6.9. Unique Situations to do prior to Administration of Medications


  • Take the medication and your other supplies to the client, or have the client come to your administration area. Be sure any area used to administer medication is neat and clean.
  • Identify the client. You may ask the client their name and compare it with a photograph, or ask a staff person to assist in verifying. Never ask another client to participate in identifying a client. Be aware of privacy and dignity issues when selecting an area to administer.
  • Explain the procedure to the client to obtain cooperation.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer, put on gloves (if needed).
  • No pre-pouring medications.


 Vital Signs

– When a vital sign is to be obtained before administering medication, obtain the vital sign results before preparing the medication for administration;
– Examples – pulse or blood pressure.


  Crushing Medications and Mixing in Food

– Do not crush medications until immediately before the medications are administered
– The devices used to crush medications may vary in facilities;
– The most common method – using a pill crusher and crushing the medications using two medication soufflé cups;
– If the medications are unit-dose, the employee may crush the medication in the unit dose package and empty into a medication cup;
– A mortar and pestle may also be used; to avoid cross-contamination when crushing medications and the residue from the medication is present, the device must be cleaned thoroughly before crushing another client’s medication.