Medicines management: Should I sign for medicines before I witness the patient taking them?
As the registered nurse preparing medicines, you are ultimately responsible for making sure the patient takes them. If you delegate this task, make sure you have a system in place in which someone witnesses the patient take the medication so that doses are not omitted, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths
Ward drug rounds can be time-consuming, and patients on multiple medications can take a while to ingest their medicines.
If you prepare the medicines at the drugs trolley and then delegate the task of witnessing the patient take them, you may not actually see them being administered.
Signing for medicines before they have been ingested by the patient can cause problems – it may look as though they have been administered but they can sometimes remain on the patient’s locker or bedside table, and are in fact omitted doses....
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