Patient Education and Consumer Medicine Information: A Study of Provision by Queensland Rural and Remote Area Registered Nurses

Hegney, Desley, Plank, Ashley, Watson, Jennifer, Raith, Lisa and McKeon, Christine (2005) Patient Education and Consumer Medicine Information: A Study of Provision by Queensland Rural and Remote Area Registered Nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14 7: 855-862. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01203.x

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Author Hegney, Desley
Plank, Ashley
Watson, Jennifer
Raith, Lisa
McKeon, Christine
Title Patient Education and Consumer Medicine Information: A Study of Provision by Queensland Rural and Remote Area Registered Nurses
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-1067
Publication date 2005-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01203.x
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 14
Issue 7
Start page 855
End page 862
Total pages 8
Editor R. Watson
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Language eng
Subject 321100 Nursing
730209 Rural health
730302 Nursing
730300 Health and Support Services
Abstract Patient education and consumer medicine information: a study of provision by Queensland rural and remote area Registered Nurses Aims and objectives. The aim of the larger study was to ascertain the medication practices of registered and enrolled nurses in rural and remote areas of Queensland after the introduction of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation. This paper reports on the findings of the role of registered nurses and their confidence in the ability to provide information on medications in a way that the client understands; the frequency of the provision of information to clients prior to discharge; and the frequency of Indigenous Health Workers or interpreters for people without English as a first language. Background Queensland employs approximately 17% of the Australian registered nurse workforce. In 1996 Queensland changed the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation to allow specific registered nurses, who had undertaken approved postgraduate education and training programmes, to become endorsed for an expanded medication practice role. In particular, it allowed endorsed nurses to administer and supply (but not prescribe) drugs listed in a drug formulary to certain clients using protocols. It was not clear, however, whether the changes to the regulation reflected the scope of practice, thereby providing adequate legal protection for the nurse. Design During 2001-02, an exploration of the medication practices of rural and remote area nurses was conducted by the use of a cross-sectional postal survey. Phase 1 of the study used a facility audit to ascertain facility medication practices and phase 2 of the study used a postal survey to ascertain nurses' medication practices. Method All nurses employed in rural and remote health facilities in Queensland were eligible to participate in the study. The nurse registering authority's (the Queensland Nursing Council) register was used to generate a non-proportional stratified random sample. Of the 1999 questionnaires sent, there were 668 respondents. Of these, 520 were registered nurses. Results The data indicated that there was a difference between endorsed and unendorsed registered nurses' medication practice. In particular, it was apparent that endorsed registered nurses were more likely to believe they could explain the side-effects of medication to clients in a way the patient understood; provided medication education to clients on discharge; and used Indigenous Health Workers or interpreters to explain medications to those clients for whom English was not a first language. However, it was apparent that<50% of all Registered Nurses were providing client medication education or using Indigenous Health Workers or interpreters. Conclusion It is apparent that the changes to the Regulation have ensured that Registered Nurses who have undergone postgraduate education to enhance their medication practice are more likely to provide client education and consumer medication information. However, the results suggest that the majority of registered nurses in Queensland, whilst believing they have sufficient knowledge of pharmacology to provide client education, often do not provide appropriate medication advice to clients, particularly on discharge from the acute setting. Relevance to clinical practice. It is well recognized that the provision of medication education to clients has several benefits to both the client and the health care system. The lack of client medication education indicated in this study compromises patients' safety as well as their compliance with their medication regime.
Keyword medications
rural nursing
remote area nursing
client medication
advanced practice
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Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Originally published as Hegney, Desley and Plank, Ashley and Watson, Jennifer and Raith, Lisa and McKeon, Christine (2005) Patient Education and Consumer Medicine Information: A Study of Provision by Queensland Rural and Remote Area Registered Nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing 14(7):855-862. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01203.x Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Created: Thu, 03 Nov 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Desley Hegney on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work