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Patient always wants to know what her meds are for

Hey everyone! I am a new grad from a Kinesiology program, thinking about PA school. I just started my first job as a CNA at an independent facility with minor assistance to our residents. First off, I love it! I really enjoy working with all these older folks and think they're great. I love being there for them, and the things I thought would bother me are actually not so bad.

Anyways, on to my question. I have one patient that whenever I go in to bring her her medication (we can help them with meds since technically we're not administering just helping them take them at this facility), wants to know what all of them are for. When I say what they're for, she says she doesn't need them and doesnt have anything wrong. After about 15 to 20 minutes of asking several times what they are for and sayinh she doesn't need them, she'll always eventually take them.

She's a very stubborn, yet kind and funny lady. Very outspoken, but doesn't remember everything. She also has theorized that we've given them to her even though she doesn't need them, but our assisted living facility wants to prevent anything from happening so that if something DOES happen it's not our fault. This isn't true since we just follow her doctors prescriptions.

So what're some things I can do to evade the question? I try to talk about several things at once to distract her and to just take the pills without her thinking much about it. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes......really only sometimes, saying something like, "Your doctor, (maybe insert doctors name here if she might recognize it), wants you to take these.....(or) your doctor says these pills will help you" .....something along those lines. Sometimes the word doctor is a magical help.

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute & Long-Term Care Nursing.

She has the right to know what they're for, so please don't try to evade the question. Depending on what they are actually for you can shorten the explanation. For example, I give a lot of "heart meds" and "memory pills" along with meds to "help you sleep". Most meds are for cholesterol, blood pressure or cardiac issues. Try to ask others what works for them with this particular pt, too.

downsouthlaff, LPN

Specializes in Nursing Home.

I know I'm long term care, we floor nurses are supposed to be able to educate our residents on what each pill there taking is for and the side effects.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

Honestly I would defer to the nurse with this resident's meds. She does have the right to answers, and med teaching is a nursing responsibility/in the nurse's scope of practice. They can add it to her care plan -- this will also solve the issue for the other med aides on your days off.


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