Medication Identification

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In this day and time patients have to be their own advocate. Many take whatever the doctor prescribes and doesn’t even ask questions. When they are admitted to the hospital they possibly have no idea of what they are taking or why they are taking it. I guess working in the medical field my eyes have opened up and I realize that doctors are not perfect. They are overworked with a high patient load. Sometimes patients walk into the office and are surprised that the doctor does not remember them or what medications they are on. I think this is probably the normal. I have seen doctors order the wrong medications, order medications the patient is allergic to, forget to order medications, etc. We don’t want to alarm our patients but we must make sure that they see the advantage of being their own advocate. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. If the doctor seems too busy or annoyed, find another doctor. It is also vital to use the nurse as a resource. The public relies on doctors and pharmacists to keep up with their medication list. For some reason if they get a prescription filled at a different pharmacy, they think magically their regular pharmacist will know and add it to their list. Or if they see a different doctor, they think that doctor would have called and made sure they have the correct information on hand. As nurses I also think we have a responsibility to be strong advocates for our patients. We need to look after them, ensure their medications are correct, and most importantly, educate the patients on the importance of looking out for theirselves.

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