Patient asked me what an IV med was for..i didnt know | allnurses

Patient asked me what an IV med was for..i didnt know

  1. 0 I am a new grad LVN and a IV med was scheduled for a patient. The patient asked me what is the IV med for and I did not know. She also asked why does she need to have this? and Do you know why she has it?

    She kept bombarding me with questions I did not know because as an LVn I am not even allowed to give IV meds at my hospital.

    She asked for my name so I am sure she will report me. After this I told her i would look up the med and I did. I read exactly what is was from my drug book.


    Next time this happens I want to be better prepared with good answers. What is the most professional way to say I do not know.?
    Last edit by NursingBro on Mar 20, '13
  2. Visit  NursingBro profile page

    About NursingBro

    NursingBro has '4' year(s) of experience. From 'McAllen, Texas USA'; Joined Aug '12; Posts: 250; Likes: 107.

    54 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Virtual profile page
    5
    1. You could have said your a lvn and you can get the RN to help.
    2. If you forget meds get a small mini notebook (pocket sized) and write down each med and describe it (purple pill) and write what it's for and some quick side effects.

    Like a boss ,You'll look more prepared at the bedside.
  4. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    11
    What about something like this:

    "I am unfamiliar with this medication, because as an LPN it is not a medication I can give to you. The RN who will give you this medication will know what it is for, but while you wait I will go and look up the information for you."

    This gives an explanation that doesn't make you sound like you don't know what you are doing, is honest, and the patient will appreciate you doing the research and getting back to them.

    EDIT: I should add, even if you aren't giving the IV med, it's a good idea to become familiar with all the meds your patient is on so the next time this happens, you at least have an idea
    theleaf, jrwest, tnmarie, and 8 others like this.
  5. Visit  NursingBro profile page
    5
    Thanks I will start writing down any med I don't know and when I get home I will read all about them. If I do this in several months I will know many meds.
    Meriwhen, turnforthenurseRN, DawnJ, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  DavidKarl profile page
    5
    WRONG! Anytime you are asked a question, that you cannot answer: "I'm going to go check your chart, I'll be right back". Also- being an LPN (a NURSE), WHY would you not know why your patient is on IV meds, or ANY meds? TIP: Even though you may not be IV certified, I guarantee, that by your nurse practice act- that you are at a minimum to be required to observe the site for infection, bleeding, ot whatnot. Something is not right, here. An IV is not only invasive, expensive, elaborate, and needs monitored, documented, and the like- it also indicates that there is an acute situation in place for the patient. How could any nurse not have such a basic condition report (such as 'this one has an IV and a PEG') on one of his/her patients? I'm baffled by this post. And, to read a patient a drug drescription from a... BOOK? OMG. Thios patient you speak of knows the ropes, and is taking notes...
    tnmarie, LTCNS, armychic, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    1
    Weren't you exposed to IV meds during your education? Usually it's antibiotics and the names are the same.
    armychic likes this.
  8. Visit  NursingBro profile page
    8
    Quote from DavidKarl
    WRONG! Anytime you are asked a question, that you cannot answer: "I'm going to go check your chart, I'll be right back". Also- being an LPN (a NURSE), WHY would you not know why your patient is on IV meds, or ANY meds? TIP: Even though you may not be IV certified, I guarantee, that by your nurse practice act- that you are at a minimum to be required to observe the site for infection, bleeding, ot whatnot. Something is not right, here. An IV is not only invasive, expensive, elaborate, and needs monitored, documented, and the like- it also indicates that there is an acute situation in place for the patient. How could any nurse not have such a basic condition report (such as 'this one has an IV and a PEG') on one of his/her patients? I'm baffled by this post. And, to read a patient a drug drescription from a... BOOK? OMG. Thios patient you speak of knows the ropes, and is taking notes...
    Every nurse knows every single med and does not need to check what a medication is for at times..
    kayak007, barbyann, Savvy20RN, and 5 others like this.
  9. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    2
    "IV medications are not within my scope, however, I will discuss this with the RN and we will print up some information for you regarding this medication"

    or simply: "Let me get the RN for you to speak to regarding this. She is best to answer your questions"

    As an aside, it IV's are not within your scope, why were you the patient's primary nurse? And further, if you have an RN who hangs IV meds for you, you need to be learned in ALL of the meds that your patient is getting, as you need to assess a number of things when one gets IV meds.
    Meriwhen and turnforthenurseRN like this.
  10. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    0
    Quote from jadelpn
    "As an aside, it IV's are not within your scope, why were you the patient's primary nurse? And further, if you have an RN who hangs IV meds for you, you need to be learned in ALL of the meds that your patient is getting, as you need to assess a number of things when one gets IV meds.
    I can't speak for the OP, but where I work often an LPN will be the primary nurse for a patient who is stable, but still may need an IV med. They can flush and assess the actual sites and maintain NS infusions, just not give the med.

    A good example would be a long-staying patient we have right now who normally gets IVIG infusions as an outpatient. She is at the moment cared for by the LPNs but the other week I gave her her scheduled IVIG even though I wasn't her primary nurse.

    EDIT: However, I do fully agree that the LPN should be familiar or familiarize themselves with all their patient's meds, including those they are not giving.
  11. Visit  Bringonthenight profile page
    0
    I think the OP just didn't handle the situation as best as it could have been handled and it therefore freaked the patient out. It's all in the wording and how you say something.

    Like others have said, the appropriate response would be to state that the best person to answer your questions about the med would be the RN as I do not administer IV meds, let me go get them for you. Getting a drug book and reading it out would make me as a patient feel uncomfortable even though your intentions were right.

    I am unfamiliar with US LPNs but our version (ENs) can be primary nurses with their own patient load. Anything outside of their scope (IV meds, sometimes injections) they get another RN or the charge nurse to help them with. Most seem to have a general understanding of IV medication though ie vancomycin is an antibiotic that's helping to treat your infection.

    I wonder what IV med the OP is referring too?
  12. Visit  kellycinalli profile page
    1
    I've been an Lpn for 21 years and been aloud to hang and start an Iv for 12 years now. I work in New Jersey and I'm Iv certified. I can maintain all lines,hang Iv antibiotic and other meds. I can start a peripheral line too. I would think being a new Lpn that was taught in school, being our scope of practice is now more broad. And always look up all meds you are unsure of!! If you were my nurse I would of felt you were incompetent. And I'm sure she felt the same way being she asked your name. I still look up meds I'm unsure of. Doesn't make you a stupid nurse, just a cautious one!! Best of luck!!
    Fiona59 likes this.
  13. Visit  lkulmann profile page
    5
    Geeesh...aren't you glad you asked. Why would any new nurse ask any seasoned nurse a question if they are going to get torn a new one...new grads need to know that they can approach seasoned nurses otherwise you are going to see them do things without asking...shame shame :/
    The CORRECT answer is let me get the nurse in charge to answer any and all of your questions. If an RN were in that situation, she could say I will get the doctor to explain your meds to you. NOBODY knows everything and NOBODY likes a know it all.....ughhhh....
    ethiopia, jrwest, psu_213, and 2 others like this.
  14. Visit  Sun0408 profile page
    3
    You are the primary nurse so you should know all meds your pt is on and why. The fact that you are not permitted to give IV meds is irrelevant. If you are unsure, state so and tell the pt you will find out for them. I as a RN still look up meds I am unfamiliar with. Please don't read the book to your pts, you read it and explain it to them in terms they can understand. If you have EMAR's, you should be able to look up any drug your pt is on with a click of your mouse.

    Happy learning
    tnmarie, mrnightinggale, and Fiona59 like this.


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