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Why Is It Important For Medical Support Workers To Understand Prescription Drugs?

10 OCT 2013
Career Path : Healthcare

For medical support workers, every day is a new adventure. The job includes such a wide variety of tasks that it always has something new to offer. However, many of those daily tasks also remain consistent. Medical support workers are expected to tend to many of a patient’s daily needs, like bathing, dressing, tending to bandages and other medical equipment, preparing meals, providing company, and even running errands. One of the most important aspects of the medical support worker’s job is to safely administer medication, which you can learn about in pharmacy technician courses and nursing unit clerk courses, among other educational settings. By learning how to safely administer medication to patients, you will be protecting yourself from liability, and ensuring that the patient gets what they need on a daily basis. Ahead are three of the most important reasons that medical support workers need to understand prescription drugs.

Patient Care

  • This is the most basic reason, but it is still worth mentioning. Above all, the medical support worker is expected to do all that they can, within their training and the framework of ethics, to give the patient the best care possible. Since many medical support workers are tending to patients who are elderly, disabled, or terminally ill, this often involves the administration of prescription medication. There are so many prescription drugs on the market that it can be tough to follow, but a strong knowledge of prescription medication gives the medical support worker the background necessary to provide the best possible care to patients.

Patient Safety

  • One of the key dangers of prescription drugs is the way in which they interact with one another, and how they interact with any over the counter drugs that a patient may be taking. Mixing the wrong medications can lead to severe allergic reactions, dangerous health-related side effects, and even death. While doctors will of course do their best to prescribe medication in a safe manner when it comes to interaction, sometimes things slip through the cracks. By having background knowledge of drug interactions, medical support workers can head off potential problems before any damage is done.

Personal Liability

  • In the medical field, it is an unfortunate fact that workers always need to be aware of personal liability. That is not to say that every time something happens to a patient, one must be worried, as many patients are already ill and problems happen naturally. However, administering the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or medications that interact poorly is something that is within the control of the medical support worker. Strong knowledge of prescription medications will help to avoid potential accidents, and protect you from liability.

Whether you gain the knowledge from pharmacy technician courses, nursing unit clerk courses, or other means, knowing your prescriptions is vital to success as a medical support worker. You will be able to provide better care, do so in a safe manner, and protect yourself from potential liability should anything go wrong.

Visit Thompson Career College for more information on studying in a College in Kamloops.