Accurate and careful medication dispensing is crucial to the health of the animals in our care at Big Cat Rescue. The process by which medications are dispensed is outlined below and should be followed exactly to ensure accuracy of dispensed medications and accounting of medication inventory.
Staff or designated Senior and Master Keepers Volunteers do the dispensing of the medications weekly or as needed when the Veterinarian prescribes new medications. Dispensing of medications is the process of counting out the proper tablets, capsules, etc. and placing them into individually labeled bags for each animal. Dispensing medications takes focused concentration. While dispensing meds phones and radios should not be used. Before dispensing meds notify the Coordinator that you will be off radio for a time. The radio volume should be lowered while dispensing medications to avoid distraction. If the person that is dispensing medications is the Coordinator a qualified Staff or Volunteer member should be recruited to monitor radio communications.
Each animal that is on medication has a Med Chart located in the Vet Staff site of the BigCatRescue.me website. The Med Charts contain information regarding the animal’s name, species, ailment, medication dosage and special notes.
Dispensing the Weekly Medications:
1. Collect the med drawer from the med cabinet located in Food Prep. Be sure that there are not med bags in the drawer that still need to be handed out. If there are meds in the drawer that need to be handed out place them on top of the drawer organizer inside the med cabinet.
Some times there will be left over med bags in the drawer if an animal refused meds, their meds changed, or the animal passed away. These medications, if in good condition, should be returned to the corresponding bottles of medication in the Cat Hospital as well as added back into the Meds Inventory (see how at end of class).
2. Turn on the Mac computer located in the Cat Hospital by pressing the button on the front of the tower. The tower is located in the cabinet under the monitor.
3. Type the password bcr12802 in the box that pops up upon start of computer and click enter. Be sure the caps lock is turned off.
4. On the right hand of the screen are four icons; Med Labels is where the pre made med labels that are used to label individual med bags can be found, Med Charts is a direct link to the BigCatRescue.me website page where the Med Charts are located, Meds Inventory is a direct link to the BigCatRescue.me website page where the Meds Inventory is located, Census is a direct link to the BigCatRecue.me website page where the Animal Census can be found.
Med Charts: Double click the Med Charts icon. Sign in with your firstname.lastname and your password. If edits to the Med Charts need to be made, click the link in the lower left corner of the Med Chart to open the original document.
Meds Inventory: Once logged in to the Med Charts double click the Meds Inventory icon. The Meds Inventory will be opened in a new tab. Be sure to select the correct month’s tab at the bottom of the meds inventory page. Meds highlighted in light blue are frequently used medications. These medications are located in the upper med cabinet. Meds highlighted in light green are medications that are located in the lower med cabinet.
5. Once you have opened both the Med Charts and the Med Inventory web pages unlock and open the upper med cabinet.
6. Pull out the dispensing supplies located in the drawer under and to the left of the monitor including; med labels, med bags, pill tray, pill cutter, tweezers, highlighter, and pen.
7. Open the first Med Chart and check the bottom of the chart for any changes in meds or dosages or for any notes added by the Veterinarian. If there are changes to the dosage you can mark out the dosage on the pre printed med label and fill in the correct dosage or you can make a new med label (see how at end of class).
8. The Med Charts for each animal will have the meds already filled in for each day and will indicate if there are medications that are to be give out both in the AM and PM.
9. Select the pre made labels for the specific animal and fill out or mark accordingly. Each label already indicates the animal name, species, med, and dosage. Circle the correct day of the week and circle either AM or PM on each med label. Fill in the correct date on each label. Make one label for each day of the week medications are to be given. Make separate labels for AM and PM if the medications are to be given twice a day. Highlight the circled word AM on any labels that are for medications that should be given out in the morning.
10. Affix the labels to the med bags. Extra med bags can be found in the cabinet under the drawer where the med dispensing supplies are kept.
11. Continue this process for each med chart until all of the med bags have been labeled. Once complete put the med labels and unused bags away to make room on the counter.
12. Now it’s time to dispense the medications. Open up the Med Inventory web page and select a set of bags to fill.
13. Get the correct medication from the med cabinet. Be sure to check the mg (dosage) listed on the bottle as we have several of the same medications that come in different mgs (dosages). Check the dosages on the bags and using the tweezers fill each bag with the correct amount of medication.
Tweezers are used to handle the medications to avoid deterioration of the medications as a result of the moisture on your hands.
Some dosages call for pills to be halved or quartered. Using the pill cutter carefully place the pill inside and gently close the cutter until the pill has been cut. When halving or quartering be sure to center the pill so that it is divided equally.
