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What should a nurse at a state-run facility do when tasked with crushing patient meds that should not be crushed and there is no doctor’s order?

Question:

Dear Donna,

I work at a state run facility that has recently adopted a policy to crush gabapentin. The problem is the gabapentin is in a capsule. All literature I have read states not to crush or open the capsules. There is not a doctor’s order to crush or open the capsule. What do I do?

Looking for Medication Administration Advice

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Looking for Medication Administration Advice,

This situation definitely needs prompt clarification. Whenever you have this type of question, you should first go to your immediate supervisor and/or a nurse educator if one is available at your facility/agency. Because this is a drug-related question, it would make sense to consult with a pharmacist at your facility/agency too. If a pharmacist is not regularly on-site, there should be one available for consultations. You can also consult the patient’s physician or advanced practice nurse who wrote the order for the drug. I can’t help wondering who adopted the policy and why it was done if the drug is available only as a capsule.

You need to find internal resources for this and any related questions. Use the resources available to you in your system and get clarification as soon as possible on both the policy and the procedure.

Best wishes,
Donna

By | 2015-01-19T00:00:00-05:00 January 19th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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