Your home, and you, have a duty of are to properly handle medication and to support your clients to take their medicines safely The majority of people living in care homes take some kind of medicine. Some will be administered by trained doctors and nurses. As a care worker you will need to be familiar with the medicines taken by your clients and you may even be trained to administer a number of them; you should be aware of issues concerning their control and must have knowledge of your home’s own policies and procedures.
As a career you are most likely to be administering medicines that are taken by mouth, inhaled or applied to the skin; you may also receive specific training to use suppositories and to carry out certain types of injection. Clients requiring medicines that cannot be administered by you should, unless they are clandestineness, be treated by doctors and / or nurses. This course is designed as an introduction to the care and administration of medicines.
It will make you think about the type of medicines used in your care home and the reasons for their use; it will also look at how they need to be controlled and administered. Medicines can be highly dangerous substances and as such must be carefully controlled. It is essential that only competent staff administer medications and that there are suitable in-house policies and procedures for the safe storage and use of all medicines in the home.
Staff administering medications must have received appropriate training that must include: Basic knowledge of how medicines are used and how to recognize and deal with problems in use The principles behind all aspects of the home’s policy on medicine handling and records Administration of medication must be carried out by a designated, appropriately trained member of staff and should be witnessed by a second designated, appropriately trained member of staff. 3 In essence the members of staff responsible for the administration of medication should have enough knowledge and experience to carry out the task safely and efficiently.
All staff must receive in-house training on policies and procedures relevant to their workplace. This may form part of the induction programmer and must be updated regularly. Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulation 13 Health and Social Care Act 2008 (regulated activities) Regulations 2010 (OUTCOME 9: Management of medicines) ‘The registered person must protect service users against the risks associated with appropriate arrangements for the obtaining, recording, handling, using, safekeeping, dispensing, safe administration and disposal of medicines used for the purposes of the regulated activity. Managers must: Make sure a person-centered approach is taken regarding medication Manage risk Follow relevant guidelines Promote rights and choices Support clients appropriately Ensure staff are competent Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure the safety of all staff and anyone who may be affected by work practices. Medications are hazardous substances therefore their use must be risk assessed and ape procedures should be implemented. Adequate training must also be available.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 Medicines can cause ill health if they are given in incorrect amounts, administered by the wrong method or given to the wrong person. Clients, staff and even visitors may be at risk. 4 Employers must: Ensure correct storage of medicines Provide information sheets about the hazards associated with each type of medicine Provide appropriate personal protective equipment e. G. Gloves Employees must: Handle medicines according to in-house policies Make themselves aware of associated hazards
Use personal protective equipment where provided Safe administration of medicines is a vital part of care homes’ responsibilities for their clients’ welfare. Both over and under medication can be signs of career abuse and willful or accidental neglect. Clients should receive appropriate medication whether they are self-administering or dependent on staff; you must also be able to account for all medication received in the home. You must be able to demonstrate that all medications have been stored, used and disposed of appropriately, failure to do so could result in investigation and, where accessory, prosecution.
Medicines are hazardous substances and may have a high value, in-house policies and procedures must protect against misuse, abuse, theft and accidental harm. As it is important for you to encourage your clients’ independence efforts should be made to support them in controlling their own medication. Decisions as to who is able to do this will be made Jointly between the client, their family, doctors and care staff; there should be ongoing monitoring of the situation to prevent clients suffering if they become more forgetful or fail to recognize the importance of taking their education.
It may be considered an invasion of privacy to check up on clients each time they are supposed to have taken medication. Monitoring should be discreet and appropriate. Clients who are able to self-administer must be provided with a lockable drawer or cupboard for safe storage of their medicines; in case of problems occurring there must be a fall back policy to allow care staff to access this drawer or cupboard with the client’s permission. Any clients who are mentally able to choose are free to buy their own remedies for minor ailments, they should be supported to do this and encouraged to discuss options with the pharmacist.
It is important that staff take care of the needs of other, less independent, clients when they suffer from complaints such as coughs, colds and headaches. The home may keep a stock of over the counter treatments from a list that has been compiled with the assistance of clients’ Gaps and the pharmacist, policies must exist for their safe administration and there should be procedures in place for recording their receipt, storage and use. 5 Complementary or alternative treatments may only be used with the informed consent of the client or a person authorized to speak on their behalf.
Advice should be sought from the pharmacist regarding the possibility of reactions between these remedies and any prescription medicines being taken. Some personal control over medication is better than none at all, so for example if a client suffering from arthritis still be retained in the client’s own room. A client may be able to apply creams but decide to let staff administer tablets etc. Clients who become forgetful or lack understanding may be given 24 hours medication in a compliance aid. 6 Unit One Questions 1 . Give two examples of hazards associated with medicines. 2. 2.
If you are going to administer medication what training should you have received? 3. What does self-administration mean? 4. In your opinion why is it important to encourage and support solidification’s? 5. Who is responsible for the administration of medication in your workplace? 7 Unit Two What are Medicines? Dictionary Definitions: Medicine – 1 . Any substance used to treat or prevent disease or illness, esp.. Taken internally. 2. The science or practice of treating or preventing illness esp.. Using prepared substances rather than surgery. (esp.. Illegally) for its affect on the mind 3. Anything craved for There are more than ,000 substances that can be classed as medicines; the definition of medicine as something that can treat or prevent disease may be applied to prescription drugs, over the counter remedies, herbal preparations, vitamin and mineral supplements and even foods. Think about the sort of things that you use for medicinal purposes; how do you deal with headaches, what if you’re feeling a bit down? Do you take anything to keep you healthy? Do you use anything that might be considered ‘alternative’ such as herbal remedies? How do you know that the medicines which you use are safe?
