Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #27

To ensure an accurate and proper “med pass,” the nurse must adhere to the ten rights of medication administration. The first right, the right patient seems easy enough, yet residents in nursing homes have frequently been given medications meant for someone else, for example, their roommate. The nurse needs to be absolutely sure that he/she is administering medication to the right patient. Usually two or more residents share one room in a nursing home. Identifying the right patient may be accomplished by several ways. The nurse may ask the resident what their name is, if they are able to respond appropriately. Another way to ensure proper identification would include checking the name bracelet. Some facilities take photographs of each resident and place them in the Medication Administration Record, available for comparison each time a medication is administered. The medication should be prepared for one individual at a time and given as soon as it is prepared. The beds in a semi private room may be differentiated in several ways, i.e.: Bed A or B; Bed 1 or 2; or W for the bed next to the window and B for the bed next to the bathroom; however, it is extremely risky to administer medications to a resident, simply based on the room number and bed they may be assigned. These steps must be followed to ensure safe administration of the right patient. 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.