Injection compatibility: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Friday, May 04, 2018

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After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Describe what physical and chemical incompatibility means, and be able to explain the difference to others.
  • Advise ward staff how to avoid compatibility problems with injectable medicines, and be able to recommend safe alternatives.
  • Know the potential implications for patients if incompatibility occurs.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 60 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.

Competencies

This tutorial is aimed at hospital trainee pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC learning outcomes such as these:
  • LO 12 Take an all-inclusive approach to ensure the most appropriate course of action based on clinical, legal and professional considerations
  • LO 16 Apply professional judgement in all circumstances taking legal and ethical reasoning into account
  • LO 21 Apply the science behind pharmacy in all activities 
  • LO 30  Appraise the evidence base and apply clinical reasoning and professional judgement to make safe and logical decisions which minimise risk and optimise outcomes for the person

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.2  Need for the medicine
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine
  • 1.7  Monitoring medicine therapy
  • 3.3  Analysing information
  • 3.4  Providing information

Continuing professional development


Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  If you don't work on a ward where you encounter injection compatibility issues, then ask to visit a high care ward with a colleague. Reflect on the differences in pharmacy practice in a high care area. How else do pharmacists in a high care area ensure that injections are safe, other than checking for incompatibility?
★  If you have access to the Handbook on Injectable Drugs ("Trissel"), then read the introduction to discover how the published data on compatibility are interpreted and presented. Examine a selection of monographs to make sure you can understand how to apply the information in practice.
★  Next time you advise about a compatibility issue then write it up as a CPD exercise, clinical intervention, or case study. Present this case to your tutor, a colleague, or at a journal club and ask for peer feedback. Do you think your original approach was about right or did the feedback give you ideas for improvement?