help! new(er) grad questions


I have a question egarding use of PRN medications. I work in psych (would have posted there, but don't seem to get many responses). I'm having a hard time with the difference between administering a PRN Ativan to a patient versus "chemical restraints". If a patient asks for a PRN ativan because they state anxiety, and I document as such ("pt anxious, tearful and hands shaking, requesting PRN ativan") is this sufficient? when would administration be considered a chemical restraint? I am thinking if patient was combative or out of control and a danger to self or others but was REFUSING he ativan and i got a dr. order to give it in an emergency situation despite pt's refusal, this would be a chemical restraint (right?) .Again though, the former situation I talked about is ok and not considered chemically restraining, correct?

(i'd feel fine with prn zofran or something, but prn psych meds can get hairy)...or else because i'm a newbie i'm just questioning everything to make sure i'm ok....either way, PLEASE HELP :) thanks!

Hands and Heart

217 Posts

Although I am not a nurse yet, nor in a psych setting, I am currently taking care of a patient with psych issues and meds. She requests her Ativan when she feels anxious. I agree with you that it would be chemical restraint when the patient is combative and refusing meds.

Specializes in MICU, SICU, PACU, Travel nursing.

I work in ICU, but when we give prn ativan for anxiety its not considered a chemical restraint and a note about why we are giving it and follow up on the effects are all thats needed documentation wise.

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