Assisting with PRN Medications

This week’s Tuesday Tip is in response to a question posted on our blog.

Is it necessary to contact the physician before each dose when assisting a resident with PRN morphine?

The answer depends on the resident’s ability to determine and communicate his/her need for the medication. Per regulation 87465:

  1. If the resident can determine and communicate his/her need for a prescription or nonprescription PRN medication, the trained care provider would assist as they normally would.
  2. If the resident cannot determine the need for a nonprescription PRN medication, but can communicate symptoms, you may assist but additional documentation is required.
  3. If the resident cannot determine the need nor communicate symptoms, you may assist with a prescription or nonprescription PRN medication only after contacting the physician prior to each dose.

Alternative solutions to this challenge would be for the resident to self-administer, for a licensed medical professional (e.g., RN or LVN) to administer the medication, or for the physician to adjust the medication order.

5 Responses to “Assisting with PRN Medications”

  1. Does this mean that a dementia care unit can have PRN orders? If so, can I as a LVN administered the prn orders when determined needed or do I have to consult the doctor first? Can med-techs administered PRN orders after consulting with the doctor?

  2. Hello Anitra. Yes, in California an RN/LVN can administer the resident’s PRN medications according to physician orders. A trained “med-tech” can only “assist” with self-administration.

  3. What is the difference between Certified Med Aides and Certified Med Techs? Do you offer both training? Do we have to be certified by the state?

  4. Hello Donna. In California RCFEs the terms med aide and med tech are used generically and interchangeably, typically based on the provider’s policy. The terms are not defined in RCFE regulations and are not true “certifications” recognized by the state.

    Yes, we do have several med aide training tools available. Give us a call at (800) 321-1727 and we will help you find the solution that works best for you.

  5. Is the regulation on PRN medication as shown above true for the state of Texas as well?

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