Can I crush potassium tablets as they are hard to swallow?
No, potassium tablets usually cannot be crushed. There are many options however when it comes to potassium. The capsule version is easier to swallow and contains beads which can be opened and sprinkled on food. As long as the beads are not chewed they are tasteless. The large 20meq tablets cannot be crushed, however they can be dissolved in water to make a “slurry.” The tablet dissolves and there are small beads that disperse in the water. Patients can then drink the liquid just making sure they swallow all the beads. Sometimes a little more water needs to be added to the glass. Again as long as the beads are not chewed they are tasteless.
I have several residents who require 2 or more different eye drops on my already hectic evening med pass. What’s the best way to handle this? Also, is the order of administration important?
The eye has a limited capacity to absorb topical fluids so it is important therapeutically to maximize each individual drop’s contact time with the eye surface. Punctual occlusion, which is simply applying finger pressure to the tear duct in the nasal corner of the eye for 30 seconds, will improve this contact time by preventing the drop from draining into the sinus cavity. Ideally, five minutes should elapse between administration of different eye drops so that the second med will not simply wash-out the first. Try streamlining the med-pass by administering the first ophthalmic before any oral medications, then subsequent eye drops afterwards. If time constraints are still a factor, discuss changing the HOA of one or more of the drops, since the actual admin times of most chronically used ophthalmics is rarely critical. As far as order of administration is concerned, artificial tear preparations should be used first because they reduce irritation and sensitivity, followed by steroids, then glaucoma preparations, and finally always last in place antibiotics, done lastly to maximize their contact time with ophthalmic structures. When in doubt about HOAs or order of administration, always call one of our Pharmacists for help and advice.
What do i need to send for a new admission?
When you have an admission we need all of the patients demographics. This includes:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Medicare number
- All insurance information
- Doctors Name (written out clearly so we can read it)
- Signed doctors orders
- Responsible party
- Written scripts for all controls
If you could also please indicate if the patient will be getting paks from from us right away or using up their own medications along with if you everything sent or just certain things. This way we can avoid the phone calls and we will not have to interrupt your busy day.