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Pharmacology is the study of the physical, biological and chemical actions of drugs (Bryant & Knights, 2011). In the practice of medicine, drugs are used to diagnose, treat or prevent disease so for the registered nurse in a clinical setting, the knowledge of pharmacology plays a huge importance in their role of medication administration. Pharmacology knowledge allows the nurse to carry out safe medication administration, monitor medication actions, educate patients, and act legally and ethically within the pharmacological parameters. This knowledge is also vital for the nurse practititioner in their role of nurse prescribing. Pharmacology plays a huge part in these roles for the nurse. This essay below will elaborate on the importance of pharmacology for the five reasons of safe medication administration, monitoring of medication actions, patient education, legal and ethical aspects of pharmacology and the nurse practitioner.
Firstly, safe medication administration. To administer drugs safely it is the nurse’s responsibility to have knowledge of the prescribed medications as well as their therapeutic and non therapeutic effects. Knowledge of the medications include, knowing its approved drug name and classification, correct dose and route of administration. A medication may have as many as three different names- a chemical name, a generic (proprietary) name and a trade name (Crisp & Taylor, 2011). A chemical name refers to the chemical makeup of a drug, a generic name is the drug name listed in official publications such as the MIMS annual, and the trade name is the name manufacturers have registered the medication as. In a clinical setting medication is normally dispensed using the generic name to avoid confusion, but because medications may come under a number of different names nurses must be able to identify the exact name and spelling so that the right...

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