According to Olmmed and Mayo Clinic’s surveys in 2013, around 70% of the United States’ population takes at least one prescription drug. Furthermore, in 2017, WebMD has shown that both the number of prescription drugs and the number of people using them are constantly increasing. In other words, medication plays a vital role in the lives of many, not just in the United States, but also in other countries.
However, only a few people really know how the medication works. This is because knowledge of these substances isn’t widely spread among consumers. The reason for this is maybe because most health practitioners never take time to educate their patients on how a particular medication works.
On that note, it’s about time that you, as a health practitioner, steer away from the norms of simply prescribing medications and going about your way. Instead, you can take a different approach, specifically by providing medication education for your patients. Here are several reasons to do this:
For instance, if you’re acquiring your supply of medications from outsourcing facilities, consider reviewing the medications first before discussing them with your patient. This is because medications from these facilities may not look the same as what you’re used to.
Nevertheless, this practice would come in handy since the patient would know if the pharmacist made a mistake, especially if the medicine appears differently from what you discussed. The same goes for when you make a mistake when prescribing medicine. Simply put, medication education allows you to make up for other’s blunders.
2. Minimize The Possibility Of Errors
Everyone makes mistakes. You can make a mistake, your patient can make mistakes, and the pharmacist can certainly make a mistake. While there’s no way to completely eliminate the chances of error, you can at least account for that possibility. The best way to do that is by educating your patients. This would include telling them about the color, size, and shape of the medication they need.
As stated earlier, errors are inevitable when it comes to healthcare. Both you and the pharmacist can make a mistake, which can be detrimental to patients. But patients can also make mistakes, the most popular errors being overdosing and under-dosing. Hence, it’s best to review the instructions for administering the medication with your patients.
Additionally, if you can explain the importance of proper dosage to your patients, they’d put more importance on using accurate measuring devices and avoid using any other unreliable ways.
3. Patients Can Respond To Side Effects
Some medications have severe side effects, while others are relatively mild. Regardless, most medications can cause side effects. Naturally, if the patient notices these side effects, their natural reaction would be to either stop their medication or lower the dosage, which may disrupt their administration schedule.
On the other hand, if they know about the existence of these side effects and how they work, they’d feel reassured knowing that what they’re experiencing is normal, preventing them from taking unnecessary and drastic measures. Educating your patients would also help them know how to respond if they ever experience severe side effects.
4. You Can Prevent Severe Consequences
Usually, when taking medications, there are several things that one mustn’t do, specifically because it may lead to severe consequences. These may include driving, drinking alcohol, and smoking. For example, one should naturally avoid driving when taking sleeping pills as it may lead to car accidents.
Unfortunately, there are times when health practitioners forget to tell these to patients, which may end up leading to tragic incidents. Moreover, you shouldn’t stop at simply reading the warnings. Try explaining to your patients why it’s important to follow such warnings in the first place. For instance, instead of simply encouraging them to avoid driving, explain that sleeping pills may lead to hallucinations and memory lapses, so driving may lead to an undesirable outcome.
5. Patients Become Less Anxious
Patients often get overwhelmed when it comes to healthcare or medications in particular. They would often have countless questions, especially if they have no idea what each medicine does. This, and the infamous intimidation from health practitioners, can negatively impact the patient’s state of mind, specifically by making them feel anxious.
However, if you can make a few things clear, your patients would become less anxious, which is good news if they’re suffering from anxiety-related disorders or illnesses.
While you may already busy enough as it is, explaining a few things to your patients would only take a few minutes of your time, but it can save you from a lot of trouble that may have caused by your patient’s lack of education. So, it would be in your best interest as well as your patient’s if you can help them learn more about medications.