Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #33

To ensure accurate and proper “med pass,” the nurse must adhere to the Ten Rights of Medication Administration. The seventh right, the right education requires a knowledgeable nurse to provide the resident and/or family with information that is easily understandable. Instructions must be tailored to the needs, awareness and learning ability of the resident/family. Education begins with teaching why the medication is given, what to expect, what to watch for and what the resident should or could do to enhance the therapeutic response when taking the med. Nurses may refer to drug handbooks for a quick reference of facts. Teaching the resident/ family to recognize potential side effects, avoiding possible dangerous situations and recognizing and/or preventing problems may help to decrease anxiety. Details are reinforced to achieve understanding and compliancy. These steps must be followed to ensure that safe administration is accompanied by the right education. 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.