After you've passed all of your aged care courses and you're in the job for real, the work you do as an elderly carer is often life-changing. You'll spend your days providing everyday support for people, allowing them to lead the most independent lives possible. Part of this support is ensuring they take the correct medication at the right time.
How Many People Die From Medical Errors In Australia?
There will be many occasions during your aged care career in which the support you provide is what your patients need to survive. Statistics show that between 18,000-54,000, people lose their lives each year from being given incorrect meds, so if you're thinking of making a career change into aged care, you need to understand that it's a tremendous responsibility.
How Do I Make Sure Someone Takes Their Medication As A carer?
So, what can you do as an aged carer to ensure that meds are given at the right time and never forgotten? The good news that online learning in the subject gives you is that it requires you to be regimented and organised. Now, look at five examples of what we mean by that.
- Tip #1 Pre-organise the week's Meds - a great way to ensure that meds are only ever given at the right time is to pre-organize all of the meds needed for the week. Pill box organisers are ideal for this purpose, as there will be a specific box for every day of the week, meaning you can tell when pills have been taken as they should and when they've been missed.
- Tip #2 - Be aware of possible side effects - take one or two short courses in aged care, and you'll soon become aware that a lot of meds come with side effects, and many seniors have to take multiple varieties. That means you should; a) be aware of side effects, so you don't presume issues are caused by something else, and b) ensure that anything new will not cause any harmful interactions.
- Tip #3 - ALWAYS follow medication instructions - some meds need to be taken on a full stomach, with others needing an empty one. Failing to follow basic instructions like these can lead to urgent problems that you're not trained to deal with. So, no matter how confident you might be, NEVER deviate from the doctor's instructions for the sake of your patient.
- Tip #4 - Set up reminders on your phone - even the best-laid plans can falter because of being busy and distracted - as you will be most of the time. Setting alarms on your phone is a good idea, as you'll get the reminder you need. Even the most organised people forget things, but they're organised enough to set up a safety net, just in case.
- Tip #5 - Put refills in your diary - as aged care courses show, you may be responsible for sorting out repeat medication for the seniors you look after. Keep important refill dates in your diary. You don't want to be the reason why emergency meds have to be requested, so clearly mark them in your schedule to make sure you make the requests on time.
You're not going to find too many people over 70 not on any meds, so as an aged carer, organising pills is going to be part of things for most people you'll care for. Follow these five tips, however, and you'll significantly mitigate the chances of mistakes being made.
Get Job Ready For Aged Care With OCA Short Courses:
If you're considering a role in aged care in the near future, you can start applying for jobs quicker when you take CPD-Endorsed, videos-based aged care courses from OCA. The online learning you'll find in our Job Ready Aged Care Bundle contains industry-led content that is super-relevant to the role, as it's created in conjunction with top experts from the sector who know what's in demand.
Why study with OCA? Well, our students get the best and most engaging online education Australia can provide, and you get help from 1-to-1 mentoring and 24/7 tutorial support. Check out our Student Study Demothat lays everything out clearly for you to understand.
Aged care is just one of more than 20 different industries covered by our course library - something you can see by visiting us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au. While you're there, why not look at our flexible payment options that make our learning even more affordable than it already is?
Alternatively, to speak to our friendly team about anything, call us at 1300 611 404 or drop us a line at [email protected].