As a professional caregiver, your job will likely entail keeping track of your employer's medications. This task is crucial, as you need to interact with healthcare professionals and avoid missed or incorrect doses. These tips can help you do your part to ensure that medications are taken safely and effectively:
- Communicate regularly with doctors and pharmacists. The professionals prescribing medications should know exactly what the patient is already taking, so that they can avoid drug interactions. Make sure to ask pharmacists and doctors about possible side effects, what to do in the event of a missed dose and if medications should be taken with food. Try to use the same pharmacy so the staff can easily access a complete list of medications.
- Follow instructions carefully. Read the labels on everything, including over-the-counter drugs. Follow the doctor's instructions exactly, and consider setting alarms or administering medications at the same time every day in order to remember everything.
- Maintain a detailed medications list. You should keep your own list and bring it to all appointments and pharmacy trips. Along with prescriptions, the U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests including all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbs. List each medication's full name, purpose, dosage amount and side effects.
- Use a pill organizer or automatic dispenser. Pill organizers are filled in advance, so you don't have to look at every bottle when it's time for a dose. You can choose the number of days and compartments for each day. For example, Friday could be divided into pills taken in the morning, afternoon and at bedtime. Automatic dispensers have light and sound alarms, and can be set to dispense pills several times a day.