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Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #32

To ensure accurate and proper “med pass,” the nurse must adhere to the Ten Rights of Medication Administration.  The sixth right, the right assessment requires a competent nurse with the knowledge, judgment and skill to accurately assess the resident.  Nurses are taught guidelines for monitoring the resident before, during and after administrating prescribed medications. They may need to gather data and assess specific functions likely to be affected by medication prescribed.  A physical assessment, including vital signs is often a necessary part of the assessment.  The nurse must also identify conditions or interactions that may preclude a specific drug.  The nursing assessment will aid all members of the health care team to determine what type of drug therapy is best for the resident.  These steps must be followed to ensure that safe administration is accompanied by the right assessment. This is basic training, usually taught to nursing students before they ever actually pass medication to residents. If there is any doubt about a medication that a nurse gives to your loved one, ask the nurse to confirm if it is the correct medication and/or if it was actually ordered.