients' understanding about their medication and to promote their independence depending on the patient’s capability. Here are some specific tasks that the Home Health Aide should remember when helping the patient administer medication:

•    Remind the patient of time.
•    Bring the medication to the patient.helping the patient administer medication
•    Bring other equipment to the patient needed to prepare and self-administer the medication.
•    Read or show label to patient to check right person, right medication, right dose, right time, right route and right documentation.
•    Position the patient for medication administration.
•    Open the container or package so patient can self-administer
•    Do not crush or add medications to other food such as applesauce or ice cream.
•    If nurse or family is pre-pouring medication, follow directions on Plan of Care.
•    Provide appropriate liquids for swallowing medications.
•    Pour pre-measured medication into bath water (as prescribed).
•    Store medication in the appropriate place.
•    Clean and store/dispose of special medication equipment (after use).
•    Wash hands.

Make sure everything is RIGHT

1. Right patient

•    Use 2 identifiers. Check the name on the label to make sure it is the same as the patient’s name. Check the name on the label against the name on the Care Plan.
•    Ask patient to identify himself/herself.

2. Right medication

•    Check the medication label.
•    Check the MAR.

3. Right dose

•    Check the medication label.
•    Check the MAR.

4. Right route

•    Refer to written instructions provided by the nurse, involve patient if appropriate.

5. Right time

•    Double-check that you are giving the ordered dose at the correct time.
•    Confirm when the last dose was given.

6. Right documentation

•    Document administration AFTER giving the ordered medication.
•    Document any Vital signs or blood glucose levels per policy.

CTA-help-administer-meds.pngMake sure to follow the following steps to assist the patient in taking medications:

1. Wash hands.
2. Read the container label.
3. Check the name on the label to make sure it is the same as the patient’s name.
4. Check the dose and frequency on the label against the dose for that medication on the Care Plan. Check the MAR for the time that the last dose was given.
6. If anything is incorrect, contact supervisor for further instructions.
7. Explain to patient the reason for this.
8. Record and report any problems about the medication in question.

If the patient has a change in condition (i.e. fever, chills), always call the nurse/supervisor prior to assisting the patient to take their meds. If a patient questions what you are doing, re-verify everything prior to proceeding.

Cueing a patient to take their medications, or providing some physical assistance to enable a client to independently take their medications is a customary activity for unlicensed assistive personnel, who are competent to do so.

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