Procedures and Protocols Assignment

Procedures and Protocols Assignment

Procedures and Protocols Assignment 150 150 Peter

Procedures and Protocols Assignment

Using the GCU Online Library and the Internet, research three sources and write a 750-1,500-word essay on the topic provided below.

Topic: There are many ethical and moral decisions to be made when drugs are available in a health care facility. As a department manager, develop a set of procedures and protocols regarding the handling, storing, and monitoring of drugs. Be sure to include generic drugs, controlled drugs, and all charting that may be necessary. Apply your policies to Deanna, an employee who takes anti-inflammatory drugs home for her personal use.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Sample Paper

Procedure and Protocols for Drug Handling, Storing, and Monitoring

Drug handling, storage, and monitoring protocols and procedures guide clinicians in ensuring patient safety when dealing with various medications. Some drugs are environmentally sensitive, and their poor handling and storage may cause adverse effects on patients. Additionally, poor drug management can result in medication errors when the caregivers administer incorrect medication or dosage to the wrong patient. Hence, the protocols and procedures apply primarily to pharmacists, nurses, and other clinicians with authority to store, handle, and monitor medications.

Drug Storage Protocols

Pharmacy staff members must:

  1. Ensure that all drugs are stored in the recommended physical environment, including temperature and lighting. They must also check each drug’s ideal conditions before storage.
  2. Use the controlled temperature cabinets for heat-sensitive drugs.
  3. Ensure they lock all the drug storage cabinets after retrieving or storing medication.
  4. Provide public health clinicians with portable refrigerators before releasing medication for community interventions. Alternatively, if the clinicians bring their storage equipment, the pharmacists must verify that they are functioning properly.

Drug Handling Protocols

Physicians, nurses, and other senior caregivers should:

  1. Avoid handling multiple drugs simultaneously to prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Observe hygiene standards to prevent introducing external pathogens, dust particles, and other contaminants during the preparation process.
  3. Countercheck patient identity illness and the declared allergies before administering a drug
  4. Check for the drug’s validity (e.g., expiry date or other indicative features, such as discoloration) before administering it.
  5. Familiarize themselves with the drug’s side effects and contraindications before administering it
  6. Check for administration conditions, such as blood pressure pulse rate, before administering sensitive drugs, such as Digoxin (Shojaee et al., 2017).
  7. Contact the prescribing physician immediately the patient develops side effects following drug administration.
  8. Record the drug administration process accurately, showing justification, dosage, time, and effects on the patient.

Drug Monitoring Procedure

The drug-administering clinicians must monitor the medication’s impact on the patient by:

  1. Familiarizing themselves with the drug’s therapeutic and side effects.
  2. Educating the recipients of the medicines’ expected side effects, symptoms to report, and the time interval before they start experiencing therapeutic relief
  3. Monitoring the drug’s pharmacokinetics by conducting regular blood and urine tests where appropriate and looking for common contraindications for inpatient administration.
  4. Maintaining regular administration times, per the prescription, to avoid adverse drug events.
  5. Reporting to the prescribing clinician the drug’s impact on the patient
  6. Consulting the physician to adjust the drug therapy if the side effects and contraindications are severe.
  7. Scheduling follow-up sessions and providing an emergency response hotline for adverse drug events (in the case of outpatient administration)

Drug Charting

Charts are essential administrative and communication media for drug management. They contain special directives that help clinicians identify drugs correctly and allow multiple access to drug storage facilities without compromising patient safety and drug integrity. Some of the critical charts would include drug classification/scheduling, administration routes, and whether it is an original or generic distribution. Table 1 shows a general information chart that informs clinicians of the meaning of each drug schedule and the storage location of each category. Meanwhile, table 2 shows a simple color code to distinguish between original and generic distributions of drugs.

Drug Schedule
Schedule I. These drugs have no medically-approved use in the USA. NB: This facility does not store Schedule I drugs.
Schedule II. These drugs carry a high abuse potential, causing physical and physiological dependence. They are stored in the cabinet labeled ‘Schedule II’ and require a senior clinician’s approval before accessing them.
Schedule III. Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse. Registered nurses can access them if they are part of a patient’s prescription. They are stored in the ‘Schedule III’ cabinets.
Schedule IV. Schedule IV drugs have a lower abuse potential than Schedule III. All licensed clinicians can access them, with justification, from the Schedule IV cabinets.
Schedule V. They have the lowest abuse potential. They require minimal oversight, although pharmacists must report irregular check-outs. They are stored in the ‘Schedule V’ cabinets.
Unscheduled Drugs. They have no reported abuse potential. Their storage cabinets are labeled ‘General Sale List’ (no prescription) or ‘Pharmacy Medicine.’

Table 1: Drug Scheduling Charting (DEA, n.d.)

Original Drug Generic Drug
Packaging contains a blue label. Packaging has a red label.
In case of color blindness, missing color label, or label discoloration, consult the senior pharmacists. While safety and performance values are similar for both distributions, prices may differ. Hence, do not administer drugs without checking the patient’s preferences.

Table 2: Generic vs. Original Drug Distributions

Case Study

Deanna, an employee at the facility, takes anti-inflammatory drugs home for her personal use. Her actions breach the established code of conduct regarding drug handling and storage. First, even if the drugs she takes have low or no addiction indication, such as Ibuprofen (Godersky et al., 2017), she still fails to justify retrieving the drugs from the medicine cabinets. Hence, after realizing the irregular removal of drugs, the senior pharmacists should countercheck Deanna’s patient list. Upon verifying that she takes the drugs home for personal use, the pharmacist should take the appropriate action, including banning her access to medical cabinets and reporting her to the facility’s administration.

If the anti-inflammatory drugs fall under any of the five schedules or can only be issued with a physician’s prescription, her offense is greater. First, the liberal access to and retrieval of controlled substances exposes her, her family, and other people to addictive substances. Furthermore, it means that she defrauded the facility by falsifying retrieval authority. Therefore, her actions could cause legal and ethical ramifications for the hospital.

Next, Deanna’s handling of the drugs breaches the established protocols. She most likely conceals them in her bag or pockets to avoid detection. These storage and handling methods expose the drugs to particulate and pathogenic contamination. Hence, consuming them may present unexpected effects. Similarly, they could interact with environmental elements, such as moisture and heat, changing their chemical properties. Taking these drugs without a proper monitoring system may cause unexpected effects, leading to adverse events.


Drug monitoring, handling, and storage protocols and procedures are crucial to safe drug usage. They ensure that clinicians follow the correct processes to ensure the medications have the intended impact on patients. Also, they regulate drug management processes, reducing cases of unscrupulous use, such as in Deanna’s case. In such instances, the facility’s administration should implement the ethical and legal provisions on the culprit, dissuading others from engaging in such risky medical actions.



Godersky, M. E., Vercammen, L. K., Ventura, A. S., Walley, A. Y., & Saitz, R. (2017). Identification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use disorder: A case report. Addictive Behaviors, 70, 61-64.

Shojaee, M., Feizi, B., Miri, R., Etemadi, J., & Feizi, A. H. (2017). Intravenous Amiodarone versus Digoxin in Atrial Fibrillation Rate Control; a Clinical Trial. Emergency, 5(1), e29.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA]. (n.d.). Drug Scheduling.