Medical Office Pharmacology: Review For Medical Assistant Students and Professionals
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Medical Office Safety Tips
For medical assistants who need to brush up on certain areas in pharmacology as it applies to a medical office.
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Medical Office Safety Tips

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 Medical Office Safety Tips...
The need for trained medical assistants remains at an all-time high! At any given moment thousands of job offers for medical assistants and other healthcare professionals open and close! Most require knowledge of certain medical office procedures and basic principles of pharmacology.

Medical Office Safety Tips
Prescription medications can be beneficial, while at the same time they may become dangerous. If they are abused or failed to be `
administered correctly the patient may suffer a serious adverse or toxic reaction.

Medical assistant takes notes!Consider the following:
Some patients may have difficulty seeing! Ask if their pharmacist can use a larger print size on their prescription bottles.

While your employer, usually the doctor is responsible for prescribing the right medication, and the pharmacist is in charge of filling the prescription, you as the medical assistant might be responsible for administering the medications and assisting your doctor and pharmacist in any way that you can by being able to answer questions about the medication and also making important information about the medication available to the patient.

Here are some tips on how you can fulfill those responsibilities:
During the initial patient intake interview ask the patient what medications he/she is currently on. Carefully list all medications by  name and the dosage instructions into the patient's record every time the patient is seen. Write legibly and in a spot where the doctor can refer to it easily.

Suggest that the patient carries a smaller version of her medications list in her purse or wallet. That way, you will be able to reference it if question arise regarding current medications.

Always ask the patient if he/she has experienced allergies to medications and also chart it into the medical record each and every time the patient is seen. The abbreviation for no allergies to medications generally is NKDA (no known drug allergies.) If the patient reports allergies to medications it MUST be documented and the chart should be clearly labeled on the outside cover. Special medication alert stickers are available!

Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction to certain medications, suggest to the patient to wear an identification bracelet with the allergy information on it. Explain that in an emergency situation, if he/she is unable to communicate the information on that bracelet could save her life.

Don't forget to instruct the patient that if he/she is having any adverse or abnormal reactions to your prescription medications to contact the physician immediately!

Teach the patient to read prescription labels carefully and instruct them to follow any restrictions or warnings. Make sure he/she understands which medications may affect or impair physical or cognitive skills and instruct her to refrain from operating dangerous machinery while on those medications. And again, make sure it is charted into the patient's medical record!


To report illegal prescription drug sales and/or rogue pharmacies operating on the Internet call the anonymous Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873).
More info at: DEA Website
Buying drugs online may be illegal!
Federal law prohibits buying controlled substances such as narcotic pain relievers (e.g., OxyContin®, Vicodin ®), sedatives (e.g., Valium®, Xanax®, Ambien®), stimulants (e.g., phentermine, phendimetrazine, Adderall®, Ritalin®) and anabolic steroids (e.g., Winstrol®, Equipoise®) without a valid prescription from a doctor. This means there must be a bonafide doctor-patient relationship, which by most state laws requires a physical examination to receive a prescription. Prescriptions written by "cyber doctors" relying on online questionnaires are not legitimate under the law.

Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law and it is a felony to import drugs into the United States and ship to a non-DEA registrant.

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