Assistance with an “as needed” or “PRN” medication by an unlicensed person may only occur at the request of a competent resident. A resident who is unable to request an “as needed” or “PRN” medication appropriately would require this type of medication to be administered by a licensed person, (ie. Licensed nurse)
- Medication Label.Unlicensed persons can only assist competent residents with “PRN” or “as needed” medications with an appropriate medication label. The instructions must be clear and not require any judgement on your part.The following label provides clear instructions on how this medication may be taken:
- All “PRN” or “as needed” medication labels should include the following:
- The conditions for which the medication should be given (For diarrhea).
- The dosage of medication to give (1-2 capsules).
- The hours it should be given (every 3-4 hrs).
- The upper limit of dosages (Maximum of 6 capsules per day. Call doctor if symptoms persist more than 3 days.)NOTE: REMEMBER, UNLICENSED STAFF MAY ASSIST WITH “as needed” MEDICATIONS ONLY AT THE REQUEST OF A COMPETENT RESIDENT.
The previous label does not provide clear directions. To understand why this is important, answer the following questions:
- Why should Kevin King take medication?
- How often can this medication be taken?
- Is there an upper limit to the dosage in a given time period?
The instructions for the label above should include additional information. For example:
- Take (1) 25 MG capsule by mouth at bedtime, as needed for sleeplessness
- May repeat one time if needed 1 hour later. Not to exceed 2 capsules in a 24 hour period
This tells you why Kevin King should take the medication, how much he should take, when he should take the medication, and the maximum dose to be taken in a given time period.