Pharmacology Analgesic Question #1

Question

The nurse is preparing pain medication for a postoperative patient who complains of pain. The nurse checks and rechecks the order against the electronic medication administration record and finds that the prescription states, “morphine sulfate 50 mg IM every 4-6 hours as needed for pain.” The nurse refers to the medication manual and facility policy and finds the usual dose is morphine 10-15 mg IM. What is the best action for the nurse to take?

Answers

  1. Administer the medication as prescribed.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because if the nurse has a concern about the prescribed order, he/she should contact the health care provider to clarify/verify the prescription. Reading back a phone or verbal order to the health care provider or calling to clarify any order or prescription written or entered into the electronic record system helps prevent errors.

  2. Contact the health care provider to verify the prescription.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because verification and clarification of orders is the responsibility of the nurse. Reading back a phone or verbal order to the health care provider or calling to clarify any order or prescription written or entered into the electronic record system helps prevent errors. If the nurse has a concern about the prescription order or if anything is missing on the order, the provider should be called for clarification. The Joint Commission (TJC) requires the receiver of any verbal order from a provider to write the order down, and read (not repeat) the order to the prescribing health care provider.

  3. Ask another person to review the medications, prescription, and policies.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because asking another person to review the medications, prescription, and policies is not the best action for the nurse to take when an order is in question. Verification and clarification of orders is the responsibility of the nurse. Reading back a phone or verbal order to the health care provider or calling to clarify any order or prescription written or entered into the electronic record system helps prevent errors. If the nurse has a concern about the prescription order or if anything is missing on the order, the provider should be called for clarification.

  4. Administer only 15 mg of the medication.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not legal to change the prescriber’s order. Verification and clarification of orders is the responsibility of the nurse. Reading back a phone or verbal order to the health care provider or calling to clarify any order or prescription written or entered into the electronic record system helps prevent errors. If the nurse has a concern about the prescription order or if anything is missing on the order, the provider should be called for clarification.

Overview

It is imperative for the nurse to confirm any order in question with the health care provider.
Verification or clarification of orders should be done if the nurse has any question about a prescription.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Verification and clarification of orders is the responsibility of the nurse. Reading back a phone or verbal order to the health care provider or calling to clarify any order or prescription written or entered into the electronic record system helps prevent errors. If the nurse has a concern about the prescription order or if anything is missing on the order, the provider should be called for clarification. The Joint Commission (TJC) requires the receiver of any verbal order from a provider to write the order down, and read (not repeat) the order to the prescribing health care provider.

Test Taking Tip

Verification and clarification of orders is the responsibility of the nurse. The Joint Commission (TJC) requires the receiver of any verbal order from a provider to write the order down, and read (not repeat) the order to the prescribing health care provider.

Video Rationale