Medication management in a Care Home situation
The right medication is given to the right resident at the right time.
Medication management in a Care Center is a major part of our daily responsibilities as many of our residents are often unable to remember to take their medication, don’t know what it is for anymore and, I can relate to this, get the pill out of the bottle!
So, the responsibility for managing and administrating medication in a Care Center is that of the Registered Professional Nurse. We are governed by a multitude of Acts and Laws that we have to comply with in order to retain our license as a Registered Nurse as well as the Care Home’s accreditation and licenses with the Departments of Health and Social Development.
Most Care Homes now have chronic medication Blister Packed as this system has multiple safety checks, (prescribing by the doctor, dispensing by a pharmacist and checking by the person packing as well as a final check by the RN at the Care Home).
Essential to all medication that we administer is a valid prescription, both for chronic and acute medication. Without this we cannot legally administer medication. Without this, we cannot check if the Blister Pack is correct or, if a label falls off the packet of antibiotics, who the medication is for and how often must it be given. The dispensing pharmacy usually keeps the original and we get a copy with the first issue of medication. Also, no medication can be in the resident’s room for safety reasons. These must be stored safely by the nursing department and administered as prescribed.
Prescribed acute and”when needed”:
- The Care Home needs a copy of the prescription.
- Any prescribed acute (short-term) medication, such as antibiotics, must be handed in to the senior nurse on duty. This will ensure that the medication is administered as prescribed and the course of medication is completed.
- Any medication prescribed as ‘when necessary’ (prn) must be handed in to the senior nurse on duty. This will then be given to the resident when needed but as prescribed to prevent accidental overdoses.
Over the counter:
Please check with the senior nurse on duty before giving a resident Over the Counter medication. Some medications interact with some chronic medication and we would like to check before the resident takes a potentially harmful over-the-counter medication. OTC medication may also not be kept in the resident’s room and need to be safely stored.