Medication used in Psycho- Gerontology Unit
After one week in the Psycho-Gerontology Unit, I became increasingly aware that I had a limited knowledge of many of the medications which the patients were taking. I was not confident of my level of knowledge regarding psyche-medications. This was a big concern to me as I could not see myself providing education to a client in this area. I could have used the ward drug information pamphlets to assist the patients to understand the nature of their drugs, but I did not feel this was a satisfactory solution.
As a nurse, I felt that I should be thoroughly familiar with the medication used. I wanted to be confident that I could communicate clearly and easily the expected benefits of the medication, and I especially wanted to recognize safe therapeutic levels of those medications, and be aware of any possible side effects.
Therefore, I decided that everyday I would write down the name of the medications for each patient I was assigned. Then, I made a point of reading up on those medications. What are they supposed to do? What are the safeties issues surrounding these drugs? Their dose? Toxicity? This helped me to learn, and confirm what I knew. At this stage I am quite familiar with the commonly used psych-medications. I will continue to use this method of self-training in the future, as this approach was very successful for me.
While I was working in the psychogeriatric ward, I realized that approximately 90% of patients are on antidepressants. This has motivated me to do a literature review about types of antidepressant medications used for elderly patients with mental illness, and nursing responsibilities regarding these medications. The following is my literature review:
The most frequently used groups of antidepressant drugs used...