Choosing the right route for drug administration

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The route through which a drug is administered is essential for nurses to consider. Often, the healthcare provider will write an order with several routes for you to consider. When preparing to administer a drug to the client, you must select the route based on the order and the client’s current status. Be discerning when considering the route of drug administration if given that responsibility.

The following questions may assist in developing a priority list for choosing an appropriate route for drug administration:

  • What is the drug prescribed for?
  • Why is the patient receiving this drug?
  • Is immediate drug action necessary, or is the drug being used to achieve an effect over time?
  • What is the onset, peak, and duration for the drug according to the prescribed route?


Editor's note: This was an excerpt from Stressed Out About Drug Interactions. For more information about HCPro's latest nursing resources, click here.