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A photograph of various medications is shown. The medications include packets of pills, bottles of capsules, nose sprays, jars of topical creams, and syringes.
Figure 12.1 Medication administration requires competent and efficient nursing skills. (credit: “Set of different Drugs, pills, drugs and syringes on a white background” by “Marco”/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Medication administration is a key function of the nurse. Nurses spend a large portion of their time administering medications. Therefore, the five “rights” of medication administration have been expanded to the eight “rights.” Nurses have the responsibility for ensuring the right medication is properly prepared in the right dose and administered at the right time, via the right route, and to the right patient. The three additional medication administration “rights” are for the right reason, using the right documentation, and observing the right response (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2024). As the final checkpoint in the medication process prior to administration, the nurse plays a critical role in ensuring patient safety.

Not only must the nurse administer the right dose of medication to the right patient, via the right route, at the right time, but the nurse must also ensure the appropriate medication administration procedures are in place. As such, the nurse must have demonstrated competency in administering medications via each individual route. Within this chapter, you will learn how to administer oral and parenteral medications. This chapter will explore the variety of routes in which these medications can be administered, common medication preparations for each route, necessary equipment for preparing and administering medications, special techniques for preparation, as well as the appropriate procedures for administering medications via the different oral and parenteral routes. This knowledge will prepare you to be able to safely, and confidently, administer oral and parenteral medications.


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