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Medication policies are specific to the place of work and planned in detail. You should ensure that you know the policies of any place you work at and do not assume anything, as each workplace may be different.  Items in the medication policy will include items like:

  • Receipt of medications
  • Storage of medications
  • Disposal of medications
  • Returns of medications
  • Medication tracking
  • Consent
  • Errors 
  • Relevant documents

We are now going to look at medication policy. This will be specific to your workplace setting but will include receipt and storage of medicines, actual administration, disposal and returns of medication, medication tracking, obtaining consent, and dealing with errors, and relevant documentation to complete. There are various medication administration systems. We have our blister packs which are generally what you'll receive from the pharmacy, this will have all the medications in separate compartments and will also list on the other side exactly what the medication is, the dosage to be given, and when it's to be given, how many times, and it will have your patient's name on it. Other systems you may see include your dosette boxes or compartment systems. These we would not administer medication from. As you can see, there's no name on it, there's no type of medication, and we don't actually know what has been put in each compartment. So we cannot give medication if we don't know what we're giving.

Another system, quite similar. Again, we don't know what medication is in here, who it's for, what it is. These types of systems are generally used for people at home that put their medication in at the beginning of the week. Just to talk a little bit more about the blister packs because these are the ones that you would generally be dealing with. They are listed at the top morning, noon, evening and night and the day is down the side. It will say on the left, they will be printed labels with all the information. So, you need to make sure that the amount of tablets in each compartment matches the labels on the left. So, if there are three tablets for the morning, then obviously there should be three tablets in the left-hand compartment. There's less chance of error with this system.

If you're unsure whether the medication has been given or it hasn't been signed for in the MAR chart, which we'll talk about later, you can just check the blister pack. This is how you'll receive the medication from the pharmacy, obviously, it will have medication in it. When you need to administer the medication, you turn it over and pop the medication out from the back. This is a paper seal.