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PATIENT EDUCATION

NurseLink aims to not only provide agency education and training, but also to help patients and caregivers throughout their time on service with you. We know that the more comfortable your patients are with their therapy and administration, the better the therapy outcome.

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PHARMACIST FAQs

Q. If I am hospitalized, should I take my medications and supplies to the hospital?

A. No. The hospital will supply the medication and supplies needed during your admission.


Q. How long should I remove my medication from the refrigerator before I use it?

A. Normally 2-3 hours is enough time for it to warm to room temperature.


Q. What are the possible side effects of my medication?

A. The possible side effects vary for each medication. The side effects specific to your medication will be listed on the medication information sheet you are given. Please contact your pharmacist for further explanation or to report any side effects.


Q. Where should I keep my medication if it needs to be stored at room temperature?

A. Medication should be stored at a controlled room temperature. Avoid direct sunlight, areas exposed to excessive moisture (bathroom) and excessive heat/cold (over or around heating or air conditioning vents). It is also important to store medications out of reach of children and pets.


Q. If my medication label shows today as the expiration date can I still use it?

A. The medication can still be used on the expiration date. Do not use the medication if the infusion will be completed the following day.


Q. My medication infuses on a Prizm pump, and when I awoke most of it was still in the bag. What happened?

A. It is possible that the tubing was pinched-off or that the pump was not reset correctly prior to the infusion. Failure to reset the residual volume screen will result in a partial infusion. Please call your nurse for assistance with resetting the screens if needed. Discard the partially infused bag and notify your pharmacy. Do not infuse another bag until the next schedule dose, unless otherwise directed.


Q. How much saline and heparin should I flush with?

A. The amount of heparin and saline used to flush varies based on the type of catheter you have. Flushing orders specific to your catheter are located on the saline and heparin labels as well as on the prescription.


Q. How often do I administer this medication?

A. The frequency of medication administration is located on the label of the medication. It is also located on the prescription. Please contact your pharmacist if further direction is needed or if you have been instructed to administer the medication differen
tly.


Q. I forgot to take my medicine out of the refrigerator. Can I warm it up in the microwave?

A. No. Do not warm medication in the microwave or by using any heat source. You can hold the medication bag/syringe in your hands, allowing body heat to slowly warm the solution or delay administering your dose until the medication reaches room temperature. Please notify your pharmacy if you adjust your medication schedule.


Q. I fell asleep and forgot to infuse my medication. What should I do?

A. It is important to administer your medications at the prescribed times. However, if you forget to administer a dose, notify your pharmacy right away of the missed dose. You will be instructed as whether to give your medication and readjust your infusion schedule or wait to administer the next scheduled dose. Do not double-up on the medication.


Q. How do I know when to stop taking my medication?

A. The total length of your therapy is located on your prescription, and you will be given explicit instructions on the length of your treatment. Your nurse and/or your physician will let you when your therapy is complete.

NURSE FAQs

Q. Who is going to set-up my pump and hook-up my medication?

A. Your pharmacy will deliver your pre-programmed pump and medication and a homecare nurse will visit to provide education and training needed for you to administer your therapy. You will be instructed by your home care nurse regarding pump functions and troubleshooting. Your pharmacy is also available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to assist you with any questions you may have regarding administration of your therapy.


Q. What do I do if I have a problem administering my medication?

A. If you have any problems or questions regarding the administration of your therapy, you should contact your homecare nurse who will assist you as needed. Your pharmacy is also available to assist with any questions you may have regarding administration of your therapy.


Q. How often will I see a nurse?

A. Nursing visits are scheduled based on your individual plan of care. Visit frequency is based on your individual needs such as what type of IV catheter you have and the care it requires and how often you require lab work.


Q. My medication infuses on a Prizm pump and when I woke up with most of it still in the bag. What happened?

A. It is possible that the tubing was pinched-off or that the pump was not reset correctly prior to the infusion. Failure to reset the residual volume screen will result in a partial infusion. Please call your nurse or pharmacy for assistance with resetting the screens if needed. Discard the partially infused bag and notify your pharmacy. Do not infuse another bag until the next schedule dose, unless otherwise directed.


Q. There is blood backing-up in my tubing. What should I do?

A. If there is not medication infusing through your line, flush your line as previously instructed and close the clamp. If your catheter does not flush easily, do not flush forcefully. Contact your nurse who will visit to evaluate your line.


