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Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #35

To ensure accurate and proper “med pass,” the nurse must adhere to the Ten Rights of Medication Administration. The ninth right, the right evaluation requires an observant nurse to recognize the resident’s response to medication and if the desired outcome of the drug therapy was achieved. The nurse needs to be aware of the residents base line (a normal background level that can be used as a reference point) to compare the initial condition against future measurements. The nurse needs to be aware that side effects may develop as a result of the drug therapy, how the drug is affecting the resident and also be prepared with appropriate nursing interventions, if needed. Severe adverse effects usually require changes in the dose or discontinuation of the medication. Evaluating, reporting and documenting both therapeutic and adverse reactions to drugs provide critical and essential information that influence further drug therapy, or signal the need to reduce or discontinue therapy. The nursing evaluation should be specifically tailored to measure the resident’s response to drug therapy and the resolution of specific symptoms in order to facilitate this process. The resident’s safety should be ensured when receiving drug therapy. These steps must be followed to ensure safe administration of the right evaluation. 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.