Easing into medication awareness gently

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Sherry works in the same organisation as Ola (remember him? My fictional character from previous posts) as a supported living manager. She has a team of five staff supporting  six people who live in the house with various mental health conditions. Her team consists of three experienced staff and two new people who are beginning an apprenticeship that will involve them studying for a level 2 qualification in health and social care.

While she appreciates the experience of the older team members, one of the areas of concern she has with them is medication administration and awareness. Of all the people living in the house only one person manages his own medication. The remaining five depend on staff for their medication. Sherry wants staff to not only administer medication correctly, but also for them to have a good understanding of the medicines each person takes, what they are for, their possible side effects and how best to help people to comply with their medication and where possible move them onto managing their own medicines. 

Recently her team have made a number of medication related errors, most of them mainly administrative. She isn’t happy about this. Also she doesn’t want her newer staff to develop a nonchalant attitude towards managing people’s medication, an attitude she believes the more experienced staff have. Beyond putting people on medication training she’s looking for ways to develop a positive attitude towards medication among all her team members. How can Sherry do this? To start with she wants to run short group learning sessions during the team’s monthly meetings. She’s got a meeting next week and she’s come up with her first idea, which is to use the experience of Mike and his medication to communicate the importance of medication from the person’s perspective to staff, hoping they will see how important the way they handle people’s medication is.

We will see how Sherry runs the learning activity in the next post.

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