Critical Care Concepts

Orientation Medication Competency


1. PURPOSE: To identify the policy for medication competency verification within the Critical Care Unit.

2. SCOPE: All licensed nursing personnel assigned to Critical Care Units.

3. REFERENCES: Department of Nursing Administrative Policy. Unit level orientation manuals, current standards of nursing practice, educational preparation and licensure.

4. POLICY: All licensed personnel which includes RN’s, contract nurses, and LPN’s will take the appropriate exams as follows regardless of previous or concurrent medication competency procedures. All personnel assigned to the Intensive Care Units will take the Intensive Care Unit’s Medication Calculation Exam, the Intensive Care Unit’s Written Skills Verification Exam and the Basic Knowledge Assessment Tool (BKAT) Exam.

    a. These exams may be successfully completed by obtaining a score of at least 85%.

    b. The Calculation Exams will normally be completed during Orientation Day 1. If the individual fails the test an opportunity to study and retest will be provided. A second failure requires consideration of reassignment.

    c. The Intensive Care Unit’s Medication Calculation Exam includes calculation related to the knowledge necessary to administer medications in the Intensive Care Units. The categories include: basic calculations of medications, basic and advanced IV infusion rates and metric conversions.

    d. Self study material and additional references suggested are contained in the Medication Calculation’s Guide. Areas covered are metric equivalents and their conversion rules, formulas to calculate medication doses, formulas to calculate IV flow rates, IV dosage rates, IV drip rates, examples of calculations and a pretest with answers.

    f. In addition, the purpose, actions, side effects, adverse effects and nursing considerations related to selected drugs will be tested on CCNS Orientation Day 1, and the Intensive Care Unit’s Written Skills Verification Exam, Medical-Surgical Unit’s Written Skill Verification Exam, and verification of performance checklists on CCNS Orientation Day 2- Evaluation Day.