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11.1 Rights of Medication Administration

Nurses play a critical role in ensuring safe medication administration. Prior to medication administration, nurses must review medication orders to ensure accuracy, prevent transcription errors, and clarify any questions related to the medication order with the provider. During medication administration, ensuring the “rights” of medication administration are confirmed at three key checkpoints will reduce the potential for a medication error to occur. Following medication administration, nurses ensure patient safety by monitoring the patient for adverse reactions and reporting any unexpected reactions to the provider.

11.2 Dosing

Medication dosing typically utilizes three systems of measurement: the metric system, household system, and apothecary system. Of the three systems of measurement, the metric system provides the most accurate dose calculations. The nurse must be confident in their ability to calculate drug dosages to be able to verify and safely administer medications. Drug calculations may be performed using a variety of methods, including dimensional analysis, formula method, or ratio proportion method. Calculations may require consideration of additional factors, such as converting systems of measurement, weight-based dosing, and serum-based dosing. Utilizing the nursing process, the nurse may systematically calculate accurate drug dosages.

11.3 Documentation of Medication Administration

Nurses play a critical role in ensuring accurate and timely documentation of medication administration. It is important for the nurse to use only approved abbreviations, document medications immediately after they are administered, and evaluate medication effectiveness. Any errors in documentation should be corrected as soon as they are noted. Accurate documentation is also required for all actions taken by the nurse if a patient refuses a medication. Administration of any medication is documented in the MAR, which provides a comprehensive list of medications and serves as a communication tool for the interdisciplinary team. Ensuring the administration process is documented accurately and timely is essential in capturing that quality care was provided.

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