14. Once you have filled a set of bags with medication indicate the number of pills that were dispensed on the Med Inventory sheet. (Be sure that the correct month’s inventory tab is selected.) Find the correct line on the sheet by cross checking the medication name, dosage, and expiration. To the right of the medication information are columns for each week with in the month. Choose the box to the right of the medication information in the appropriate weeks’ column and enter the number of pills that were dispensed. You will notice that once you have entered this number the On Hand number at the far right will decrease automatically.
15. After editing the Med Inventory take the set of bags and lay them out on the table or counter in two rows. In the top row stack the AM meds in separate stacks one for each day of the week. In the bottom row stack the PM meds in separate stacks one for each day of the week. Put the medication bottle you have just dispensed from back into the med cabinet.
16. Repeat this procedure until all the med bags have been filled. Dispense only one set of bags at a time and update the inventory after each bag set is filled before laying the med bags out into rows. Take only the bottles of medication required to fill your current bag set out of the med cabinet. That way there is little to no chance of accidentally dispensing the incorrect medication.
Some cats are on the same medications. If this is the case you can write down the number of dispensed meds on a piece of note paper as you do each set of med bags. Once all of the similar medications have been dispensed you can add the numbers together and enter on the inventory sheet at one time. Be sure to write down the number of meds dispensed as you do each set of med bags to ensure accuracy of accounting.
17. When all of the medication has been dispensed and all of the bags are in stacks according to the day of the week in AM and PM rows gather the Sunday AM med bags and stack on top of the Sunday PM med bags. Clip the two sets together with a binder clip. Do this for each day of the week ensuring that the AM meds are on the top of each stack. Place the 7 sets of med bags in the med drawer.
18. Save the Meds Inventory and the Med Charts (if any changes were made) by clicking File at the top left of the window and then clicking Save.
19. Put away all of the dispensing supplies.
20. Ensure that all medications have been returned to the med cabinet and lock the med cabinet.
21. Check the inventory for any medications that need to be ordered. Look over the frequently used medication lines and determine if the On Hand quantity will be sufficient for filling the next two weeks’ worth of med bags. Use the dispensed quantity each week to gage this. If it appears that there will not be enough of a certain medication to dispense the next two weeks send an email to Liz.Wynn@bigcatrescue.org and copy Jamie.Veronica@BigCatRescue.org To send an email click the link titled Mail at the very top left of the screen from either the Med Inventory or the Med Charts pages. Email Dr. Wynn the correct name and dosage that is required and let her know if there is not enough of the particular medication to fill the med bags in the coming week.
22. After both the Med Charts and Meds Inventory pages have been saved Log Out of the site by clicking the link at the top right of the screen. Be sure to log out, if you do not the next person that uses the computer may unknowingly use your account to access the Med Charts and Meds Inventory. Once logged out click the word Firefox at the top left of the screen and then click Quit Firefox.
23. Shutting down the computer is very important. Since the tower is located inside a cabinet it can become extremely hot if left on. To shut down the computer click the Apple icon at the top left of the screen then click Shut Down. A window will pop up asking if you are sure you want to shut down. Click Shut Down.
24. Turn off the lights and lock up the Cat Hospital. Take the med drawer with the med bags in it to Food Prep and put it back in the med cabinet located there. Lock up the med cabinet.
Print and Create Med Labels: To print Med Labels or create new labels double click the icon folder titled Med Labels. Choose the desired pre made label or the blank label by double clicking the name. The label will open up in Microsoft Word. Make any changes to the med labels by highlighting and replacing the text. Copy and paste the new information to the next label. Repeat this process until all of the labels have been updated. When finished or if no changes are necessary click File at the top of the screen and then click Print. Be sure that the printer is plugged in, turned on, and that label paper is loaded in the bottom tray face down. When finished creating or printing labels exit Word by clicking Word at the top left of the screen and then clicking Quit Word.
Returning Unused Medication to Inventory: In some cases medications may be left over if an animal refused their meds, their meds changed, or the animal passed away. If the medications are in good condition they should be returned to the inventory. Get the correct medication bottle from the med cabinet. Be sure to cross check the dosages on the med bag label with the medication bottle to ensure that you have the correct bottle. Using the tweezers place the medications back into the bottle and keep track of how many pills or capsules are returned. In the Meds Inventory select the field listing the most recent week’s dispensed meds and deduct the returning meds from that number. So for instance if the number in the week’s field for the medication is 6 and you are returning 4 change the number to 2. The On Hand quantity listed will automatically adjust. If there are no number listed in the weeks columns enter in a minus sign and then the number that you are returning, for example: 4. Be sure to watch the On Hand column to ensure that the number has changed to the correct amount.
QUALIFIED TEACHERS FOR THIS CLASS ARE:
Print Med Distribution Certification form.
QUIZ AT LINK
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