While administering med, why using drugbook instead of instructions?

  1. Hello everyone, I'm AlexisZ, a year 2 nursing student.
    This question might seem stupid, but, while administering medications, why don't we use the instructions that come with medications themselves? (we were taught to use drug handbook/online resources such as Harvard/MIMS/AMH)
    I've never thought about that until one of my friends said she just look for the instruction.
    Thank you very much in advance.
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    About AlexisZ

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 2
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Buckeye.nurse
    The vast majority of medications you give will not come with an instruction packet in the hospital. Vaccines should come with the VIS (for the patient). Our pharmacy, occasionally, will send vials of powder that are reconstituted and given IV push up in the original box. Sometimes this has an instruction pamphlet in it. But honestly, I'd rather read the info on micromedex or uptodate. Sites such as these have information tailored specifically for nurses. Things like administration considerations, side effects to watch for, and patient education.

    Basic things like dilution concentration, rate to push, time to hang an IV med over, and associated lab values are built into our EPIC MAR. Epic also built a link directly to the micromedix page for each med onto the MAR under med instructions. Any med that has a specific policy (like insulin drips) also has a link to that page on the MAR. It's quite handy.
  4. by   brownbook
    Do you mean those folded up papers, with tiny print, double sided, that come with medications, that are reprints of what you would find if you looked up the drug in the Physicians Desk Reference?

    That would be like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant!

    A nurse needs an easy to carry around, or easy to use app, easy to read, easy to understand, drug guide that gives you the basics you need.

    When doing med passes to 6 - 8 patients, with 8 - 16 different meds all due at 0900, (or quadruple those numbers if you work in a skilled nursing facility), you don't have time to read through a whole drug guide.

    If you are curious to learn more about a drug you can study it at your leisure on your computer at home.
  5. by   Have Nurse
    When I was a student, I was instructed to always have a Drug Reference manual handy. They are loaded with critical information, including Nursing Considerations. If a patient has a certain issue with renal for instance, or on other specific meds that may interfere, a drug reference book can save you in ways that an insert can't.

    As you get more proficient in passing meds and familiarizing yourself with them, you won't need to refer to it as often. But pay special attention to the Nursing Considerations section of the info in the Reference manual on each med you look up. It can save you and your patient.