Topic 15: Self-Administer Medications


Self-administered medications are drugs that a person can take on their own, without assistant. Examples of this might be inhalers, eye drops, insulin, and an EpiPen.


  1. Clients must meet certain criteria and the manager/supervisor or designate must have detailed information about how self-administration of the medication is done by the client.
  2. The client is aware of the reasons for its use, and understands how to use the medication
  3. The client demonstrates the ability and is responsible to self administer the medication (take the medication at the schedule time, and not discarding or forgetting to take it)
  4. Workers will need to monitor that the client is able to meet this criteria by witnessing self-administration of the medication, then initialing the MAR.

In-Depth Scenario-Based Situational Example

Situation: Ms. Rodriguez, who is under your care, has been prescribed a new medication that must be taken three times a day. You observe that she has mistakenly taken her afternoon dose twice within a short period.

Steps to Take:

  1. Immediate Health Assessment: First and foremost, assess Ms. Rodriguez’s immediate health. Look for signs of an overdose or adverse reaction, such as nausea, dizziness, or any other symptom out of the ordinary.
  2. Document the Occurrence: Log the incident in the medication record, noting the time of the extra dose and any immediate health observations. This documentation is critical for future reference and for healthcare providers to review.
  3. Notify Healthcare Provider: Promptly inform Ms. Rodriguez’s doctor or the on-call medical professional about the double dosing. They might provide specific instructions based on her medical background and the medication involved.
  4. Educational Moment: Use this opportunity to gently educate Ms. Rodriguez on the importance of adhering to the medication schedule. Discuss strategies that might help prevent future occurrences, like using a pill organizer or setting alarms.
  5. Continued Monitoring: Over the next few hours, continue to monitor Ms. Rodriguez closely for any delayed reactions or side effects. Regular check-ins will help ensure her safety and provide peace of mind.
  6. Future Prevention Strategies: Reflect on this incident to identify any gaps in the medication administration process. Consider implementing additional safeguards, such as double-checking doses with another colleague or introducing more robust tracking mechanisms.

Concluding Thoughts

The role of a support worker in monitoring and recording medication intake is multifaceted and deeply significant. It’s not just about ensuring medication compliance but also about safeguarding the well-being of your clients. Through meticulous documentation, vigilant observation, and responsive action in situations like these, you play a pivotal role in the healthcare team, contributing to the holistic care and safety of those you serve.