Q. My dressing is coming off. What should I do?

A. If you have been trained to change your dressing, always change it when it becomes loose or wet. If you have not received training on how to change your dressing, tape the edges of your dressing to your skin and avoid placing tension on your line. Call your nursing agency; a visit will be required to change the dressing.


Q. Can I shower with this IV?

A. Yes. Cover your dressing with plastic wrap, securing all outside edges with tape. Do not allow the water stream to spray directly on your IV site. After bathing, remove the plastic wrap immediately and pat dry any moisture that has accumulated under the plastic wrap.

Q. I forgot to take my medicine out of the refrigerator. Can I warm it up in the microwave?

A. No. It is not safe to warm medication using any heat source. Medication should be warmed by room temperature only. You can hold the medication bag/syringe in your hands, allowing body heat to slowly warm the solution or wait until the medication reaches room temperature.


Q. My infusion is not running. What should I do?

A. Check your IV line and medication tubing to ensure all clamps are open and there are no kinks in the line or tubing. Change your position. Stop the pump and disconnect the tubing from your IV line. Attempt to flush your IV catheter with saline. Do not force-flush if you meet resistance. Call your nurse. If the line flushes without resistance, test-start the pump before reconnecting to your IV line to determine if the IV tubing is the problem. If the occlusion alarm continues, when the IV is not attached to your line, the IV tubing may need changed. Please contact your nurse or pharmacy for assistance with troubleshooting.


Q. My CADD Prizm pump is beeping low battery. What should I do?

A. If your pump alarms low external battery, plug your pump into an electrical outlet. If your pump alarms low 9 volt battery, stop the pump, remove the old battery, insert a new 9 volt battery, and restart the pump.


Q. My enteral feeding pump is alarming low battery or is not holding a charge. What should I do?

A. Check to be sure your pump is plugged in to the wall outlet properly. When the pump is plugged in properly, a green light should be illuminated on the AC adapter. If the green light is not illuminated, contact your pharmacy.


Q. My IV site is red and swollen. Can I still hook up my next dose?

A. No. Call your nurse to report any signs of redness or swelling. The nurse will arrange a visit to evaluate your IV before you administer another infusion.


Q. My pump is beeping “Dose Complete.” What should I do?

A. Stop your pump. Disconnect the IV tubing from the injection cap and flush your line.


Q. My pump is beeping “High Pressure.” What does this mean and what should I do?

A. There may be a kink in the tubing or a clamp may be closed. Straighten the tubing or open the clamp and the pump will resume delivery. You may press stop/start to stop the pump and silence the alarm for 2 minutes. After you remove the cause of the high pressure, start the pump if necessary. If the alarm continues, contact your nurse.


Q. My pump is beeping “Upstream Occlusion.” What does this mean and what should I do?

A. Fluid is not flowing from the container to the pump. Check for a kink in the tubing, a closed clamp, or an air bubble in the tubing between the fluid container and the pump. Press the start/stop button to stop the pump and silence the alarm for 2 minutes, then remove the obstruction and press NEXT to restart the pump.


Q. My pump is beeping “Downstream Occlusion.” What does this mean and what should I do?

A. There may be a kink in the tubing or a clamp may be closed. Check for a kink in the tubing, a closed clamp in the tubing between the pump and the patient’s IV catheter. Press the start/stop button to stop the pump and silence the alarm for 2 minutes, then remove the obstruction, flush the catheter if necessary and press NEXT to restart the pump.


Q. I fell asleep and forgot to infuse my medication. What should I do?

A. It is important to administer your medications at the prescribed times. However, if you forget to administer a dose, give it as soon as you remember and readjust your infusion times. Please notify your pharmacy if you change your infusion schedule.


Q. How do I know when to stop taking my medication?

A. You will be notified by your nurse, pharmacy and/or your physician when your therapy is complete.


Q. Can I eat if I’m scheduled to have labs drawn?

A. Some lab tests require that you do not eat prior to having labs drawn. Your nurse will instruct you.

EMERGENCY MEDICATIONS

Click HERE for a step-by-step video walkthrough of patient administration of IM Epinephrine, PO Benadryl, and PO Tylenol in the event of medication reaction in the home.