Topic 7: Six Rights

Topic 7: Medication Dos and Don’ts

In your capacity, understanding the dos and don’ts of medication administration is crucial for the safety and well-being of your clients. Medication management involves more than just administering drugs; it requires a comprehensive awareness of safe practices and potential pitfalls. Here, we delve into the essential guidelines and practices for safe and effective medication assistance.

Six Rights

There are six rights that are very important to ensure safe medication administration.

  1. Right Medication – Does the pack of pills you are about to give contain the right Medication when comparing to the MAR?
  2. Right Dosage – is the dosage of the medication accurate against the MAR?
  3. Right Route – is the medication to be given orally? Some may be rectal, or sublingual, etc.
  4. Right Client – is the name of the client you are about to give meds to, the client that is listed on the packaging?
  5. Right Time – Are you giving the medication at the right time?
  6. Right to Refuse – Clients have the right to refuse their medications.

Key Terminology in Medication Management

  • Cross-Contamination: This refers to the unintentional transfer of substances from one medication to another, which can occur during handling or storage. It’s crucial to prevent cross-contamination to ensure the purity and effectiveness of medications.
  • Compliance: Compliance, or adherence, involves following the prescribed medication regimens exactly as directed. This includes administering the right dosage at the right times and under the correct conditions.

Medication Administration: The Dos

  1. Read Labels Carefully: Always check the medication label before administration. Confirm the patient’s name, the medication, the dosage, and the timing.
  2. Maintain Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling medications to prevent contamination.
  3. Use Appropriate Tools: If you’re required to handle or divide medication, use dedicated tools like pill cutters or dispensers designed for this purpose.
  4. Avoid Distractions: This is for client safety so you can check the medications accurately.
  5. Use a Person-Centered Approach: How does the client like to take their medications? with pudding, juice, milk, etc.
  6. Be Aware of Risks the Client May Encounter: If they take their own medications there may be a risk the client may not take their medication; pocketing it, or discarding it. Try: engaging the client in a conversation to see if the med has been swallowed or ask them to open their mouth.
  7. Monitor and Record: Keep a detailed record of each medication administered, including the time and dosage. Monitoring helps in tracking compliance and spotting potential issues.

Reference: Unitek College (February 17, 2022), Step-by-Step Guide to administering Medications.

Medication Administration: The Don’ts

  1. Don’t Rush: Never administer medication in a hurry. Taking your time ensures you follow all necessary steps correctly.
  2. Avoid Assumptions: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the medication or the administration process, don’t guess. Seek clarification from a pharmacist or healthcare provider.
  3. Don’t Ignore Side Effects: If you notice any adverse reactions or side effects in your clients, report them immediately to a healthcare professional.
  4. Never Alter Prescriptions: Do not change medication dosages or schedules without explicit instructions from a healthcare provider.

Reference: Unitek College (February 17, 2022), Step-by-Step Guide to administering Medications.

Scenario-Based Example: Administering Oral Medication

Imagine you’re administering an oral medication to a client. Here’s how to do it correctly while avoiding cross-contamination:

  1. Preparation: Begin by washing your hands and wearing disposable gloves if necessary. Ensure the medication is the correct one as per the prescription.
  2. Handling the Medication: Use a medication cup or a dispenser to handle the medication instead of your hands. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
  3. Administration: Guide your client to take the medication according to the prescribed method – with water, food, or on an empty stomach, as directed.
  4. Post-Administration: Dispose of any packaging or gloves used, and wash your hands again. Document the medication administration in the client’s records.


Following the 6 rights and the dos and don’ts in medication will assist you with providing safe and effective care to your clients. Always stay informed about best practices, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance when needed.


Unitek College (February 17, 2022), Step-by-Step Guide to administering Medications, retrieved from Step-by-Step Master’s Guide to Administering Medications | Unitek College