CHS3 Administer medication to individuals


This standard covers the administration of medication to individuals and monitoring the effects. This role is complex and will not be the role of all care staff, only those designated to undertake this activity according to their expertise and employers decisions.

The standard applies to all medication used for and by individuals, both prescribed and non-prescribed.� This includes immunisation and vaccination.� This standard is intended to be used in a variety of care settings including hospitals, nursing and residential homes, hospices, and community settings including the individual�s own home and GP surgeries.

This standard does not cover the use and administration of intra-venous medication.

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. the current European and National legislation, national guidelines, organisational policies and protocols in accordance with Clinical/Corporate Governance which affect your work practice in relation to administering medication to individuals
  2. your responsibilities and accountability in relation to the current European and National legislation, national guidelines and local policies and protocols and Clinical/Corporate Governance
  3. the duty to report any acts or omissions in care that could be detrimental to yourself, other individuals or your employer
  4. the importance of working within your own sphere of competence and seeking advice when faced with situations outside your sphere of competence
  5. the importance of applying standard precautions to the administration of medication to individuals and the potential consequences of poor practice
  6. the hazards and complications which may arise during the administration of medications and how you can minimise such risks
  7. the importance of offering effective verbal and non-verbal support and reassurance to individuals, and appropriate ways of doing so, according to their needs
  8. the importance of communicating effectively and how communication differences may be overcome
  9. the factors which may compromise the comfort and dignity of individuals during drug administration - and how the effects can be minimised
  10. the common types of medication and rules for their storage
  11. the effects of common medication relevant to the individuals condition
  12. medications which demand for the measurement of specific clinical measurements and why these are vital to monitor the effects of the medication
  13. the common adverse reactions to medication, how each can be recognised and the appropriate action(s) required
  14. the common side effects of the medication being used
  15. the different routes of medicine administration
  16. the information which needs to be on the label of medication, both prescribed and non-prescribed, and the significance of the information
  17. the various aids to help individuals take their medication
  18. the types, purpose and function of materials and equipment needed for the administration of medication via the different routes
  19. the factors which affect the choice of materials and equipment for the administration of medication to individuals
  20. how to read prescriptions/medication administration charts to identify:
    1. the medication required
    2. the dose required
    3. the route for administration
    4. the time and frequency for administration
  21. how to prepare the medication for administration using a non-touch technique
  22. how you would check that the individual had taken their medication
  23. how you dispose of different medications
  24. the importance of correctly recording your activities as required
  25. the importance of keeping accurate and up to date records
  26. the importance of immediately reporting any issues, which are outside your own sphere of competence without delay to the relevant member of staff

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. apply standard precautions for infection prevention and control and any other relevant health and safety measures
  2. check that all medication administration records or protocols are available, up to date and legible
  3. report any discrepancies or omissions you might find to the person in control of the administration and to relevant staff as appropriate
  4. read the medication administration record or medication information leaflet accurately, referring any illegible directions to the appropriate member of staff before administering any medication
  5. check and confirm the identity of the individual who is to receive the medication with the individual themselves, and your assistant (if applicable), using a variety of methods, before administering medication
  6. check that the individual has not taken any medication recently and be aware of the� appropriate timing of medication
  7. obtain the individuals valid consent and offer information, support and reassurance throughout, in a manner which encourages their co-operation and which is appropriate to their needs and concerns
  8. select, check and prepare correctly the medication according to the medication administration record or medication information leaflet
  9. select the route for the administration of medication, according to the individual's plan of care and the drug to be administered, and prepare the site if necessary
  10. safely administer the medication:
    1. following the written instructions and in line with legislation and local policies
    2. in a way which minimises pain, discomfort and trauma to the individual
    3. report any immediate problems with the administration
  11. check and confirm that the individual actually takes the medication and does not pass medication to others
  12. monitor the individual�s condition throughout, recognise any adverse reactions and take the appropriate action without delay
  13. clearly and accurately enter relevant information in the correct records
  14. maintain the security of medication throughout the process and return it to the correct place for storage
  15. monitor and rotate stocks of medication, maintain appropriate storage conditions and report any discrepancies in stocks immediately to the relevant staff
  16. dispose of out of date and part-used medications in accordance with legal and organisational requirements
  17. return medication administration records to the agreed place for storage and maintain the confidentiality of information relating to the individual at all times

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB5 Provision of care to meet health and wellbeing needs
CHS3 Administer medication to individuals
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk