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:
- 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.
- If the resident cannot determine the need for a nonprescription PRN medication, but can communicate symptoms, you may assist but additional documentation is required.
- 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.