Using Your Nursing Training to Spot Potential Prescription Drug Interactions

Although medicines are routinely used to make people feel significantly better, there are occasions in which prescriptions can have devastating effects. Most major drug interactions are known, enabling doctors and pharmacists to avoid prescribing medicines to patients that could cause harm when combined. On the other hand, nursing professionals who have gone from RN to masters degrees sometimes are the ones who need to be most aware of potential drug interaction symptoms and take action when a medical emergency arises. This is because the main way that doctors work to avoid prescription interactions is via computerized systems. Unfortunately, computers don’t always work well at picking up on problematic drug interactions, and also because not all prescription drug interactions are known in the medical world.

Monitoring Patients Undergoing Emergency Medical Services

Many times, when patients come into hospitals, medical personnel have to work to put together complex puzzles. The newly admitted patient may be recovering from a trauma injury, have a rare disease, or be in the midst of a dangerous allergic reaction. Not all patients can tell doctors and nurses what is ailing them, so the medical professionals tending to them have to await blood test results and use deductive reasoning to figure out what necessitated emergency medical services in the first place. During the course of emergency medical treatment, nurses need to always stay on the lookout for signs of prescription drug interactions. Since patients cannot always let their caretakers known what drugs are already in their system, the risk of prescription interaction can be quite high in a hospitall and emergency care settings.

The Role of Caregivers in Nursing Homes and Residential Settings

Anyone who needs around the clock care is going to be more vulnerable than the average patient. An elderly person who requires assisted care while living in a nursing home typically needs some type of prescription drug administered regularly. An accidental wrong dose or a situation in which prescription drugs are mixed up and given to the wrong patient can present the potential for a very serious medical emergency. For these reasons, nurses are trained to monitor elderly and at-risk patients after their daily medicines are administered. Nurses are also required to double-check patient names and prescribed lists of medications prior to giving them to the patients on their care roster.

Watching For Prescription Drug Interactions during Routine Checkups

Sometimes prescription drugs are given to patients during the course of doctor’s visits. It could be a child receiving an immunization or a patient being given a cortisone shot to help with inflammation issues, but either situation could quickly turn serious if there is a drug interaction. Although nurses may only have a few minutes in which to monitor patients after receiving prescription drugs, it is important that all unusual reactions and symptoms are noted and taken seriously. Being proactive could help to protect the lives of innocent patients.

If a patient takes a drug that not prescribed to them and then undergoes any type of medical treatment without telling the attending doctor, anything can happen. Sometimes pharmaceutical companies are simply not aware of the risk of certain drug interactions because certain medicines have not been prescribedtogether before. This is why nursing professionals often work as the first line of defense against prescription drug interaction.

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