I work as the school nurse for children with developmental disabilities/autistism/behavior issues. We are also residential for most of them. I handle about 40 children's medications- and there are A LOT of them! My facility has had conference calls with both the Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Nursing regarding legalities and best-practice issues in making sure our UAP's are successful with getting the kids what they need when I am not there.
Both have suggested the PHARMACY do what I am currently having to do, which is this: each Monday I fill a 7 day cassette for each of the kids with their prescribed meds at the proper times. This came about because the blister packs we were using prior just weren't working out (I can give more detail here if someone is interested...) The cassettes have proven themselves to be MUCH safer and much more COMPLIANCE friendly.
I WOULD LOVE for the pharmacy to step up and do this cassette-filling, because I FEEL like a pharmacist (only I make TONS less!) when I am counting, storing, setting each cassette up, making sure the meds are refilled so I have enough, making sure the kids have 3 cassettes full over big holidays, etc.... UGGGH!!! Hovever, the pharmacy my facility has been using doesn't seem willing step up to the plate and do this. The blister packs were time-consuming to them and they were THRILLED when I told them to start bottling the meds and I'd do the sorting... But now I really have become "a pharmacy" and I don't feel comfortable doing it.... And according to the Boards, I SHOULDN'T be doing it! (THINK OF THE HOURS AND STRESS THIS WOULD SAVE ME!)
I am tired of managing my own micro-pharmacy, and sick of stressing about it not being "right" for me to have to! Tell me- HOW do your pharmacies handle group home-type meds for you? Can they fill a cassette? Do they make disposable cassettes or can they re-use mine? I don't want to go back to bubble-packing INDIVIDUAL meds because the safety and compliance factors for the kids are greater, even the Boards agreed to that, given our situation. What to do??? What can I expect pharmacy TO DO? Any advice would me much appreciated! THANK YOU!