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The 5 Rights of Medication Administration (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:01 Hi, and welcome to this video, where we're going to talk about the nurse's responsibility and how to safely give medications to your patients.

    00:09 Ready? All right.

    00:11 So, what are the 5 rights of medications? If you haven't heard that terminology before, these are really important, because if you follow each one of these 5 rights of medication, you will never make a medical error.

    00:24 So, I know when I've had to review charts and look at medication errors, one of these 5 rights was not followed.

    00:30 So it's really important when you're learning to be a nurse that you commit to yourself that you'll never take a shortcut, that you'll follow each and every one of these 5 rights of medication.

    00:41 So let's take a look at what these are.

    00:43 First of all, you want to make sure, before you give the medication, that you have the right drug.

    00:48 Next, it's for the right patient, you have the right dose, you're giving it by the right route, and you're giving it at the right time.

    00:58 Now, all of this information will be included in the physician's order or the healthcare provider's order.

    01:03 So you would be surprised at how many drugs sound very similar or are packaged very similar to another medication.

    01:11 So you want to be very careful that you always make sure to read the label on the vial, on the bottle, or the caplet before you give the medication to make sure that you have the correct drug.

    01:22 I can remember when I was a brand new nurse, I was supposed to give IV Lasix, and someone had inadvertently replaced that with a bottle of IV nitroglycerin.

    01:32 I could have caused significant harm to my patient if I had pushed that medication IV.

    01:37 So don't just assume.

    01:39 Always take particular care to make sure you read the label.

    01:43 Next, right patient.

    01:45 When you go into the patient's room, you want to ask them for all their medical identifiers. You're going to want to ask them their name and their birthday, just to be sure that you've identified that patient as the correct patient to receive the medication.

    01:59 Now, dosage. Sometimes, things change.

    02:01 You want to make sure that the dose that you're giving is appropriate for that medication and for that patient.

    02:07 Right route. Remember, that impacts how much drug gets to the site.

    02:11 So you would never want to give an oral dose IV.

    02:15 And timing. Sometimes this can be pretty tricky in the hospital because you're seeing multiple patients, you're giving medications to multiple patients.

    02:23 It becomes very complex to keep everything on time.

    02:27 But you want to make sure that you're giving that medication at the appropriate time in order to keep it as safe for the patient.

    02:32 So those are the 5 big ones: right drug, right patient, right dose, right route, and right time.

    02:40 And I promise, if you make sure that you don't shortcut any one of those steps, you'll always be on your way to giving medications safely.

    02:48 Now, there's some other things that people keep adding to the 5 rights, and they're actually really helpful. So I wanted to talk about them so you have an idea of what those are.

    02:56 First of all, right documentation.

    02:59 If it's a medication that has a certain side effect or adverse effect, I would want to make sure, in my documentation, that I included that the patient either had signs of that, or did not have signs of that adverse effect.

    03:11 You want to make sure that you do the appropriate assessment.

    03:13 And as we learned through the different drug categories and families, I'll help you understand what are the most important assessments to do.

    03:20 You want to evaluate how that patient is responding to that medication.

    03:26 Now, the patient always has a right to education, and lastly, they have a right to refuse the medication.

    03:32 Now that might seem kind of odd, but remember, it's a therapeutic relationship that the nurse has with the patient.

    03:38 And no matter how much we think a patient needs a medication, they always have the right to refuse.

    03:44 You want it to be informed consent. You want them to understand, be educated as to what the medication is, and why they're taking it.

    03:52 But always know that they have the right to refuse any medication.

    03:57 Okay. So, every nurse should know the 5 rights for the medication because we're the last line of defense for the patient.

    04:06 I could share several stories with you of things that nurses caught at the bedside because we're a critically important part of the team.

    04:14 We are the person that gives the medication to the patient.

    04:17 So it's our job and our responsibility, as patient advocates, to make sure that we've thought through all the potential risks for this particular patient.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture The 5 Rights of Medication Administration (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Pharmacology and Implications for Nursing.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Route
    2. Chart
    3. IV access
    4. Rate
    1. Name and date of birth
    2. Room number
    3. Medical record number
    4. Social security number

    Author of lecture The 5 Rights of Medication Administration (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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