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Drug Administration Workbook

This workbook is designed to help nursing students and other appropriate learners to gain the knowledge and skills required for safe drug administration in hospitals. Many employers now require the formal assessment of competence in medications administration. Consequently, the authors have designed this resource to meet the specific requirements of the Derby Hospitals Drug Assessment (Appleby et al 2004), a widely used and representative example of these assessments. The Derby Hospitals Drug Assessment is split into two sections "safety of administration" and "drug knowledge". It then sets out to assess the drug administrator in specific aspects of the process under these headings. The methods of assessment reflect the needs of the headings.

That is "Safety" is "to ensure the safe administration of medications to the correct patient, at the right time, providing the prescribed medicine safely" . Therefore, the "assessment is usually carried out during the drug round or whatever constitutes the usual clinical practice. If any of the criteria cannot be met during clinical practice it is acceptable to use oral questions to determine competence." (Appleby et al 2004)

The "Drug Knowledge" component is:

"To ensure that the individual has the knowledge of normal doses, regimens, desired effects, side effects and contraindications. To ensure that the individual has the ability to link illness to treatment. To ensure that the individual knows how to store and order medicines. To ensure that the individual has the knowledge and the skill to prepare medications." (Appleby et al 2004)

Therefore, the knowledge a ssessment is carried out during the practical assessment above and also by formal questioning either before or after the drug administration.

This workbook follows the same format.

It is intended that the learner will either work systematically through the book from start to finish or that they will use it as a resource to dip into to meet particular learning needs.

Copyright © 2005 Kate Appleby, Claire Cheetham, Jackie Haw, Louise Turner and Bill Whitehead of Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Heather Bull of University of Nottingham