Math drills or memorizing patient rights won’t fix med administration errors.
They’re too messy and complex for any single solution. That’s why your nursing program’s medication administration training requires a comprehensive approach.
This medication administration training packet attempts to do just that. It includes three resources:
- Patient Education Assignment
- Medication Administration Check-Off Rubric
- Simulation Scenarios
Together, these tools holistically address the complex issues that contribute to med administration errors made by new nursing students as they transition into clinical practice.
The Goals for This Medication Administration Training
Here’s some context about this free resource. Our pedagogical approach is highly influenced by an excellent article, “Teaching Successful Medication Administration Today: More Than Just Knowing Your ‘Rights’.” It’s a brilliant article—with a slightly cheeky title. But beyond the title, we took several of the article’s recommendations to heart.
A Comprehensive Approach
As nursing educators, you know that medication administration training requires more than just a skills check-off. And that’s why our download includes three resources for the different stages of a nursing student’s training.
Patient Education Assignment
- The first resource doesn’t require a lot of technical skill—perfect for tackling early on in your program. The assignment introduces the issue of med administration errors and asks students to minimize those errors through patient education.
Medication Administration Skills Check-Off Rubric
- The second resource focuses on building psychomotor skills with a comprehensive skill check-off. This particular skill check-off covers all administration methods and even asks students to work with MARs.
- The final resource offers ways to transition those psychomotor skills and communication skills into simulation experiences. As this happens toward the end of the program, it helps educators evaluate whether students are ready to matriculate.
Organized this way, these resources build off one another so students don’t feel overwhelmed. It also allows educators to segment and focus on key aspects of medication administration—communication, psychomotor skills, and critical thinking—individually.
Focus on Critical Thinking
Speaking of medication administration being more than a skills check-off: the first and final resources focus on critical thinking. The first—an assignment—asks students to consider how to best communicate medication information to their patients. Because of the different ages, cultures, languages, and genders that students will work with as nurses, this requires careful thinking.
The last resource also highlights a simulation experience where students make decisions. This was a page directly out of Dr. Bourbonnais and Dr. Caswell’s excellent article.
As the authors of “More Than Just Knowing Your ‘Rights,’” point out, too often senior students are asked to complete “beginning level of concrete, task oriented steps.” What they really need are “opportunities to make decisions” about med administration.
Our packet gives an example of a simulation experience that does just that. With this resource, you can help students move beyond psychomotor skills and truly practice critical thinking and clinical judgment in a safe environment.
Creating Realistic Clinical Environments
Another recommendation from Dr. Bourbonnais and Dr. Caswell that we took to heart was creating realistic clinical environments in simulation experiences. Studies show that environmental factors play a key role in a fair number of med administration errors.
So it follows that med administration training should reflect those environmental factors (e.g., poorly written scripts and chatty patient family members). The last resource in the download provides articles and examples of how to recreate clinical chaos in your simulations.
This way your students expect and cope with realistic clinical environments before they matriculate. It also gives you an opportunity to honestly and accurately assess students before they begin working in healthcare.
Download Your Free Copy
There you have it: a brilliant medication administration training packet. It’s comprehensive, approachable, goes beyond psychomotor skills, and emphasizes critical thinking and realistic simulation experience. Considering that it’s free—what else could you ask for?
For more tips, read “3 Tips for Teaching Nursing Students Medication Administration” or watch a free workshop “Ready for Clinical Practice: Teaching Med Administration to Nursing Students.”
Hillary is a trained literary scholar and university writing instructor who traded Shakespeare and Cavendish for content marketing. She loves all things design, art, theatre, travel, and literature.