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Medication administration in small jails

 

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Male_user DIRTFT 1 post

With electronic medication administration technologies, most of the activities for passing meds are validated to the 5 Rs. The challenge is the jail committing to the technology investments that not only reduce medication risks, provide documentation and improved management of medication therapies, but substantially reduce the number of nursing labor hours utilized. A CO or nurse is challenged to complete the med pass within the time allotted and then review compliance, track observations, etc.

 
Female_user mta7035 33 posts

Wow, I’ve been a nurse for a mighty long time and I am amazed that there are still jails where CO’s pass meds. I run a medical unit in a 255 bed facility and I shudder to think of most of my CO’s having to make a determination about a medication or an illness. My hat is off to you guys.

 
Remle-riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Where I’m at now the inmates line up next to the nurses station. One at a time they come up, the nurse gives them the meds and they must take them and show the officer on post their mouth for proof. If possible I prefer to never touch the meds. I’m security, not medical.

 
Halloween_2 Turnkey 9 posts

Hey all. I too had the job of dispensing meds. At our institution the nurses placed all their meds in small envelopes for distribution for the inmates at the prescribed times. My problem was I didn’t have any training in meds and they wanted us to sign the actual med sheets showing what they were getting. I didn’t agree with this (who would, you’re setting yourself up BIG TIME) and created a signing sheet that simply stated which inmates received their medication envelopes at what times. I never received any flack from it because I’m sure the Management Team knew they would lose any argument on it. Careful what you dispense because one wrong med can end a career pretty quick.

 
Correction_officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Years ago the nurses would take the meds from the bottles and place them into manila envelopes marked with the inmates name and the proper dispensing information (times, dosage, etc.). Then they switched to the blister packs and to this date still use them. The state told us that dispensing meds had to be done by pushing the meds from the blister pack directly into a paper cup in front of inmates so no one could say we touched the meds. For those who have used blister packs you know that occasionally the pills pop out too fast and end up on the dispensing cart or elsewhere. They also changed the liquid meds such as maalox and cought syrup to a sealed one dose unit so we didn’t have to pour the medicine out into a plastic cup.

 
Male_user Richard Cranium 2 posts

Our system has been revised once again, hopefully for the better. As officers, we are now dispensing the medications straight from the bottles, following the perscribed dosage. This has eliminated some of the issues we have had as far as the blister packs being shorted certain medications and not knowing which medication was missing. So far, so good. It is a little slow, but it minimizes the stress of not knowing which medications you were possibly signing for that were missing.

 
Correction_officer jamestown0509 313 posts

At the jail we were required as COs to pass medications to inmates. The jail physician would see the inmates two times a week, prescribe meds and the nurses would put them on a portable cart for each section of the facility. Each officer on a unit, floor, dorm would go through a med book by inmate name, pull the appropriate meds from a blister pack dispensing them in a paper cup. The inmates were called to the officers desk where they had to bring a glass of water, swallow the meds and open their mouth, sticking out tongue to make sure they took them. The state said that COs could pass medications as long as a doctor prescribed them and nurses filled the orders.

 
Male_user Richard Cranium 2 posts

We too are concerned about the legality of passing medications without any traing other than OJT. Most of the meds are prepackaged by medical staff and may not have an accurate count on each medication or they may be listed by brand name on the bottle, but are listed by the generic name on the med sheet. Does anyone have any information regarding the legality of unntrained staff passing medications?

 
Male_user jmonta 43 posts

How do small, rural jails handle medication administration if they don’t have a nurse on staff?

Is there a training course for detention officers that can certify them to be able to legally pass medications to the inmates?

How do facilities get around the potential legal ramifications of not having a nurse on staff

Lisa Hirsch LHirsch@coconino.az.gov

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