Misconceptions about medicines are becoming increasingly common, especially with so many different online sources offering information that can be confusing. However, if you are running a healthcare setup such as a care home or a nursing home, it is important to ensure that the caregiving staff has the correct information. Knowing the facts and avoiding the myths will help your caregiving staff keep residents safe and healthy.
We have curated some common myths about medication and the facts behind them:
Myth 1: Residents are feeling ok and thus medication can be stopped.
Just because a resident is feeling better doesn’t mean that the caregiving staff can discontinue medication without consulting the GP. Stopping medication abruptly can affect the effectiveness of the treatment sought and the medical condition may relapse.
Myth 2: GP doesn’t need to know about vitamins and supplements
Even though vitamins and supplements do not need a prescription, they still can interfere with prescription medications. In some cases, vitamins and supplements can increase the side effects of prescription medications or interfere with the intended therapeutic effect of a drug. The caregiving staff should maintain a record of all vitamins and supplements that residents are taking.
Myth 3: No need to consult a doctor for over-the-counter medications
If a resident is having congestion or a headache, it’s not okay for the caregivers to give an over-the-counter medication without talking to the doctor. Many over-the-counter medications such as cold and cough medications or pain relievers contain chemicals that may interfere with medications for ailments such as blood pressure and diabetes. Consulting the doctor is the best practice before giving residents any new medication.
Myth 4: Natural supplements are a safe choice
Natural supplements can sometimes be dangerous when taken with prescription and nonprescription medications. Caregiving staff should always make it a point to only administer medications that have been prescribed by the doctor. If a resident is interested in taking natural supplements, make sure that they talk to a doctor before.
Myth 5: Medications can be taken safely with any liquid
Caregiving staff should read instructions on medication administration carefully. Some liquids such as juices can adversely affect the absorption of drugs, particularly those prescribed for medical conditions such as blood pressure or heart ailments. If a resident finds it difficult to take the medication with water, it is important to consult a doctor and find out whether certain medication can be taken with juice or any other liquid.
Myth 6: Prescription for the same ailment can be given to different residents
Administering a medication that is not prescribed to a resident compromises patient safety. Doctors prescribe medications based on an individual’s medical needs, age, existing medical conditions, and other prescriptions. Two residents can suffer from the same ailment but they can be prescribed different medications or the same medication in different dosages. Caregiving staff should never give medicines on their own without consulting the doctor.
About eMAR systems – Electronic medication administration records
To help your caregiving staff administer medicines accurately and maintain clinical records, switch to eMAR systems from paper-based MAR charts. The software ensures that no dosage is missed. As the electronic MAR chart templates are easy to update, they help caregiving staff save time and spend more time in offering person-centered care. To know other benefits of shifting to eMAR, read this useful guide.