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Online course offers primer on polypharmacy


Altura Learning is releasing a new online course to help careworkers, registered and enrolled nurses and management understand medication management issues and minimise risks associated with polypharmacy.

Consultant pharmacist Lesley Rowe, who features in a 10 minute additional video, says the “polypharmacy” is used to describe the use of five or more medications. But there can be good and bad polypharmacy.

“Often by the time someone gets to 80 they’ve been to multiple doctors and each one’s added a drug, and they get to 80 and they’ve got ten different drugs. Do they really need it? can they be decreased? Maybe they can be eliminated,” she says.

Rowe says it’s important that anyone on one five or more medications has a routine pharmacy review, and nurses need to be vigilant for adverse effects like dizziness, slow heat rate or pain that could be caused by the medication.

The course includes a 21 minute video course and assessments.

It complements another Altura Learning production, Medication Management: a Framework, released earlier this year.

This course explains the requirements of a safe medication management system and details the Nine Rights of Medication Administration reinforced through a case study where medication error resulted in a death.

It is supported by a suite of learning resources, including an administration skills assessment test and medication maths tests.

Medication Management: Polypharmacy will be available to Altura members from November 7. For more information go here.

Do have a resource you’d like to share with our readers? Email us at editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au 

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