The Heart of Nursing Medication Administration.

There are Five Rights of Medication Administration that they make us memorize in nursing school and recite on the clinical floor as we're preparing to dispense meds to clients. They are:

1. Right Drug
2. Right Dose
3. Right Route
4. Right Time
5. Right Patient

Generally speaking, an error in administration is due to a violation of one of these Rules (Rights). Some further clarification follows.

1. Nurses (and clients!) should also perform at least "Three Checks" to ensure the proper medication is being administered:
- Check/Compare the label on the bottle with the drug order/prescription when you are removing it from the shelf. Look at the trade and generic names, and the NDC number.
- Double check the bottle label before/after setting aside the proper dose.
- Triple check the bottle label with the drug order/prescription before administration when you put the bottle away/aside.

2. Right Dose: Re-check any dosage calculations, and verify with physician if the order is illegible or incomplete. Administering the wrong dose can have fatal consequences. Verify with the physician if the dose seems out of the ordinary, as well. A nurse can be held liable even if the physician's order was wrong.

3. Right Route: For example, administering Insulin intravenously instead of subcutaneously could send a diabetic into shock or a coma due to excessively fast absorption. Also, if the client isn't supposed to have anything by mouth but the drug order states PO, you should consult the physician.

4. Right Time: Some medication blood serum levels must be maintained at a therapeutic dose. Delayed administration of medication could compromise the effectiveness of the drug therapy.

5. Verifying a client's identity by checking their ID bracelet while asking them to state their name would prevent the Right Drug from being administered to the Wrong Patient.

6. There is a sixth Right that hasn't made it into all of the textbooks yet but is usually mentioned and is just as important, if not moreso: Right Documentation. Accurate documentation of medication administration times, and client response and refusals is essential for continuity of care between providers, and for the obvious need of legal records.

It is also essential that the nurse not administer medication and investigate if there is a doubt in his/her mind as to whether everything is good to go.

Diligence in using these checklists is vital to reduce the likelihood of human error interfering with client pharmacological therapy.

(Source: Any Nursing textbook or Medical Dosage Caculations textbook.)

(Insert public service metanode listing of medications and medication topics here, and as self-preparation for med-surg - Contributions welcome!)

Medication Metanode

Drug Classifications
conjugated estrogens

Specific Drugs
Lithium carbonate

Pharmacology and Medication Mechanisms
Proton pump inhibitor
Clinical Therapy in Breastfeeding Patients zooprophylaxis

Non-Pharmacological Methods of Coping with Pain, Anxiety, and other Disorders
Deep muscle relaxation

Drug Warnings and Side Effects
the dangers of antibacterials
Thorazine shuffle

Saving money on prescription drugs

Med`i*ca"tion (?), [L. medicatio: cf. F. m'edication.]

The act or process of medicating.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.