How close do you check your pills?

  1. I had a parent drop off a refill of meds this am. The kiddo takes the tabs in halves and wholes - halves with me, so parent gave me a refill from their bottle. When I went to take a moment of quiet time to pre-halve the pills, I noticed that 2 of them were not the same when i looked closer, looked it up and noted they were his am pills. Very similar looking, slightly smaller, same shape and different imprint.
    So then my mind started going - how much of a responsibility do we have to check each and every pill for accuracy? I mean we would expect that most parents are not mixing into one bottle, but the reality is that many parents do.
    Do you think if I didn't notice, the liability would fall on me or the parent?

    Am I over analyzing this??
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MrNurse(x2)
    We are technically not pharmacists, we are only to administer what was dispensed. That being said, in a hospital setting, pharmacists make bank and have NO accountability. Good catch and sadly, it does fall on the nurse.
  4. by   ruby_jane
    Oy vay!

    I make sure the name of the med/dosage lines up with what's on the medication administration form signed by the doctor. If it's a controlled substance, my aide and I count that in, so I guess we'd notice something not right.

    The only way I'd really notice if it was one of my kids from a group home (pharmacy bubble packs the meds). It's theoretically possible that I'd notice if all the pills were blue, save one that was green, right?

    But you are an extension of the home environment and you're not taking meds in from a pharmacist...you're taking them in from a parent. It's worth a call to clarify what the what is happening, though!

    Good luck!
  5. by   BeckyESRN
    When I count meds, I look up the numbers/codes on the actual pill or capsule. But I only do this because I had a parent that I didn't trust, now it's habit. In your situation, I'm not sure I would have noticed unless I was inspecting each pill individually. Luckily all the ones I have this year are brightly colored capsules, so it would be obvious if one were different.
  6. by   OldDude
    The standard is what a reasonable and prudent person with the same credentials would do under the same circumstances. You noticed the discrepancy and acted on it; reasonable and prudent. I believe you would not be liable for the mix up even if you did not notice the irregularity. IF there was such a responsibility, where would it end? How would you know if a prescription bottle labeled Bromfed DM was actually filled with a liquid that was or wasn't Bromfed? It would be unreasonable to check each and every pill in each and every bottle.

    Yes, you are over analyzing it.
  7. by   Flare
    Thanks - Sometimes I need to be talked down from the ledge
  8. by   cid1
    We make our parents split any pill that needs to be split. So I will only accept pills already halved if I have to give 1 and 1/2. I have been told splitting pills is a for parent/pharmacist to do.
  9. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from Flare
    Thanks - Sometimes I need to be talked down from the ledge
    Would have never guessed by your avatar.
  10. by   Flare
    oh, that's an actual footage of me conducting a vision screening on a student
  11. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from cid1
    We make our parents split any pill that needs to be split. So I will only accept pills already halved if I have to give 1 and 1/2. I have been told splitting pills is a for parent/pharmacist to do.
    See, I will split mine as I have a kid taking meds much like Flare. Takes 1 pill in AM prior to school, 1/2 pills with me in school at lunch (same med, some formulation). Parent will send in whole pills and I half them to get to dose I give in school.

    I look at pills when I do my first count at drop-off and if something looks "off" to me I will pull up Pill Identification Wizard from Drugs.com and see if it matches (like Becky upthread). Especially if pill looks of or feels different from a previous drop-off of same med. I mean, new manufacture can happen. But otherwise I don't check every pill for refills.

    (I also tend to do this when it is a new medication drop from a parent I don't know or a medication that is new to me just so I get a feel for future drop-offs.)

    But as OldDude said, I don't stress about it and don't think you need to either.
  12. by   OhioBPH
    Quote from cid1
    We make our parents split any pill that needs to be split. So I will only accept pills already halved if I have to give 1 and 1/2. I have been told splitting pills is a for parent/pharmacist to do.
    This is our policy as well.
  13. by   Amethya
    I check my pills, but since I know my pills by pictures now, I can tell which one it is. But I always check on google just in case.
  14. by   kidzcare
    Quote from cid1
    We make our parents split any pill that needs to be split. So I will only accept pills already halved if I have to give 1 and 1/2. I have been told splitting pills is a for parent/pharmacist to do.
    When I've had to do a pill and a half, I have halved them all and give three half pills so I don't have to try to shake the bottle just right to get a full pill and a half pill.

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