Workplace mental health nursing - uni

gem77

Member
Dec 29, 2011
112
0
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew whether mental health nurses [for the UK] administer medication to patients unsupervised ? I'm thinking of applying for a course at uni as i like the thought of helping people but am worried about when working out dosages for patients which i know will be taught but is it for every nurse in mental health. thanks.
 

BritAbroad

O.G.
Jun 9, 2012
3,590
304
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew whether mental health nurses [for the UK] administer medication to patients unsupervised ? I'm thinking of applying for a course at uni as i like the thought of helping people but am worried about when working out dosages for patients which i know will be taught but is it for every nurse in mental health. thanks.

I'm sorry I cannot speak for the UK. I'm originally from there but was not nursing when I lived there.
In Canada, when I work in our mental health unit we give meds to psych patients, yes.
They are ordered by the physician (by drug name and dose) and the nurse gives them. You are not going to have a doc just give you a verbal order "give him Haldol" and you have to figure out the dose. He/she should be giving you the dose too and if they don't you ask.
They should also be writing these orders down too. You will learn very quickly the allowed doses and if you are given an order that does not sound right you ask for clarification from the doc.
You will also have manuals in the med room where you can look dosages up if you need to and many nurses do.
It is not as scary as you think and you always (at least we do here) have another nurse 'witness' your narcotics.
You do your 5 rights (right patient, drug, dose, route, time) and it is really quite simple.
Med errors happen when people are rushing or not paying attention. There's no need to rush and don't let anyone distract you, not staff, not patients or their family. If somebody approaches you and tries to talk to you while you're doing meds, do not consider the question, ask them to give you a moment until you are done. Unless someone is actively coding there's nothing deserving of your distraction!
Fear of the unknown is very natural, I understand, but pretty much every nurse I know, even 30 year veterans, are working with a little bit of fear in their head during a shift...whether you're in triage, mental health, gen surg, wherever...it's what keeps you on your toes and attentive.
It's a good thing, not a weakness.
 
Sep 11, 2006
6,856
2,250
I come from 2 generations of mental health nurses (I'm not I hasten to add!) and neither prescribed medication for patients; doctors should be prescribing medication and doses. As a nurse, you would administer those doses.

You could take a Nurse Prescriber qualification which would allow you to prescribe - quite an intensive course as I understand it but allows you to prescribe something like 95% of BNF.
 

ninjanna

Bag addict!
May 25, 2012
1,206
35
You definitely don't give medications to patients without an order from the doctor, which they'll give the name, time, and dosage. So don't worry so much. :smile: Plus you end up getting to know how much to give so if you're ever confused about the dosage (like if it's way too high), then you can always double check it with the doctor.

And yes, medication errors occur if you're rushing or being careless. You'll get supervised as a student, never on your own.
 
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