Administration: Next steps in learning...

Last updated: Thursday, November 15, 2018

One subject that you will be asked about quite a lot as a pharmacist is the crushing, opening or splitting of oral dosage forms. Specialist Pharmacy Service has a helpful guide to the pharmaceutical issues you need to consider in a care home setting. 

Related to this, HEE's e-LfH platform has a helpful e-learning package for social care staff and other professional carers on how to safely manage medicines for patients with dysphagia.

A situation in which you may need to advise on this subject is when administering medicines via enteral tubes. There is a review of some of the factors that healthcare professionals need to think about in an article from the American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, that you can read or browse online but you need to register with the MedScape site first for access. Note that it is a US publication so some of the brandnames etc are different to the UK.

There is also a practical guide to administering medicines via enteral feeding tubes from the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN).

An important aspect of drug administration that can lead to errors, is the calculations that are sometimes required. If you are uncertain about your competence in this area, then there is a tutorial on drug calculations on this site that offers various online resources to help you, as well as a quiz.

There are many different types of inhaler on the market, but pharmacists should be able to advise on their correct usage. The Asthma UK website has advice on correct usage, and also a series of videos showing how some of the devices should be used (see the bottom of the webpage).

There is a BMJ learning package on prescribing, preparing, and administering injectable medicines safely. You need to register with the site to gain access.

Packages on Infusion Devices and Administration of drugs by IV infusion pumps are available on the e-LfH site. 

The covert administration of medicines is a topic that you may be asked about. CPPE has a Mental Capacity Act and covert administration of medicines workshop to help you to develop your knowledge and skills in this topic. CPPE also has a series of Mental health distance learning cards, focusing on different areas of support for people living with mental health conditions. Covert administration of medicines is covered in card 7. 

SPS has guidance on the subject of covert administration as well.