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1. Gather equipment. Check each medication order against original physicians order according to agency policy. Clarify any inconsistencies. Check patients chart for allergies. 2. Know actions, special nursing consideration, and adverse effects of medications to be administered. 3. Perform proper hand hygiene. 4. Move medication cart outside patients room or prepare for administration in medication area. 5. Unlock medication cart or drawer. 6. Prepare medications for one patient at a time. 7. Select proper medication from drawer or stock and compare with Kardex or order. Check expiration dates and perform calculations if necessary. a. Place unit dose-package medications in a disposable cup. Do not open wrapper until at bedside. Keep narcotics and medications that require special nursing assessments in a separate container. b. When removing tablets or capsules from a bottle, pour the necessary number into bottle cap and then place tablets in a medications cup. Break only scored tablets, if necessary, to obtain proper dose. c. Hold liquid medication bottles with the label against palm. Use appropriate measuring device when pouring liquids and read the amount of medication at the bottom of the meniscus at eye level. Wipe bottle lip with a paper towel. 8. Recheck each medication package or preparation with the order as it is poured. 9. When all medications for one patient have been prepared, recheck once again with the medication order before taking them to patient. 10. Carefully transport medications to patients bedside. Keep medications in sight at all times. 11. See that patient receives medications at the correct time. 12. Identify the patient carefully. There are three correct ways to do this. a. Check name on patients identification bracelet.

b. Ask patient his or her name. c. Verify patients identification with a staff member who knows patient.

13. Complete necessary assessments before administration of medications. Check allergy bracelet or ask patient about allergies. Explain purpose and action of each medication to patient.

14. Assist patient to an upright or lateral position. 15. Administer medications. a. Offer water or other permitted fluids with pills, capsules, tablets, and some liquid medications.

b. Ask patients preference regarding medications to be taken by hand or in cup and one at a time or all at once. c. If capsule or tablet falls to the floor, discard it and administer a new one.

d. Record and fluid intake I-O measurement is ordered. 16. Remain with patient until each medication is swallowed unless nurse has been patient swallow drug, she or he cannot record drug as having been administered. 17. Perform hand hygiene. 18. Record each medication given on medication chart or record using required format. a. If drug was refused or omitted, record this in appropriate area on medication record.

b. Recording of administration of a narcotic may require additional documentation on a narcotic record stating drug count and other specific information. 19. Check on patient within 30 minutes of drug administration to verify response to medication.
Parenteral medications are drugs given through routes other than the alimentary or respiratory tract.


If patient needs fast and immediate drug therapeutic effect If oral or respiratory route is contraindicated If drug effects are optimal and effective in a parenteral route


Intradermal into the dermis Subcutaneous into a subcutaneous tissue Intramuscular into a muscle Intravenous into a vein

Less frequently used sites:

Intra-atrial Intracardiac Intraosseous Intrathecal/intraspinal Epidural Intra-articular

Administration: 1. Perform hand washing before anything else 2. Observe the Rights in Administering Medications 3. Check doctors orders

Prepare the medications (check expiration date and physical condition) and equipments Syringe (depends on the injection site and volume of medication to be administered) Needles (appropriate size depending on site/route; withdraw medication from a vial or ampule into a sterile syringe (have separate needles for withdrawal, aspiration and injection) Antiseptic/alcohol swab File Sterile gauze Vials o Vials have powdered medication which needs to be reconstituted, read the intended preparation in the medicine package o There are single dose and multi dose vials, for multi-dose vials, inspect for integrity o Mix the solution (as the package suggests) by rotating the vial between the palms o Remove protective cap or clean the rubber cap and disinfect o Withdraw the medication by initially injecting air equivalent to the volume of medication to be withdrawn, then invert the vial, ensure that the needle tip is below the fluid level and gradually withdraw the medication o Ampules (consists of premixed medications) Flick upper stem of the ampule several times File the neck of the ampule to start a clean break Disinfect and place a sterile gauze around the ampule neck and break off the top bending it towards you Withdraw the medication without touching the rim of the ampule Identify the patient properly and explain the medication to administer (clients knowledge of drug action and response) Locate site of injection (appearance and status), disinfect thereafter Administer medication o Intradermal Injection Explain that a small wheal (bleb) will be produced

Prepare the syringe (hold between thumb and forefinger, hold the needle almost parallel to the skin surface, bevel up) Pull the skin at the site (Common sites: inner lower arm, the upper chest, and the back beneath the scapulae) Insert the tip of the needle until the bevel is in place through the dermis Stabilize the syringe and inject the fluid until it creates a bleb Withdraw the needle, encircle the injection site with ink for observation Subcutaneous Injection Assess site (Common sites: outer aspect of the upper arm, and anterior aspects of the thighs) Prepare the syringe for administration (hold between thumb and finger, with palm facing to the side or upward for a 45 degree angle insertion or with the palm downward for a 90 degree angle insertion) Pinch the skin at site and insert the needle May or may not aspirate before injection, if blood appears, withdraw the needle, continue if otherwise) Inject with a firm steady push, withdraw needle afterwards, wipe the site with gauze Intramuscular Injection Select a site away from large blood vessels, nerves, and bone Pull the skin approximately 2.5 cm to the side Hold the syringe between thumb and forefinger, pierce the skin smoothly and quickly at a 90-degree angle and insert the needle into the muscle Hold the barrel of the syringe steady with non-dominant hand and aspirate (if blood appears, withdraw the needle, continue if otherwise) Withdraw the needle smoothly at the angle of the insertion Apply gentle pressure with gauze Intravenous injection IV Container Locate injection port, remove cover and disinfect Inject the medication in the port Withdraw needle Mix the medication and the solution in rotating motion Label (medication name, solution, date and nurses initial) Spike the bag with the tubing, hang and regulate Existing IV Infusion Determine if the remaining IV solution is sufficient for adding the medication Confirm the desired dilution of the medication Close the infusion clamp Disinfect the medication port, insert the syringe needle and inject the medication Gently rotate the bag or bottle and rehang. Open clamp and regulate Label thereafter IV Push

Check the IV site Locate the medicine port, disinfect with alcohol swab Stop the IV flow by closing the clamp or by simply pinching the tube above the port Connect the syringe to the IV system Aspirate a small amount of blood (checks for patent flow) Inject the medication (comply to the prescribed time of medication administration) After which, remove the syringe needle Discard the uncapped needle, dispose all equipments according to institution practice Wash hands Observe and assess for reactions/response to medication Document all relevant information (time of administration, name of drug, route, clients reaction) Assess effectiveness of the drug at the time it is expected to act