Hospital Patients Learn To Take Own Medicine
Many patients on the rehabilitation ward at Ohio State University Hospitals are clock-watchers. They have to be—the responsibility for taking medication, including sedatives and narcotics, is their own.A week's supply of medicine is kept next to each bed so patients can take the proper dose when necessary.During the first six months of the self-medication program, the major errors were those of omission, not overdosage. There were no known instances of theft, borrowing, or hoarding, Ernest W. Johnson, MD, reported to the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.Dr. Johnson, professor and chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine at Ohio State, said the self-medication program offers several benefits to patients and hospital personnel.Independence in self care is the major objective of a rehabilitation program, he said, but dependence is fostered when nurses dole out medications one dose at a time.