Preparing Medications For Patients

A nurse often has the responsibility of preparing medications for patients. This process should only begin once the nurse has determined that the prescribed medication can be safely administered to the patient. There are specific procedures that a nurse should follow when preparing a medication for a patient.

1. The nurse should first wash his or her hands to prevent the spread of infection to the patient. 1. A nurse should only prepare medications that he or she will be able to personally administer to the patient. Medications should not be prepared all at once because it is likely that a different nurse may have to administer the other medications to the patient. Nurses should only administer medications that have been personally prepared for the patient. 2. Medications should be prepared in a quiet area away from distraction. It is important the the correct dosage is administered. Distraction can increase the chance for improperly dosed medications to be administered. 3. Always double check the math when calculating doses so that mistakes aren't made. Ideally, a colleague can verify calculations if there is any concern. 4. The medications that will be given to a patient that day should be stored in the patient's medication drawer. A medication administration record (MAR) should match the medications and dosage amounts that will be administered to the patient. 5. The drugs listed on the MAR should be the same unless generic drugs are substituted in the name brand drug's place. A drug manual can clarify any questions about drug names and uses. 6. The name of the medication should be verified at least three times before it is administered to the patient. 1) when it is removed from the medication drawer; 2) when it is prepared for the patient; 3) before the medication is administered to the patient.

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