Medication Cabinets

Nurses General Nursing


What kind of storage cabinets do you use to keep floor stock medication and narcotics in? We are looking at investing in new cabinets, but we are having trouble finding something big enough to suit our needs. Thanks Sue


2,719 Posts

We use Diebold. I have worked where Pixis. Floor stock is seldom kept with narcs. One facililty I worked used a standard kitchen type cabinet to lock narcs and the door to the room served as the second lock. Narcs like ativan that required refrigeration were in a protable locked box or the frigd itself had a lock.

Many facilities use a med cart that has a built in locking system that accomodates both narcs and stock.

Small pharmacies use a standing metal cabinet with locks for narcs and everthing else is on open rack shelves.

I do not know the volume you are needing to store. So I hope some of this is helpful


122 Posts

We use pyxis. Great because there is no need to count narcs! They come in many sizes and have refidgerated compartments if needed.

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 3,563 Posts

You don't count with Pyxis?

When I worked on a med/surg floor w/ a Pyxis, we had to count narces even more often. We had to count the entire contents of a drawer each time it popped open. We had to press a key saying we had verified that count was correct before the Pyxus drawer would close.



6,011 Posts


We counted narcotics every time something was removed...if there was a discrepancy then you and a witness had to count the ENTIRE drawer....all sections.

Other than that nothing was counted in the Pyxis....oh we kept the pyxis paper in there and the narcotic keys so those counts needed to be huge so we could always get to them.

Supply Pyxis was just coming in when I was going out. Don't know about that.

bellehill, RN

566 Posts

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care.

I have only used pyxis, sometimes requiring a password, sometimes a fingerprint. They can hold all meds or just narcs and emergency/ASAP meds. I love pyxis because you can run a report and see exactly what was pulled on your pts by you or the previous shift.

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

I have used Pyxis at several different hospitals. One does have to count narcs everytime one takes out a narc but one is supposed to do that with old paper systems right? What we didn't have to do was count at shift change. Beyond that it depends on each hospital's policies, some required a manual count once a week, once a day and usually by the charge nurse or floor managers. If there was a drawer malfunction then one does have to manually count the whole drawer but in my several years experience with them that didn't happen all that often. They pyxis does come with many options including a side refrigerated (or not) cabinet. I worked with the fingerprint verified pyxis once and didn't have trouble myself but there were several staff members that couldn't get the thing to read their prints for love or money. Tech support attributed it to cold fingers. I'm really not a rep for Pyxis, I've just done a few years with manual systems and I really hated that system.

SharonH, RN

2,144 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.

At the last hospital I worked, we used a diebold system. It held both narcs and floor stocks and on some of the floors, it also held routine scheduled meds for the patients which I found somewhat tedious for that use in particular. Some of the meds were dispensed by the machine much in the same way a vending machine dispenses but some of the meds had to be pulled from a drawer. If some of the narcs were pulled from a drawer, you had to count them whenever you pulled one and enter the remaining count into the computer before you closed the drawer, this rarely took more than a few seconds. You never have to count drugs at shift change. The machine was accessd with our ID badges and a password.

I've used both Pyxis and Diebold and Diebold is definitely better.

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, Home Health, Oncology.


Both my former Hospital & the present use pyxis. We have the fingerprint verification. It works well. We have everything in thr

pyxis--floor stock to narcs. We have to count a narc. if we are going to remove one. We also have to count all narcs, sleepers

one time a week.

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