Nursing Fundamentals Vol 2: Chapter 23
Administering Oral Medications
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. What would you like to do?
What equipment will you need in order to administer an oral medication?
- 1) Desired liquid for swallowing medications
- 2) Disposable medication cup
- 3) Drining straw, if needed
- 4) Procedure gloves, if you will need to place the tablet in the patient's mouth
- 5) For enterically administered medications
- a. water (for diluting and flushing the tube the feeding tube)
- b. 60 mL catheter tip syringe
- c. clean gloves
- 6) Sterthoscope
To whom can the job of administering oral medications be delegated to?
an LPN/LVN, depending on the medication, but notot to a NAP except under special policies and situations.
What preprocedure assessments must be completed prior to the administration of oral medication?
- 1. Assess the patient's condition to determine whether there are contraindications to oral medication or to the specific medication.
- 2. Check fluid needs and restrictions.
- 3. For enteral medications, check that the NG tube is in the stomach and is patent.
In assessing a patient prior to administration of an oral medication, you discover that she is NPO. What should you do?
Check with the prescriber to determine whether the medication should be given by another routwe or can be given with small sips of water.
What practices should you observe when preparing oral tablets or capsules for administration? (5)
- 1. if you are pouring from a multidose container, do not touch the medication. Pour the tablet into the cap of the bottle, then into the medication cup.
- 2. If the medication if unit-dose, do not oen the package. Place the entire unit dose package into the cup.
- 3. Many instituitions allow combining all tablets or oral caplets scheduled for the same time for the same patient into the same cup (unless the medication requires preadministration assessment).
- 4. Scored tablets may be broken with a knife or pill cutter if necessary.
- 5. If a patient has difficulty swallowing, check to see if the pill can be crushed. Crush the pill and mix it with a small amount of soft food, such as applesauce or pudding.
True or false: If agency protocol permits, it is okay to dispense all oral tablets and capsules from a single container, including those that require preadministration assessment.
- Medications requiring preadministration assessment should be in a separate cup nonetheless.
In performing an assessment prior to medication administration, you find that the patient that has been prescribed a tablet has difficulty swallowing. The drug guide says this pill can be crushed. It comes in a unit dose package. How should you proceed?
Use a mortar and pestle to grind up the pill while it is still inside the package. Mix the ground pill with a small amount of soft food, such as pudding or applesauce.
What types of pills should not be crushed?
- enteric-coated tablets
- sustained-release formulas
Why shouldn't sustained release formulas be crushed?
Crushing such a medication may alter its effectiveness or result in an overdose due to rapid absorption.
What practices should you observe when preparing liquid oral medications for administration?
- 1. Check to see whether you must shake the liquid before opening the container.
- 2. Remove the bottle cap and place it flat side down on the cart or counter.
- 3. Hold the bottle with the label in the palm of your hand.
- 4. Hold or place the plastic medication cup at eye level pour the desired amount of medication intothe cup.
- 5. Read the dose at the lowest part of the concave surface (meniscus).
- 6.When you are finished pouring the medication, slightly twist the bottle to prevent the medication from dripping down the lip of the bottle. If the medication does drip down the lip, wipe the the lip with a tissue or paper towel.
In what position should the patient be in when being administered oral medications if at all possible?
Fowler's position (sitting upright)
If medication is given via lozenge, it is absorbed through the _____. What instructions should you give the patient taking medication this way?
- oral mucosa
- do not chew or swallow the lozenge whole; medications contained in lozenges are generally inactivated by stomach acid.
Sublingual medications are absorbed ____ (rapidly/slowly) through the ______. Explain why.
- Oral mucosa
- The area under the tongue is very vascular, so sublingual medications act very quickly.
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