medication

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    i have a question that concerns medications in long term care--have been a nurse for 17 plus years, most of it in the long term care setting-- could someone tell me-- in the state of michigan is it legal to "borrow" narcotics from one resident to another-- have been living in the state of michigan for one year and am seeing this as a common practice in the nursing homes-- when one resident runs out of a pain medication such as ES Vicodin it is not unusual to see the nursing staff look in their narcotic lock box to see if there is someone else is on the same med and if there is to "borrow" for the resident that is without. have been told that this is acceptable because the phrase "not available" is a touchy issue with the state-- we are to provide the medication no matter what-- i don't feel comfortable with this because i was always taught that it is against the law to use prescribed medcation for someone else-- it is usually clearly marked on the prescription bottles-- my gut feeling tells me not to borrow-- that this is indeed against the law-- anyone have any comments on this
  2. 8 Comments so far...

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    .
    Last edit by kids on Dec 15, '01
  4. 0
    o no thats not good.
    I was advised one day to call pharmacy and have the narcs delivered to the facility.
    Never borrow. It sets u up for mistakes later.
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    We still have our narcotics locked up in the med room med cabinent where we still sign them out manually.
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    #1 who was responsible for reordering res. med.? we have that same problem all the time. some nurses are really don't care what happens @ the end of their shift. we also are not to borrow narcs ,but what i have done if i didn't have it in the E box is call pharmacy and have them deliver asap and then just replace the drug that i borrowed when it arrives,but it's frustrating!!! then i approach the nurses before me and ask why wasn't it reordered???
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    nurses only administer medications. we don't dispense them. it is the pharmacist's job to dispense them. using a medication already labeled for another patient's use may be construed by the law as dispensing a medication which is outside the scope of practice for nurses. does your pharmacy provide you with an E-Kit?
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    It's worth remembering that "borrowing" meds works fine until there's a problem or situation about the meds. Such borrowing quickly becomes less than fine under those circumstances. Narcotic borrowing can particularly be a problem, especially these days.

    The safest bet? Don't borrow meds. Especially don't borrow narcotics. And stand your ground. Your license to practice is too valuable. Not to mention that narcotics "borrowing" could potentially lead to criminal charges with the right (or wrong) district attorney. If you stand your ground, the facility will correct the situation. And if they won't correct it, perhaps you might consider practicing elsewhere.

    Jim Huffman, RN

    www.networkfornurses.com
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    They call security when there is an off Narc. count.. I hear heads roll.
    I have heard of nurses who are fired immediately who are suspect of narcotics dishonesty.

    Yes, the Board of Nursing has programs but facilities do not want to hire people who are associated with this type of label.
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    Check with the Michigan Board of Pharmacy to find out the written protocol about "borrowing" meds. It may be under the section titled "medication administration". In my state, it is clearly written that this is not appropriate. Get a copy of the Board of Pharmacy document and present it to your DON and Pharmacist. Request that the issue be addressed. In my opinion the ultimate responsibility to have medications available, labeled appropriately, and stocked for each resident lies with the pharmacist. Try an internet search for Michigan Board of Pharmacy to see if this information is available on the web.

    Linda


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