Medication Safety Guide for CNA’s

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, it is your duty to assist not only the patients but the nurses as well. You cannot do anything unless you are under the supervision of a nurse or a licensed practical nurse. This is due to the fact that a Nursing Aide has a lesser training than a nurse or the LPN. They are considered to be a first-entry level in the Nursing Profession and that they are only qualified to do basic tasks. However, this does not mean that they are not considered to be responsible on the tasks that were assigned to them. No matter how they need to be supervised, they still need to be accountable on everything that they do. After all, on this job, they are dealing with lives and so, it is only important that everyone on the healthcare team should be responsible in everything that they do. A nursing aide might think that they are only responsible on giving patients their medications on time and just that it. This specific task, however, calls for a much cautious and safe approach.

How do you then ensure medication safety?

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you could not just give medications anytime we want. You only get to do this once the nurse had assigned you to do it and you cannot give just any medications because there is only a limited kind of medications that are part of your scope. In giving medications, you have to remember the five rights on giving medications.

These five rights are:

  • The Right Medication

You need to double check the doctor’s order as well as the prescription sheet to see if it is the right medication. You also need to check the name of the medications twice and if possible, let the nurse check it with you.

  • The Right patient

Do not be contented to just check the Id Band of the patient to check his identity. Also ask the patient himself for his complete name or if he is not able to, ask his family. In this way, you are sure that you are giving the right medication to the right patient.

  • The Right Route

Study first the exact way of giving that certain drug to the patient. If you are not sure, ask your nurse to show you.

  • The Right Dosage

Always make sure that you are giving the right dosage by using the right measuring instrument. Do not just assume that it is the right dosage. If you are not, then again, have your nurse check it with you.

  • The Right Time

Always make sure that you give the medication to your patient on time. Do not delay it or give it way ahead of time.

Also make sure that you document it right after you give them. This is a way for the other member of the health team to know if that certain medication has already been given or not. Also, never fail to check if your patient develops adverse reaction and be able to counteract it on time. It was never a waste of time in doing all of this, if this means assuring the safety of your patient.

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