Many patients in health and social care settings need a variety of medications for medical conditions or as enablers of better wellbeing. These medications can be quite different to one another- for example, physically they may take different forms and can be administered in different ways, such as capsules to be swallowed with water, or medication given through a patch applied to the skin.

Handling medication and knowing how to handle these substances in a way that ensures patient safety is a critical function of health care and social care. Knowing how to manage and store such medications safely and correctly is also essential. Patients depend on the medication provided by healthcare professionals in order to minimise pain, manage their symptoms, and help provide a better overall quality of life.

And looking at the bigger picture, meticulous attention to the management of medicines isvital to the performance of health and social care organisations. All such organisations require that healthcare professionals working for them understand the importance of handling, administering, and storing medication correctly andthe procedures that must be followed to ensure safe use of medicines.

Errors with the administration of medicines can clearly have serious impacts on individuals and their health outcomes, and so training in the handling of medication is essential to avoid catastrophic errors. Such errors are generally thought of in terms of incorrect dosage, and this is indeed a common mistake, but others could take the form of incorrect crushing of tablets or providing the medication at the wrong time.

There are also issues to be considered in social care settings, for example where more than one healthcare professional is responsible for a patient either in a home or care home setting. The documentation of medicines provided and administered is essential in order to ensure no “mix ups” leading to a dose being missed or an additional dose given in error. This is just one more practical, real-life example where handling and management of medicines is clearly a critical issue.

At ACI we provide a course in Handling Medication. The course looks not only at medicine management and administration, but also considers legislation and codes of practice that must be complied with and those medicines that require careful monitoring. The course also includes drug calculation exercises.

If you’re interested in taking this course, please do get in touch with us on 01291 624451, or email