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how long are crushed meds good for?

I'm a home health nurse and am working on a new case. This is my 3rd week on this case and I'm figuring out that the mother of the young adult I care for wants the nurses to do as much as possible for her. She informed me today that now she wants me to crush all the meds for the weekend, the 3 days she doesn't have nursing. I don't feel comfortable doing that. The problem is telling her no, and what my justification will be. She has tried very hard to get me to be her friend, and is now asking me to do more and more which I feel is manipulative. Don't crushed meds get less effective over time? I need to find a way to justify not doing it besides "it's not my job" even though that is true also.


Specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care. Has 39 years experience.

I would check with a pharmacist about the individual meds the patient is on.

this is something the mother should be taught. Show her how to crush meds.

I dont feel comfortable leaving medication crushed if it wont be administered within 10 min, less even if it will be over a whole weekend. I dont have a scientific rationale, I would just call it safe practice. Teach the caregiver how to properly crush the medications, and witness her doing so as part of your teaching. My personal opinion is for you to say no to that request and instead do the teaching.

She knows how to crush meds. Her child is 20 and he's had a g-tube since he was a baby... she's just lazy and doesn't want to do it.

Thanks for your responses. I texted her while we were at school after I had talked to a couple other nurses and their pharmacist. Everyone said not to, so this is what I texted her: "I don't feel comfortable crushing all the meds for the weekend. If I remember correctly the longer the medications are exposed to air the less effective they become. You changed hours to not have a nurse on the weekend. I don't mind filling the pill minder, but I'm not going to crush them for that far in advance. I hope you understand. "

I didn't even bring it up with my supervisor because I knew she would say no, but the mom called and asked her and my supervisor then knew it was an issue and texted me I'm to not do it. I knew I shouldn't, but I just didn't know what to tell the mom because the previous nurse was crushing them for the one day she didn't have nursing. But then this week the hours changed and she is without nursing for 3 days. She's just gonna have to do it.

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Yeah. No. I wouldn't do it, I don't care if the meds are "good" for a year after being crushed.

She knows how to crush meds. Her child is 20 and he's had a g-tube since he was a baby... she's just lazy and doesn't want to do it.

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