C. Providing Assistance with Medication

  1. Assistance with self-administration of medication includes the following:
  • Taking a properly dispensed and labeled medication from where it is stored and bringing it to the resident;
  • In the presence of the resident, reading the label, opening then container and removing the prescribed amount of medication;
  • Closing the container;
  • Placing an oral dosage (generally pills) in the resident’s hand; or
  • Placing the oral dosage in another container, such as a small cup, and helping the resident by lifting the container to the resident’s mouth;
  • Returning the medication container to the storage area, and storing the medication properly; and
  • Documenting the assistance on the MOR.

Some residents will need you to do only some of these tasks.
Allow each resident to do as much as possible for him or herself.
Do no more than needed. Remember, you are assisting them with self-administration. You are there to help, not to take over .

Assistance with medication also includes applying topical medications. Topical medications include lotions, cream, eye and ear drops, nose drops and sprays, and inhalers. The procedures for providing assistance with topical medications are discussed in detail later in this chapter.

NOTE: Remember, if you are assisting a resident, you must keep a record of when a resident receives assistance with medication. This means recording each dose of medication for which assistance was provided on the medication observation record (MOR) as soon as it is given.

2. Assistance with medication does not include:

  • Mixing, compounding, converting or calculating medication dosages;
  • Preparation of syringes for injections and giving injection;
  • Administration of medications through intermittent positive pressure breathing machines or a nebulizer;
  • Administration of medications through a tube inserted in the body;
  • Parenteral preparations (medications which are not taken by mouth or applied topically such as intravenous medications, etc);
  • Irrigations or debriding agents, such as for the treatment of pressure sores;
  • Rectal, urethral, or vaginal preparations (such as suppositories);
  • “As needed” medications which require judgment, and
  • Any medication which requires judgment or discretion on the part of the unlicensed person.NOTE: As an unlicensed person, you are prohibited by low from performing any of the tasks listed above.