Basics of Medication

Not only is it important for med-aides and med-techs is to learn the requirements for assisting residents with self administration of medication, but equally importance is to learn about potential adverse reactions/unusual behaviors that medications can cause.Common questions that caregivers need to ask as part of good medication management.

What is this medication called?
Why does the resident have to take it?
How many times a day should the medication be taken?
At what time should it be taken?
Should this medication be taken with food or a certain amount of time or after meals (on an empty stomach)?
Are there any foods or drinks to avoid with the medication?
If the medication is prescribed “as needed,” how will I know when to give it?
What side effects are common?
What should I do if they occur?
When should my resident stop taking the medication?
Does insurance cover the cost?
Is the drug readily available?
How should I dispose of unused medications?
What can a med-aide/med-tech do and not do in a residential care setting:
Can do:

Assist with the self administration of oral and liquid medications.
Assist with ear, nose, and eye drops.
Assist with inhalers.
Assist with topical and trans-dermal patches.
Assist with taking blood pressure as long as it is not to determine if the resident has to take medication.
Cannot do:

Force any resident to take their medication.
Conceal or camouflage medications when giving to a residents.
Insert suppositories or enemas.
Cannot draw up medications in a syringe.
Cannot give injections.

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