And the Nursing Process

Anyone who has spent a few nights in a hospital bed remembers being awakened from a sound sleep by a nurse saying, "Time to take your medication." Try as you might to ignore the request you can't win. The voice simply becomes more insistent until you have no choice but to open your eyes.

Patients are also awakened sometimes so the nurse can check vital signs. This is to determine if the medication is having an effect or if the patient is experiencing an undesirable side effect. In cases where the patient is being treated with a narrow spectrum antibiotic, blood may be drawn to determine if the antibiotic is working on the infection.

Administering medication, evaluating the patient's response, and determining if the drug is working as planned are pharmacology activities that are part of the nursing process. You were introduced to pharmacology in previous chapters. This chapter takes a look at the nursing process as it relates to giving medications.

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