Monday, September 23, 2013

Pass The Meds Please


An ARNP was trying to figure out if a patient  had his home medications restarted during hospitalization and asked the patient's nurse if she has "passed" a particular medication today.  I got a chuckle out of the use of the term "passed" - we just don't hear that anymore. 

Yes, I've heard the pharmacist talk about the "8 a.m. med pass".  It must be something taught in pharmacist school.  But we don't really talk about nurses "passing meds" anymore. 

Passing meds comes from the old team nursing concept, where a group of nurses were assigned to care for a group of patients and each were in charge of a specific task for all of the patients.  Med nurse, treatments nurse, team leader, etc. 

Passing meds brings to mind a picture of the nurse in a white dress and white cap rolling a med cart down a long hall with little silver trays holding med cards and cups of pills.  The med nurse making her way down the hall and stopping in each room to hand off some pills. 

We don't pass pills anymore, we administer medications now.  Sounds a little more professional, doesn't it?  There are days, though, especially when a patient wants to take each one of their 30 pills one-at-a-time, when I could really go for walking past a room and simply chucking some pills at my patients.

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