Ensuring the medications used in your facility are administered properly, stored correctly and wasted appropriately is an ongoing challenge. Answering these eight questions and checking out the advice-filled responses will help you find out if your understanding of proper drug labeling, security and disposal practices makes the grade.
1. About _____ of nurses will suffer from substance use disorder during their careers, according to the American Nurses Association.
- a. 5%
- b. 10%
- c. 15%
- d. 20%
Keep an eye out for the warning signs of addiction, suggests Zachary Bouchat-Friedman, PharmD, a staff pharmacist at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Pa. Warning signs include employees who are frequently late, calling out sick, disappearing for extended periods of time while on the clock. Other red flags include pinpoint pupils, an unkempt appearance and a history of disciplinary actions or mistakes. "These employees will often blame the environment or others for their mistakes, and will claim to experience frequent personal emergencies," says Dr. Bouchat-Friedman.
Also be suspicious of providers whose patients report little to no pain relief. "A nurse could easily scan a medication and the patient's ID thereby completing the administration documentation and simply omit the controlled substance dose or administer a 'dummy' injection in its place," says Dr. Bouchat-Friedman.