looking for medication tray to pass meds

  1. I am a new RN (2 months) and I work on a med surg floor. I would really like to have a tray to use to carry my meds from room to room to pass meds. One of the older nurses has a metal one that has about 24 holes in it, just to fit in a medicine cup. Anyone know where I can get one??
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    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 77; Likes: 1


  3. by   Indy
    How many patients will you need to pass meds to at once? If you do need something to hold about 24 little cups, I have a souvenir from 15 years ago when I used to do phlebotomy. It's an old lab tray, and the dividers in it are removable and rearrangable to make it fit whatever you wanna fit in there. Pretty nifty, only nowadays lab people have this grocery cart thing so they are never short of supplies.

    I don't know where to get one, but I'd suggest talking to your lab folks to see if they have catalogs of that kind of thing.
  4. by   jenrninmi
    Our patients' meds are kept in a locked drawer in their room except for the narcotics etc.
  5. by   suzanne4
    To be quite honest, unless you have a cart right there with you, you should take each patients meds individually with you. You are set up for an error to happen quite readily....................What else will you be carrying with you so that you do not miss out on the patient's five rights?

    Which means five trips to the med room, if needed. I am sure that there will be others that won't agree with me, but the largest place for errors to be made in a hospital is with medications.

    If you are taking other medications with you, and trying to give meds to the one patient, who has there eye on those other pills 100% of the time. Impossible to do, yet you are responsible for them 100%.
  6. by   SherBearRN
    Suzanne is right! I am a new grad with an average of 10 patients on med/surg. I didn't know we were supposed to do one patient's medications at a time until I recently talked to an experienced nurse from another hospital during an interview. All of my preceptors (I had 6 of them) pulled medications out at the same time for their patients. It certainly was a valuable learning experience for me!
  7. by   Chaya
    Our unit doses of liquid meds come in a disposable plastic tray of ten. Makes a great holder for a med cup small water cup, syringe etc. I clean it between patient with an alcohol wipe and throw it out after a few uses.
  8. by   HappyNurse2005
    Which means five trips to the med room, if needed. I am sure that there will be others that won't agree with me, but the largest place for errors to be made in a hospital is with medications.
    I agree as well. I get only one pt's meds out at a time. WE have a med scanning system-scan med/scan pt to make sure right one gets to right pt, but i still only take 1 pt's meds at a time. too much room for error.
  9. by   Indy
    Well, I asked how many patients the OP would pass meds to, because I thought she wouldn't be asking if it were anything like the loads I'm used to (less than four).

    I'd still like to know, OP, what kind of load you have that makes the request viable.
  10. by   wanda06211
    I'm not sure what kind of system you have to work with or what you're looking for, but we have our meds in drawers under our COWs which are pretty easily transported from room to room. The one thing I do to save myself some time is that I go through each patient's meds and get all of the 2100 meds in a baggy so that when I walk into their room, I have already been through all of them (and looked up the ones I was not already familiar with--bc you know that's the ones they'll ask about! ;-) then all I have to do is scan them and give them. I like to do it this way bc I am actually looking through their meds twice and it really does seem to save me some time. As far as the tray you're looking for, how about like a mini-muffin pan or something? (Just a thought)
  11. by   suzanne4
    Again, unless the meds are in some type of locking device, it may be against the laws of your BON in your state. Medications are not to be left lying in a room, and that is what would be happening if you were giving meds to the other patient. Plus it makes more room for error, especially if the meds are already poured into cups. If your facility does not supply with a locked cart, then meds need to come out of the the med room on an individual basis. And if it takes you longer to pass the meds, so be it. It is your license that is at stake.

    You are opening yourself up for a major med error by doing it this way to take multiple patients meds into someone's room.
  12. by   canoehead
    It used to be common practice to pour all your patients' meds and walk from room to room with a tray like you described until TPTB found that the practice caused too many med errors, and now common practice is to do one patient at a time. I remember the trays well, along with how the night was ruined when someone bumped one and everything, including controlled drugs, scattered all over the floor.
  13. by   Daytonite
    Boy! Does your post bring back memories! Back in 1973 we used those old metal trays with the holes for the medicine cups in it. If you look closely there are also slits by each of the holes where we used to put our medicine cards that went with each patient's cup of pills. That was when we poured all our patients meds in the medicine room, put them in that tray and then went from room to room to give the pills because we did not have medication carts. They don't do that today because of the high probability of making a medication error. The older nurse you speak of has kept an old relic from a long gone age. Those kinds of things are usually found in the backs of cupboards that no one ever cleans out. The harder the back of a cupboard is to get into is directly proportional to the treasures you will find in it!

    For one patient's medications, we used to use a little tray that came in the patients admission pack. It was for the water pitcher to be placed on in the patient's room. I haven't seen these little trays put into the admission packs for awhile, so you're probably not going to see them at your hospital either. If you absolutely want some sort of little tray for individual medications, you're probably going to have to go looking for one. Central service (or whatever department makes up surgical packs) where you work might have a small metal tray they might be willing to give to you. However, let me caution you that all hospitals have policies on passing medications and if the one where you work wants you to take a medication cart to a patient's room and take their medication from the cart right at the time you are giving it, then I would follow that policy. Putting medication for 2, 3 or more different patients on a tray and taking them from room to room is asking for trouble. The tray can get knocked to the floor, when your back is turned another patient can quickly grab and swallow whatever is on the tray, or someone looking for drugs can outright steal what you have on the tray when your attention is diverted. If you have to run to some emergency you have to take that tray of medications with you and keep your eye on it all the time. These are all reasons for working from the medicine cart. Having been through the trials and tribulations of 30 years of nursing I would recommend that you abandon this idea of a medication tray.
  14. by   suzanne4
    I agree with both of the above posters. Abandon the idea, or you could be fidning that your nursing license will abandon you.