Development of Medicines Originally all medicines came from natural, mainly plant, sources; today with advances in science and technology conventional medicines are a mixture of refined plant sources and chemical compounds. Chemists are constantly trying to create new substances that will be more effective in treating and preventing illness. Below are some examples of medicines derived from natural sources with comments concerning their use and potential problems : 8 Aspirin made from willow bark and used for pain relief, as an nondiscriminatory, to reduce temperature and to lower blood pressure.
Aspirin thins the blood and can cause stomach ulcers. Morphine made from poppies it is used for pain relief and sleep induction. Morphine is highly addictive and may cause serious breathing problems. SST John’s Worth used for a variety of reasons including as an anti-depressant it can cause diarrhea, may turn skin yellow and has been Temptation a cancer treatment made from yew tree clippings. Penicillin a type of mould used as an antibiotic that can cause serious allergic reactions.
As the above list shows ‘natural’ remedies are no less effective than chemical compounds nor are they any safer. As new medicines are developed they are rigorously tested often over a period of six o ten years, if shown to be medically effective and safe to use the Committee on Safety of Medicines (SCM) will approve them for marketing. Classes of Medicine While some medicines can only be obtained from a pharmacist, others are more readily available. Care must be taken with all medicines but some are more strictly controlled than others. SSL – General Sales List – these medicines can be purchased in all kinds of places including grocery stores and garages. These products are unlikely to cause harm if taken according to instructions but their quantity may be limited as, for example, appends with painkillers (e. G. Paramedical) which are sold in boxes of 12 with restrictions on the number of boxes that can be bought. P – Pharmacy medicines – also known as over the counter (ETC); these may only be sold in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist.
The pharmacist, or staff, will check the suitability of the medication by asking questions about the patient, their health problem and any other medicines they may be taking. POMP – Prescription Only Medicines – medicines that are dispensed by a pharmacy in accordance with a prescription written by a doctor, dentist or specially qualified nurse. CDC – Controlled Drugs – prescription only medicines which have certain properties, such as addictiveness, which mean that stricter controls are necessary. How do Medicines Work?
Even with today’s increased knowledge scientists are still unable to say exactly how all drugs work, however, loosely speaking effects can be split into three main categories; those that replace chemical deficiencies, those that interfere with cell function and others that act against invading organisms and abnormal cells. 9 1 . Replacement of chemical deficiencies vitamin injections insulin hormone replacement When the body cannot properly produce its own chemical requirements they may be given artificially.
The downside of this approach is that artificial supplements may reduce the body chances of producing its own in the future and in cases such as the use of vitamin tablets and injections the effects may not be as beneficial as if they were achieved through a healthy diet. 2. Interfering with cell function Examples: painkillers These types of medication either block the action of hormones or slow them or, alternatively, they block the transmission of messages through the nervous system.
As the action of these medicines cannot be confined to one area of the body they may have unwanted side effects, for example some painkillers can slow the heart rate. Also medicine may mask a problem that requires alternative treatment, pain may be present for a reason and blocking it with tablets may lead to further damage being done. For this reason if problems persist consult the client’s GAP. 3. Acting against invading organisms and abnormal cells fungal infection treatments cancer treatments antibiotics Medicines that are designed to attack and destroy abnormalities may have an effect on normal cells as well.
If treatments are used in the wrong way, for example if antibiotics are used for viral infection, they will have no benefit and will be less effective in future. Methods of Administration The majority of medicines must be absorbed into the blood stream in order for them to reach the site where their effects are needed. The method of administering a drug determines the route it takes to get into the bloodstream and the speed at which it is absorbed into the blood. Different forms of medicine include: 10 Tablets Capsules Liquids Suppositories Ear / nose / eye drops Peccaries Injections Creams / ointments / lotions
Inhalers / unbelievers Patches Administration by Mouth This is the most common method of drug administration. Most of the medicines given by mouth are absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the intestine. The speed at which the drug is absorbed and the amount of active drug that is available for use depends on several factors, including the form in which the drug is given; I. E. As a tablet or a liquid and whether it is taken with food or on an empty stomach, if taken on the latter it may act more quickly. In Mouth Administration Products are available that are placed in the mouth but not swallowed.
They are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth, which has a rich supply of blood vessels. Insoluble medicines, taken by mouth, are also an example of this. These pass through the stomach and intestine without being absorbed, their effects are limited to the digestive tract. Rectal Administration Medicines intended to have a systemic effect may be given in the form of suppositories inserted into the rectum; from where they are absorbed into the bloodstream. This method may be used to give medicines that might be destroyed by the stomach’s digestive Juices.
It is also used to administer medicines to people who cannot take medication by mouth, for example those suffering from nausea and vomiting. Medicines may also be given rectally for local effect, as suppositories (for the relief of hemorrhoids) or as enemas (ulcerative colitis). Administration by Injection Medicines may be injected into the body to produce a systemic effect and one reason for injecting medicines is the rapid response that occurs. Other circumstances that call for injections are when there’s intolerance to the medicine when taken by mouth.