Many times drugs are not administered by the nurse but in the home setting by the patient or family members serving as caregivers. When this is the case, it is important that the patient or caregivers understand the treatment regimen and are given an opportunity to ask questions concerning the drug therapy, such as why the drug was prescribed, how to administer the drug, and adverse reactions of the drug (see Chap. 5 for information concerning patient and family education). The Home Care Checklist: Administering Drugs Safely in the Home gives some guidelines to follow when drugs are administered in the home by the patient or caregiver, rather than by the nurse.
• Critical Thinking Exercises
1. Ms. Benson, a nurse on your clinical unit, tells you that the head nurse is upset with her because she has not been recording the administration of narcotics immediately after they are given. Discuss the rationales you could give to Ms. Benson to stress the importance of recording the administration of narcotics immediately after they are given.
2. A nurse is to give an SC injection of heparin to a patient. Determine what information the nurse needs to know about the patient before preparing the injection. Discuss how this information would affect the preparation of the injection and the technique used to give the SC injection.
3. After administering a drug to a patient you find that the incorrect dosage was given. The dose that you administered was two times the correct dosage. Analyze what action, if any, you would take.
4. Discuss why the sixth right, right documentation, is important in drug administration.
5. Discuss the importance in participating in the MedWatch programs and the Medication Errors Reporting Program.
• Review Questions
1. The nurse correctly administers an intramuscular injection by_.
A. displacing the skin to the side before making the injection
B. using a 1-inch needle
C. inserting the needle at a 90-degree angle
D. using a 25-gauge needle
2. When preparing a drug for SC administration, the nurse is aware that the usual volume of a drug injected by the SC route is .
3. The nurse explains to the patient receiving an IV injection that the action of the drug occurs .
A. in 5 to 10 minutes
B. in 15 to 20 minutes
C. within 30 minutes
D. almost immediately
4. When administering a drug the nurse .
A. checks the drug label two times before administration
B. is alert for any drugs with a similar name
C. may administer a drug prepared by another nurse
D. may crush any tablet that the patient is unable to swallow
5. When monitoring a patient with an IV, the nurse observes the area around the needle insertion site is swollen and red. The first action of the nurse is to
A. check the patient's blood pressure and pulse
B. check further for possible extravasation
C. ask the patient if the IV site has been accidentally injured
D. immediately notify the primary health care provider chapter
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