Preparing The Medication

Once the nurse is assured that the medication can be administered properly to the patient, the nurse can administer it by following these steps:

1. Wash hands. This is the best way to prevent infection.

2. Prepare medication that you are going to give at this time. Don't prepare all medications at once. It is possible that someone else may have to administer the other medications. Nurses should NEVER give medication that someone else has prepared.

3. Prepare medications in a quiet area so you are not interrupted.

4. Double check your math when calculating doses. Have a colleague verify your calculations if necessary.

5. Make sure that all of the patient's medications that will be administered during the shift are in the patient's medication drawer. Compare the contents of the patient's medication drawer against the MAR. The medication and dose in the drawer should match the MAR.

6. Compare the medication with that listed on the MAR. Sometimes the pharmacy substitutes a generic drug for a brand name drug. Always look up the medication in the drug manual if you do not recognize the name of the drug.

7. Check the name of the medication three times: 1) when you remove it from the drawer; 2) when you prepare the medication; and 3) before returning the medication to the drawer or disposing of the wrapper or container. If the medication is wrapped, then bring the wrapper with you to the patient's room and check the wrapper again before administering the medication to the patient.

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