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Nursing ProcedureORAL MEDICATION




Oral medication are defined as the administration of medication by mouth and ensuring that patient swallows the medicine


  • To prevent the disease
  • To cure the disease
  • To promote the health
  • To give palliative treatment
  • To give as a symptomatic treatment

Nurses Responsibility in Administration of Oral Medication

  • Check the diagnosis and age of the patient
  • Check the purpose of medication
  • Check the identification of the patient, the name and bed number
  • Check the physician’s orders for the correct name of the drug, dosage and method of administration
  • Check the nurse record for the time at which the last dose was given
  • Check for any contraindications present in the patient for an oral intake of the medicines such as nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness etc
  • Check the character of the drug – whether it can be taken safely by the oral method
  • Check the form of the drug available and the correct method of administration
  • Check the level of consciousness of the patient and ability to follow instructions
  • Check the abilities and limitations in swallowing the medications


A trolley containing

  •  A bowel of clean water
  • Ounce glass, medicine glass, dropper teaspoon to measure the medicine
  • Drinking water in a feeding cup
  • Mortar and pestle to crush and powder the table if necessary
  • Duster/towel to wipe the outside the bottle after pouring the medicine ordered
  • Kidney tray and paper bag to discard the waste
  • Medicine cards to write the medication order from patients order sheet

Preparation of the Patient

  • Explain the procedure to the patient. Tell the advantages needs of medication
  • If patient is allowed to sit assist him to sit
  • Never give medication in flat position as there is a danger of aspiration of drug and fluid when swallowed.
  • Give a mouth wash, if necessary
  • If medication is ill tasting, prepare a drink to mask the taste of the medication
  • Protect the bed clothes and garments with the towel placed under the chin across the chest


  • Keep the patient comfortable in bed
  • Arrange the articles at the bed side
  • Identify patient by name and check the name board at bed side
  • Check the nurse’s record to find out when drug was last administered
  • Check for special instructions  and check vital signs if needed
  • Select medicine from patient’s locker and check medication label thrice
  • Encourage patient to sit-up and make sure medicines are swallowed
  • First give little water to moisten the mouth and then give medicine one at a time
  • Stay with the patient until the medicine has been swallowed; give him a drink of water after it

After Care of the Patient and Articles

  • Remove the towel and wipe the face with it
  • Position the patient for good body alignment
  • Take all articles to the utility room. Wash and dry all articles and replace them in their proper place
  • Wash hands
  • Record medications given in medication sheet and also nurses record
  • Record any reaction observed after the administration of the drug
  • Report any reaction to the ward sister and doctor-in-charge


  • Continuous vomiting
  • Gastric or intestinal suction
  • Unconscious patient
  • Patient who are unable to swallow
  • Patient on nil per oral


  • This method is safe and convenient
  • It is effective method
  • There is no pain while administering the drug
  • Allergic reactions are very less


  • Sometimes the patient may not swallow the medicine
  • The drug may only be partially observed
  • It may irritate the gastric mucosa and can cause vomiting or diarrhea and the effect is lost
ORAL MEDICATION - Purpose, Equipment, Nurse Responsibility, Advantage, Disadvantage, Patient Preparation
ORAL MEDICATION – Purpose, Equipment, Nurse Responsibility, Advantage, Disadvantage, Patient Preparation
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