Delegation of medication administration: an exploratory study.

Geoff Dickens*, Jean Stubbs, Camilla Haw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To examine the delegation of medication administration, including the frequency of delegation, whether delegation was to a care worker or a registered nurse (RN) and whether care workers were directly supervised when administering medication. METHOD: Administration of 1313 medication doses was observed on two inpatient psychiatric wards for older people. RESULTS: Administration was delegated by the nurse preparing the medication for four out of every five doses, usually to another registered nurse (78% of delegated doses), but also to care workers (22%). Care workers were more likely to administer medications to confused and aggressive patients than were registered nurses. CONCLUSION: Care workers who undertake delegated medication administration should receive regular training to ensure safety. Nurses remain accountable for delegated medication administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalNursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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