Administering medication safely is an important part of a caregiver. Before administering medicines, caregivers must understand the reasons the patient is given a particular medication and how and when to administer it. They must also be aware of any special dietary advice as well as any possible side effects of the prescribed medications. For instance, pain medications have sedative effects. Medications for blood pressure can cause seniors to become dizzy if they stand up quickly, leading to a fall.
Medications come in a wide variety of different forms and caregivers must be aware of all the forms and the right way to administer them. The common forms of medications include :
- eye drops/ear drops
- creams, gels, ointments
- liquids for injection or catheter administration.
Medication can also be administered by different methods and routes, such as orally or it can be applied topically to the skin, eyes, ears, by injection, or through a catheter inserted through the skin. Before medication administration, caregivers must always check MAR charts to confirm these details. If you want to know more on MAR chart medication and eMAR chart medication, here’s a useful read.
Here we discuss the common forms of medication and methods of administration:
Question 1: What should caregivers know about administering oral medication?
Answer: Administering oral medications is the most common method of administration. If the resident has to swallow the pill, you must offer water with the pill. If the resident has problems swallowing pills, do not crush pills to make them easier to swallow without consulting a doctor. When administering oral medications, stay with the resident to ensure that the medication has been swallowed. Also, there are some oral medications that have to be placed in the mouth but not swallowed.
Question 2: What should caregivers know about administering inhaled medication?
Answer: Residents are prescribed inhaled medications for respiratory conditions. The medications are administered via an inhaler or nebuliser. Caregivers must be aware of different types of inhalers – they should also know the correct way of using the type prescribed for the resident.
Question 3: What should caregivers know about administering topical skin medication?
Answer: Before administering topical medication, caregivers must ensure that the residents are comfortable and their privacy is adequately protected. The caregivers must wash and dry their hands and wear disposable gloves. They need to wash, rinse and dry the affected area. For sprays and lotions, shake the bottle and then apply as instructed by the doctor or according to the
instructions on the MAR sheets or electronic mar charts. Once the medication administration is over, they need to remove the disposable gloves, and wash and dry their hands.
Question 4: What should caregivers know about administering injected medication?
Answer: s. There are several different ways to inject medication, the common ways are subcutaneously ( Just below the surface of the skin) and intramuscularly ( within the muscle). The other ways are intradermal and intravenous. When administering injected medication, sterile technique must be used. Also, the caregiver must select the right site and right technique.
Question 5: What are some important steps that caregivers must follow before medication administration?
Answer: The caregiver must always:
- Check MAR chart or electronic MAR chart and confirm the medication name, dose, route, time and other important details
- Confirm the resident’s identity
- Check the expiry date of medication
- Check whether the medication is in good condition and not contaminated