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Why is Medication Training so Important in Social Care?

Author: John Hinds
by John Hinds
Posted: May 13, 2021

Anyone who has ever been given a regular prescription will probably be aware of the importance of sticking to the right dose and schedule. Add to this another prescription and maybe another, with the need for timing the taking of each medication carefully – a common occurrence in adults in social care settings – then there is a grave potential for serious consequences should those responsible not be fully trained in medications. The drugs prescribed may lose efficacy if the correct routine is not followed, cause side effects if they are taken without food, if that is called for and of course there is the potential for very serious issues with skipping medications or taking too many doses. In a care home setting with multiple individuals all with distinct pharmaceutical requirements, the need for medication training is arguably higher than in almost any other environment outside of a hospital.

What is involved in medication training?

There is a lot more to medication training than being able to check lists, sort pills and give them to the relevant individuals. Proper training will help staff provide accurate documentation and records to comply with all of the relevant requirements not to mention help them feel less anxious and overwhelmed at the prospect of keeping on top of all of the medication requirements of their clients. Another key aspect of medication training involves helping delegates understand the importance of patient involvement in terms of understanding what each medication is for and the potential side effects they may cause. Correct crushing of tablets, correct dosing and understanding the way the medication works are all important factors that will also be covered. In addition to patient related training it is also vital that staff will understand the best methods for storing and disposing of medications appropriately.

Considerations specific for the adult social care setting

Within the adult social care setting training should be accessible for all staff and staff should be supported and encouraged to get trained. It is up to employers to recognise how to identify training, learning and developmental needs for their staff as well as carry out competency assessments. Training providers will be well versed in tailoring training programmes for staff in adult social care and medications training might include how to use:

  • Eye drops
  • Rectal or vaginal preparations
  • Oral syringes

among many other methods of administering of medications.

NICE SC1 and NG67 guidelines make it clear that care staff involved in medicines should have an annual review of their knowledge, skills and competencies specifically in relation to their ability to manage and administer medications.

Anyone working with vulnerable people of all ages in a social care setting and in any way responsible for their medicines must be able to access the appropriate training. Not only is it best practice it is also imperative for the individuals involved to feel comfortable, safe and responsible in the workplace, not to mention the role it plays in safeguarding those in care.

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Author: John Hinds
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John Hinds

Member since: Jul 29, 2018
Published articles: 38

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