Study Tips for Medication Exam

  1. You need to review or study the Medication Study Guide for Unlicensed Personnel in Adult Care Homes (PDF, 3.58 MB) developed by the Adult Care Licensure Section.
  2. Study guides will no longer be mailed, please follow these instructions on how to obtain the study guide.
    1. The Medication Study Guide for Unlicensed Personnel in Adult Care Homes is available on the Medication Testing website.
    2. A study guide may also be picked up at the Adult Care Licensure Section located in Raleigh.
    3. Medication Study Guide for Unlicensed Personnel in Adult Care Homes (PDF, 3.58 MB).
  3. The answers and explanations in Section 2 of the study guide should be reviewed as well as the questions in Section 1. It is important that you understand why an answer is correct or incorrect.
  4. Reviewing the Guidelines for Completing the Medication Administration Clinical Skills Checklist (PDF, 204 KB) will also be helpful.
  5. Below is a list of the problem areas identified or the most common ones. Information on the following areas is included in the study guide and the guidelines for the clinical skills checklist. The list below only identifies some of the areas on the medication test. You need to use the study guide and guidelines to study for all the areas.
    1. Disposal of medications especially when medications have been prepared for administration and then are not administered, i.e., resident refuses or resident is out of facility.
    2. Unlicensed staff refers to staff who are not licensed health professionals such as registered nurses or registered pharmacists. The type of injections that may be administered by unlicensed staff is limited to subcutaneous injections.
    3. Requirements for self-administration of medications
    4. Storage requirements for medications, especially those requiring refrigeration.
    5. Components of a complete order. Remember that medications ordered for "prn" (as needed) administration still have to have specific directions for use or administration, as well as, the other components of a complete order. Also, "Continue previous medications" is not a complete order.
    6. Medication Administration Records (MARs)
      1. Transcription of new orders onto the medication administration record.
      2. PRN medications, documentation on the MAR when a "prn" is administered and writing the order on the MAR correctly
      3. Transcription of orders prescribed for a certain number of doses such as antibiotics. Also, determining if the correct number of doses of medication has been administered as ordered.
      4. New medication administration records received from the pharmacy or handwritten MARs should always be checked for accuracy before using them.
    7. Administration techniques for eye medications and oral inhalers.
    8. Measurement of liquid medications is covered in the study guide and the guidelines. You have to be able to determine which measuring devices should or should not be used. This is a very important area.
    9. Medication Labels
      1. Expiration dating
      2. What to do if a label needs replacing
    10. Documentation on the MAR is required when a medication is administered or not administered. When a medication is not administered the reason the medication is not administered also needs to be on the MAR.
    11. Infection Control
      1. When an antiseptic gel or product is used.
      2. When gloves are required
      3. What is considered one of the most important steps or procedures to protect you and others from the spread of germs.
    12. Comparing the medication label and the medication administration record
      1. What to do when the directions on the label and the directions on the MAR do not match
      2. How often the medication label should be checked against the MAR.
    13. Information on the metric system in the study guide should be reviewed.
    14. When there is a conflict in orders or an order is not clear or complete, the facility's policy and procedure on contacting the supervisor or appropriate health professional is to be followed. You are an important part of the resident’s care and you should provide information and input to health professionals involved with a resident's health care, but it is not your responsibility or legal authority to decide what the physician meant to prescribe or what the resident should receive. This simply means that you do not determine things such as how often to administer a medication when the physician has not prescribed the frequency or continue to administer a "prn" medication on a routine or frequent basis without notifying the physician about the resident's usage of the medication according to the facility’s procedures.