Safe Administration Of Medications


Medication administration is one of the most frequent nursing clinical practice activities. The safe administration of medication contributes to the quality of patient care. Medication errors can occur during the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medications. Understanding the factors involved in the regulation of medications, pharmacology and error producing conditions, is an important way nurses can contribute to the reduction of medication errors.

Q1 Pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials to determine the efficacy (effectiveness) and safety of a medication. Briefly outline the FOUR (4) phases of clinical trials


a)Briefly outline the main responsibility of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

b)Describe TWO (2)  ways medications are regulated by the TGA for use in Australia

Q3 Briefly define the terms pharmacokinetics (4 marks) AND pharmacodynamics

Q4 In relation to oral medications, explain the phenomenon known as the ‘hepatic first pass effect’


a)Briefly describe why Glyceryl Trinitrate 600 microgram tablets must only be administered sublingually

b)List TWO (2) specific areas of education you should deliver to the patient that only relate to the medication Glyceryl Trinitrate

Q6 Outline FIVE (5) different roles and/or responsibilities of the:

a)Registered Nurse


c)Pharmacist involved in the safe use of medications

Q7 Describe FIVE (5) different types of medication error  AND  a possible cause for each


a)Explain the difference between the person-centred approach (5 marks) and the system-approach to human error

b)Defences, barriers, and safeguards are components of James Reason’s (1990) ‘Swiss Cheese Model’. Briefly explain how these factors can prevent a medication error from occurring

c)Holes in the defences arise because of active failures and latent conditions. In relation to medication errors identify:

i.THREE (3) possible Latent conditions

ii.THREE  (3) possible Active failures

Q9 Describe FIVE (5) factors that contribute to  medication error  AND  a possible cause for each