Q&A: Can a staff nurse place an updated medication direction label sticker over the current medication direction label?

By AADNS Network - May 09, 2018

Question: Is it permissible for a staff nurse to place a medication label direction change sticker directly over the current medication directions, or should that sticker be placed beside the current label to prevent adulteration of the original label?

Answer: This is traditionally addressed in the state laws of pharmacy practice. In Pennsylvania, for example, a label must be placed by a pharmacist. Some states allow technicians to label. If there is a change in the directions and the label doesn't match the  electronic medication administration record (EMAR) system and the pharmacy cannot resend a new batch of medications because it is too soon to refill, a nurse may apply an auxiliary label that says to check for administration records on the EMAR. The rules are very state specific.

Mary Mulligan, RN, BSN, MA, CDONA/LTC
Director, Clinical Affairs
AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

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