question on administering OTC meds

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    Can someone please answer this question? Can you be charged with administering medications without a license if you are a licensed personnel and give someone say tylenol? I believe that I was taught that whether on duty or not, I cannot give anyone anything at anytime if it is not prescribed. ie at work, visitor asks for tylenolZ? Of course we have stock - am I allowed to give it? What if your collegeau? gives another employee something like fibrim? Is this considered administering or dispensing? Thanks.
  2. 14 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I don't know the legalities. However, I would not give anything to a visitor or anyone for that matter while at work. OTC medications are supposed to be self administered. Questions that come to my mind: you know the visitors health hx? What other medications are they taking? Frequency? Contraindications? Interactions? Allergies?
    I have a coworker (RN) who is in liver failure from too much drinking in her younger days. Tylenol would not be a good idea. In my place of work, we are allowed to call the inpt. pharmacy for some OTC medications, but for staff only and self-administer only (you are responsible to what you are taking.) This cuts down on nurses asking co-workers if they have tylenol or motrin. Than way, the person being asked can say: No, I don't have any, but you can call the pharmacy yourself and they'll tube it up for you (for free)
    Hope this is helpful
    systoly likes this.
  4. 2
    Unless you are an MD or advanced practitioner such as a NP then you cannot administer OTC meds legally at work without an order. You should never give a visitor any medication even something like Tylenol. It also is not good practice to give a coworker medication. You can get in trouble for this but if your company wanted to get technical they could also fire you for "stealing".
    systoly and joprasklpn like this.
  5. 0
    But how is it stealing if I give a coworker my a couple Motrin out of my own personal supply that I carry with me? I'm not advocating giving to any and all who ask, but it's not stealing if I give someone something that's mine....
  6. 0
    Visitors? No way.

    Co-workers? If they ask, I'll give them some of my own advil or tylenol.
  7. 0
    At a LTC facility where I once worked, for workers only, there was a stock bottle where one could get their own med, kept in the med room. I also saw nurses allow a CNA to take a dose from the stock bottle which she would make available on the top of her cart. I didn't think this seemed right. I was taught never to touch a nurse's med cart unless it was my own.
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    What if you are not at work? Example: you are at a social function and someone asks for some tylenol or motrin - is it considered dispensing? Thanks!
  9. 0
    At a social event, I have not established a nurse client relationship with anyone so I don't think that it is a problem legally. That being said I don't give anyone any meds of any kind if I don't have a longstanding close (but not necessarily intimate) relationship with them.
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    Maybe I don't attend enough social events, but I don't get it. I would not ask a stranger for any Rx. Who knows what you're getting or how it was handled. I'd just go to the next gas station. Even if I knew the person I'd prefer to get my own, because most people pour a bunch of tablets in their hand and then put the rest back in the bottle. As far as giving Rx is concerned, I'm fortunate in that I don't have to carry any.
  11. 0
    I should have been more clear; I NEVER give any prescription meds to ANYONE. However, I would give Tylenol, Maalox tabs, etc. to a close friend.