Many of us in senior living interact with our residents without knowing what goes on in our Med Rooms
and we’re missing out on understanding a vital part of our residents lives. We should all be able to recognize when our residents are acting a little ‘off’, so let’s take a quick review of Med Room procedures to help us better monitor our residents wellbeing.
There are 6 rights that must be observed prior to administering medications: You must ensure that you have the right client, route of administration, drug, dosage, and time or interval that the drug is administered. Medication administration errors are likely to occur when one or multiple of these rights are not observed.
While we are ultimately responsible for a residents wellbeing, a resident has an irrefutable right to refuse medication. As a general rule, the residents physician should be notified when medication is refused. HIPPA laws do not allow us to share this information freely and in detail, but as a best practice it would be wise to alert other community members that the resident in question may experience some changes in their health status and to report this to your nurse immediately.
Residents often have medications that are prescribed PRN, or As Needed, this can include pain relievers and anti-psychotics. If you notice a resident who is seemingly in pain or agitated a best practice would be to share this with your nurse or med tech, they will then reference their medication list to check if they have doctors orders for a PRN solution and administer as appropriate.
Knowing just a little bit about how we administer our residents medication can allow us to increase our quality of care. To rely solely on our medical staff to notice and recognize signs of medical distress would leave us in vulnerable positions when those staff members are not present. Share this information throughout our community and see how it brings our continuum of care full circle!