Family members applying topical ointments

  1. Just would like your opinion on the subject of family members applying prescribed topical ointments ( not over the counter meds)to residents. There is no leave at bedside order and nurses sign off on TAR that it was completed. Nurse knows family and resident using it more then prescribed. What is your view on this subject
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   SarcasticLVN
    At my facility this is a big no no and I would not feel comfortable with that. Actually just today at pts daughter brought in some balmex for his buttocks and I told them I had to get an order for him to be able to use it at the bedside, he was very angry but all I could do is politely explain. I got the order and wrote it up ASAP so they were happy but even with something like balmex we have to do th, but a prescribed topical should not be applied by the family in my opinion.
  4. by   nursie_nursie_415
    When a patient agrees to be treated in a hospital, they also agree to "our way" of treating them. That said, it is the "good" nurse who finds that happy medium between family involvement in care, patient compliance to prescribed treatment & the appropriate doctor's orders to accompany this care plan.
  5. by   CoffeeRTC
    Curious as to what it is? If it is an order, then we need to do it as nurses.

    does it really need to be done by a nurse? could you get an order for the family to do it? Careplan it and do an inservice with the family and have them sign a teaching form.

    We have things like this that the family will do. If they take mom to the br and apply barrier creams or we have a family that will do o2 therapies.
  6. by   WittySarcasm
    I wouldn't feel comfortable with it. If they want to learn how to care for their loved one- like if there was a chance the person would be going home (like on my rehab floor) then I may ask the doctor for an order for patient/family teaching. That is the ONLY way I'd feel comfortable with it.

    I have had to explain to a bunch of family members why I could not hand them the cream to do. Some understand. If for some reason the family member refuses to understand I have found just getting an order for patient/family teaching will help a lot. Then you can teach them what is too much or too little. The correct way to do it. And it gives them the feeling that they are helping.
  7. by   Vinniesguy
    I'm prepared to flexible here. If an elderly woman would rather her daughter who is the primary carer put the anitfungal cream on her excoriated groin rather than the guy she's known for 10 minutes I have no problem with that.
  8. by   Spring_Peeper
    WittySarcasm, good idea about an order for patient/family teaching. I didn't know that was an option.
  9. by   eatmysoxRN
    If a patient is capable, I encourage them to apply topical medications within reason. If it accompanies a dressing change, I do it myself.

    I'd be uncomfortable putting vaginal medication on a perfectly capable patient. I'm sure they would feel awkward as well.

    Our policy states no meds left at bedside unless specifically ordered (like a nicotrol)