Top 5 Rules You Need To Follow For Administering Medicine To Patients

Administering Medicine

The healthcare industry is under a lot of pressure to deliver high-quality services while ensuring their patients receive excellent care at every level. In the whole process of offering the best quality services, nurses play a big role.

Nurses are responsible for medication administration. They are the final person to check whether the medicine is correctly prescribed and dispensed accurately before administration.

When nurses go through their nursing education, medicine administration is the core of their education. They are instructed and guided by the experts to administer medicine and uphold the safety of their patients clinically. This is where they are granted the Five Rights.

These five rights are the five rules that the nurses are asked to follow while administering the patients.

5 Rules For Administering Medicine To Patients

When it comes down to safely administering patients with medicine, you can never be too careful, especially when the statistic shows that administration error makes up to 60% of all drug errors.

The 5 Rules of medicine administration are there to ensure every patriot is a traitor on time and with the right medicine.

Rule 1: Right Patient

Before you administer any medicine to a patient, ensure that the recipient for whom the medication is prescribed is the person who is currently being treated. The best practice to ensure that you are dealing with the right patients is to ask them their names loud and clear, check their medical wristbands, and administer medicine.

It is advisable that you ask the patient their full name and not their first or last name. This is because there are times when the same unit can have two patients with a single name or surname.

Rule 2: Right Drug

The next rule is to ensure that the right drug is administered to the patient. Some brand names or generic names have the same spelling but may have different medicine compositions. Therefore, it is important to discern the differences and similarities between the two medicines.

Double-check every medicine which is prescribed by the doctor with the medicine you are giving to the patients. After that, you must check the medicine expiry date and explicitly ask patients about their medical condition. This will give you an insight into whether or not you are administering the right drug.

Rule 3: Right Route

Medication can be given to patients in many ways. All of the ways vary in the time taken by the body to absorb them. Some common routes include oral, topical, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injections.

You must always administer medicine as prescribed and never take a different route. Furthermore, you mustn’t change the form of the medicine before administering it to patients. For example, if the patient is prescribed a tablet but has problems swallowing it, you must never powder it, instead use swallowing gel.

Rule 4: Right Time

The next important rule is administering medicine at the right time. Often some drugs have specific intervals for better effects. Hence, it is important that the medicine is given to the patients at the set time, or at least efforts should be made to stay as close as possible to the prescribed time.

Failure to give drugs at the right time might affect the drug rate. It can lead to devastating consequences for the patients.

Rule 5: Right Dose

Incorrect doses, conversion of units, and incorrect concentration of medicine lead to medication errors. Even if you are giving the right medicine, it won’t show any effect with the incorrect dose.

This error type stems from the nurses giving their patients the incorrect doses without ensuring the correct strength for the patients.


Healthcare professionals are responsible for ensuring safe and quality patient care. As the nursing of patients comes with a certain degree of risk, medical administration is arguably the major risk.

Some medication errors cause patients to suffer from different side effects or some permanent disabilities. If you are in charge of administering medicine to a patient, follow the rules we have mentioned above to avoid getting any medical complications.

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