3.3. Components of a Complete Order
Components of a Complete Order.
- Client name (Last and first).
- Medication name
- Strength of medication (if required)
- Dosage of medication to be administered
- Route of administration
- Specific directions for use, including frequency of administration
- Reason for administration if the medication is ordered PRN or as needed
- Provider signature.
Orders for medications prescribed for PRN administration must include
- Symptoms that require the administration of the medication;
- Exact dosage;
- Exact time frame between dosages;
- Maximum dosage to be administered in 24-hour period;
QMAPs may be responsible for receiving and transcribing orders.
- It is important that QMAP understands required procedures as well as the limitations of QMAP role in medication documentation.
- An order is required to administer, change or discontinue any medication or treatment;
- It is important to know the components of a medication order;
- Contact the prescribing health care provider if the order is not legible – DON’T GUESS!
- If an order is not complete or clear on how to administer; the QMAP must contact the supervisor or physician – DON’T GUESS!
- Example – Ativan 0.5 mg. by mouth every 4 hours PRN for pacing or agitation;
- A physician must be contacted if more than four doses are needed in the 24-hour period.
A “dose” has 3 parts.
- Size: The dose/size is the amount of drug taken at any one time. This can be expressed as the weight of drug (e.g. 250 mg), volume of drug solution (e.g. 10 mL, 2 drops), the number of dosage forms (e.g. 1 capsule, 1 suppository) or some other quantity (e.g. 2 puffs).
- Frequency: The dosage regimen is the frequency at which the drug doses are given.
- Examples include 2.5 mL twice a day, one tablet three times a day, one injection every four weeks.
- Duration: the time during which the dose continues working.
What is the strength of preparation: The strength is the amount of drug in the dosage form or a unit of the dosage form (e.g. 500 mg capsule, 250 mg/5 mL suspension).
Example: A patient is prescribed 30 mg amitriptyline (dose). Amitriptyline is available in 10-mg tablets. (Strength of preparation)
Number of tablets required=30/10×1=3
A child has prescribed 240 mg paracetamol (dose). Paracetamol suspension is available as a solution of 120 mg/5 ml.(strength of preparation)
The volume of paracetamol required=240/120 ×5=10 ml