1.4. The 4 “routes” of giving medications


        1.       Ingestion

a)       Oral tablets, capsules or liquids;

b)      Lozenges (in the mouth, not swallowed);

c)       Sublingual tablets (under the tongue, not swallowed) Note: QMAPs are allowed to utilize the barrel of a syringe to administer oral medications.

        2.       Application

a)       Skin ointments, gels, lotions, liniments;

b)      Skin sprays or aerosols;

c)       Throat gargles;

d)      Transdermal skin patches;

e)      Eye ointment or drops;

f)        Ear drops;

g)       Nose drops or nasal sprays.

        3.       Inhalation

a)       Respiratory;

b)      Insertion;

c)       Rectal suppositories;

d)      Vaginal suppositories or creams.


Glossary of terms.

  • · Oral – taken by the mouth and swallowed;
  • · Buccal – placed between cheek and gum;
  • · Sublingual – placed under the tongue;
  • · Eye – placed in the pocket of the eye created when the lower eyelid is gently pulled down;
  • · Ear – placed in the ear canal created when the external ear is pulled up and back;
  • · Nasal – placed in the nostril;
  • · Inhalant – inhaled into the lungs;
  • · Transdermal – placed and affixed to the skin;
  • · Topical – applied to the skin or hair;
  • · Vaginal – inserted into the vagina;
  • · Rectal – inserted into the rectum;
  • · Subcutaneous– injected into the fat with a syringe).


        QMAPs do not allow administering medication through IV ports, G- Tubes, NG-Tubes or for injections into the bloodstream or skin including insulin pens.

        QMAPs do not allow injecting insulin, drawing up or dialing an insulin pen for injections.

        Completion of this course does not qualify a student to perform finger sticks or blood glucose testing.

        Additional documented training must be given by a licensed professional at facility.

A qualified medication administration person shall not administer epinephrine injections unless the QMAP:

(A)        Has been directed to do so by a 911 emergency call operator as an urgent first aid measure,


(B)        Has completed an anaphylaxis training program conducted by a nationally recognized organization and is authorized to use an epinephrine injector pursuant to section 25-47-103, C.R.S.


  1. ALWAYS measure using the metric system.
  2. ALWAYS use an oral measuring syringe for small amounts of liquid medication.
  3. ALWAYS place the cup on a solid surface at eye level. If the label says to measure in MLS, ALWAYS use a measuring device that is marked in MLS.
  4. If the label says to measure in mgs, ALWAYS use a measuring device that is marked in mgs for that medication.
  5. ALWAYS consult your pharmacist when you have a question about measuring.

  1. NEVER use household spoons.
  2. NEVER switch the special droppers that come with some liquid medications.
  3. NEVER use cups that are not marked with the amount they hold.
  4. NEVER measure MLS with a measuring device that is marked in mgs.
  5. NEVER measure mgs with measuring devices that are marked in mls.
  6. NEVER leave air bubbles mixed with the liquid in an oral measuring syringe.