Nursing: Medication Management in the Older Adult

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About the Course

A challenge for healthcare professionals in the care of older adults is to balance their own concept of quality-of-life with that of the older adult in their care. This balance is particularly difficult in geriatric pharmacology because the professional wishes to cure and treat the older adult with useful drugs that may still be potentially dangerous. This course highlights the basic physiological changes in the body that occur with aging and presents the way aging affects how a drug is metabolized in the body and how the body responds to the drug.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Identify and describe two basic human functions that highlight the physiological changes which may adversely affect the way older adults react to the pharmacodynamics of medications.
  • Define what an adverse drug reaction is and list three contributing reasons for high-risk adverse drug reactions in older adults. 
  • Identify three types of non-prescription medications and describe a risk for the older adult associated with each one.
  • Select and describe three reasons for why an older adult patient may intentionally or unintentionally deviate from the prescribed drug regimen and identify two reasons for why patients in long-term care facilities may be susceptible to adverse drug reactions.

About the Author: 
Cheryl A. Lehman, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, RN-BC, CRRN 

Cheryl A. Lehman, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, RN-BC, CRRN, is the clinical coordinator for the Hill Country Mission for Health, where she oversees all clinical activities and all patient care. A nurse for 38 years, her clinical experiences include medical-surgical, rehabilitation, and geriatric nursing. She is licensed in the state of Texas as a registered nurse and as a clinical nurse specialist in medical-surgical nursing. Dr. Lehman is also board certified as a rehabilitation nurse, a gerontological nurse, and a clinical nurse specialist. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) and the editor and author of the ARNs Rehabilitation Nursing Core Curriculum, 7th Edition textbook. Dr. Lehman was the chair of the Data Safety Management Board for the Strong Star Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD research studies on post-traumatic stress disorder (funded by the U.S. Department of Defense) through the Department of Psychiatry at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2010-2016). 

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