Nursing management of drug therapy

Diane S. Aschenbrenner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


• Core drug knowledge, which consists of basic pharmacologic facts about each drug, is composed of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, contraindications and precautions, adverse effects, and drug interactions. • Core patient variables are features that make a patient unique at any given time. • The nurse determines which of the patient's core patient variables are relevant to a particular drug therapy. They include health status; life span and gender; lifestyle, diet, and habits; environment; and culture and inherited traits. • The nurse determines which signifi cant interactions will occur between the core drug knowledge and the core patient variables. The nurse then recommends strategies based on those interactions to maximize the therapeutic effect and minimize the adverse effects of drug therapy. The nurse integrates these strategies into a nursing plan of care. Patient and family education is also based on the interactions between core drug knowledge and core patient variables. This process is nursing management of drug therapy. • A prototype drug is a drug that is representative of a class of drugs. Acquiring the core drug knowledge about the prototype provides the nurse with information about several other drugs in the same class as the prototype drug. Acquiring core drug knowledge organizes and simplifi es learning about many different drugs. • In providing nursing management of drug therapy, the steps of the nursing process are used. Nursing management of drug therapy occurs in all health care environments, including acute care, long-term care, and home and community settings. • A thorough drug assessment provides the baseline information needed for effective nursing management of drug therapy. It includes the patient history, physical assessment, and examination of the medical record. • Nursing diagnoses and outcomes are labels given to the identifi ed interactions between core drug knowledge and core patient variables. • Nursing diagnoses for patients receiving drug therapy refl ect current or potential problems relevant to the therapy. • Expected outcomes defi ne the units of measure by which to gauge the effectiveness of drug therapy. • Patient and family education is a crucial aspect of nursing management of drug therapy. Individualized education proceeds from the baseline core drug knowledge and core patient variables. • Drug therapy is evaluated as effective if the desired effect of the drug occurs. The nurse also evaluates whether the management plan was effective. If conclusions drawn from the evaluation show that the drug effect or the management plan was not achieved, the nurse must determine why and then respond accordingly. • An important goal of home-based drug therapy is for patients and caregivers to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to implement drug therapy safely and effectively. The nursing management of drug therapy must take the home setting into consideration. Education is structured so that patients and caregivers can assume maximal responsibility for administering and monitoring drug therapy safely and effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrug Therapy in Nursing
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health Adis (ESP)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781469819174
ISBN (Print)9781451187663
StatePublished - Nov 7 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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