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SAFE Medication Management for Patients with Physical Impairments of Stroke, Part One

Yetzer, Elizabeth MA, MSN, CRRN1; Blake, Karen RN1; Goetsch, Nancy MSHS, BSN, RN2; Shook, Mary BSN, RN, NP1; St. Paul, Marilyn BSN, RN1

Rehabilitation Nursing Journal: July 2015 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 260–266
doi: 10.1002/rnj.194
Continuing Education

Purpose: This article focuses on the extensive impairments of stroke and their influence on medication management. The impairments of motor skills due to paralysis—loss of mobility and balance, lack of hand-to-mouth coordination, and difficulty swallowing—are discussed. A future article will discuss sensory impairments of vision, hearing, cognition, comprehension, communication, and emotional disorders and how these impairments influence medication management.

Design: Each of the impairments are presented and discussed, and possible interventions are proposed. Every patient is an individual and requires variable care plans.

Method: Intervention strategies that include tools for patient assessment, practice tips, and devices available to assist the patient and family in safe medication management are presented.

Findings: Patient outcomes and successes vary, but the strategies outlined will return the patient to as close to previous capabilities as possible.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance: Teaching SAFE (Systematic, Accurate, Functional, Effective) medication management to the patient, family, and caregivers will increase medication safety and decrease the number of adverse effects. The rehabilitation nurse is charged with evaluating the patients' needs and developing strategies to assist them to manage their medications.

1 Talbert Medical Group, Anaheim, CA, USA

2 Garden Grove Community Center, Orange, CA, USA

Accepted 5 October 2014.


Elizabeth Yetzer, Talbert Medical Group, 2650 W. Meadowview Lane, Anaheim, CA


[The following correction was added on December 2, 2014, after original online publication: over-the-counter had an incorrect abbreviation added after it on page 1.]

© 2015 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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