Meds due at shift change


Specializes in SNF/LTC. Has 3 years experience.

Our LTC facility works 10-6/6-2/2-10. There are some meds due at 2PM which of course is shift change. It has always been my opinion that 2PM meds belong to the day shift (6-2), and likewise any 10PM meds would belong to 2-10, and again any 6AM would belong to 10-6 shift.

My reasoning is that by the time you finish with the report, count, walk the hall, and anything else that needs to be done prior to hitting the floor will make those meds late. If you only have one or two RSDs with a 2PM then it might be doable, but not more than that.

Am I wrong? Do those belong to the oncoming shift after all?

When I work day shift I pass 2 pm meds and when I work 6a-6p I pass 6 pm meds. I think that is the norm.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

When I worked the 6:00am to 2:00pm shift at a nursing home, I passed all 2 o'clock medications one hour early, at 1:00pm. You are correct when you mention that anything scheduled for 2:00pm is the responsibility of day shift nursing staff.

Yep, pass 'em early, or else they're gonna run the risk of being late.

where I work, it belongs to oncoming, but truth be told, we get'em changed....


Has 6 years experience.

where I work, it belongs to oncoming, but truth be told, we get'em changed....

Agreed, the appropriate solution to this problem is to have those change of shift meds re-timed. However, absent that it should be on the out-going shift's responsibility.

Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

We're flexible with our scheduled change of shift medications. Sometimes they get given by the outgoing shift, and sometimes they get given by the oncoming. It depends on who's working, how important the medication is, how busy we are, and the patient's preferences. To me, it's like two people pulling up to a four way stop at the same time. One goes, and one yields ...there is no "right" way to handle it.

It's not great to have medication due right after report, but it's not great to have a bunch of medication to give when you're trying tie up loose ends for your soon-to-end shift, either.

We would either pass them an hour before or change the times. I have worked nurses who would get ticked if we gave meds early. Such as 6p meds given on 6a-6p shift. Especially breathing tx's. I thought a few nurses were gonna throw down with me. Geez!!

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Surely your facility has a policy you can follow.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 19 years experience.

In the good old days of paper MARS any shift change scheduled meds were given by the offgoing shift, so 2 pm meds were given by days. Now that we changed to electronic MARS the 2 pm meds don't' show up for days to give so they are on the PM med pass. We don't have too many with scheduled shift change meds. The ones we do have scheduled like that are either specific ordered times by the MD with no leeway to change the times or q2hr eye gtts or respiratory txs that don't allow changing times of just the shift change administrations without messing up the entire order.

That being said, depending on what nurses are working most of us will just give the shift change meds on the previous shift and just tell the oncoming nurse that they were given and the next shift nurse will sign them off on the EMAR. [shh....don't tell state!]....and yes it is posssible for the nurse that actually gave the med to go into the next shifts EMAR to sign them out, it's just a right royal pain in the you know what! So again, whether we do this or not just depends on the individual nurses that are working those shifts

Edited by kbrn2002
spelling oops (as usual)