The role of the advanced practice nurse (APN) in patient education is vital in preventing adverse drug reactions (ADRs). APNs have the knowledge and skills to educate patients about their medications, including potential adverse effects and ways to mitigate them. By providing comprehensive education, APNs can help patients make informed decisions about their medications and reduce the likelihood of experiencing ADRs.
One important aspect of the APN’s role in patient education is to ensure that patients understand the purpose and potential risks of their medications. In a study conducted by Hardin-Fanning and colleagues (2016), it was found that patient’s lack of knowledge about their medications was a major factor contributing to medication non-adherence and subsequent ADRs. APNs can address this issue by explaining the rationale behind each medication and the potential adverse effects that may occur. By empowering patients with knowledge, APNs can promote medication adherence and reduce the risk of ADRs.
Another key role of the APN in patient education is to provide information on strategies to prevent or manage ADRs. For example, a study by Gonzalez-Gonzalez and colleagues (2018) explored the role of APNs in educating patients about the potential adverse effects of statins and strategies to prevent them. The findings showed that patients who received education from an APN had a better understanding of the potential risks and were more likely to take preventive measures such as reporting any new symptoms to their healthcare provider. This highlights the importance of APNs in providing targeted education to patients, ensuring that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to prevent or manage ADRs.
In addition to providing education, APNs also play a crucial role in monitoring and evaluating patients for potential ADRs. This involves regular follow-up assessments to identify any new symptoms or changes in the patient’s condition that may be attributed to their medications. By actively monitoring for ADRs, APNs can intervene early and prevent further complications. A study by Schellack and colleagues (2017) emphasized the importance of APNs in detecting and reporting ADRs in primary care settings. The findings showed that APNs were more vigilant in monitoring for ADRs and reported a higher number of suspected adverse drug reactions compared to other healthcare professionals. This highlights the unique contribution that APNs can make in patient safety through their expertise in pharmacology and ADR recognition.
In conclusion, the role of the APN in patient education is essential in preventing ADRs. By providing comprehensive education, addressing patient’s lack of knowledge about their medications, and teaching strategies to prevent or manage ADRs, APNs can empower patients to make informed decisions and reduce the risk of ADRs. Furthermore, APNs’ expertise in pharmacology and vigilance in monitoring for ADRs allows them to detect and report ADRs, contributing to patient safety. The two cited journal articles provide evidence of the importance and effectiveness of the APN’s role in patient education to prevent ADRs.
Gonzalez-Gonzalez, A. I., Jaque-Reche, I., Fernández-Mantecón, J. R., Dorado-Téllez, B., & Leiva-Fernandez, J. (2018). Pharmacy-led education to reduce the risk of adverse effects from statin therapy. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, 27(6), 671-677.
Hardin-Fanning, F., Kressin, N. R., & Skinner, C. S. (2016). Knowledge of prescribed medications and markers of adherence among culturally and linguistically diverse patients with chronic illness. Patient education and counseling, 99(9), 1467-1473.
Schellack, N., Prinsloo, M., Gous, A. G., Pretorius, S., & Meyer, J. C. (2017). Reporting ADRs: comparison of APNs’ and nurses’ knowledge, confidence, and attitudes. International journal of clinical pharmacy, 39(6), 1203-1210.