This page gives you information on having a more active role in taking your medicines on the ward, just as you do at home. This is called self-medication.

What are the benefits?

  • It helps to you to be independent
  • It increases your knowledge of the medicines you take
  • It gives the ward team the opportunity to see if you are having any problems preparing or taking your medicines.

Self-administration is voluntary which means that you can choose to take part. If you decide to take part the ward nurse and pharmacist will complete an assessment. You will be asked to sign a consent form.

You will be given information about your medicines during your hospital stay.

Levels of self-administration

There are different levels of how much control you will have over your medicines. The medical team will decide with you the level that is right for you. This level may change during your stay.

Level 1: The nurse will give you your medicines.

Level 2: You will tell the nurse when it is the right time to take your medication. If you did forget the nurse would remind you. The nurse would then unlock the locker and supervise while you take your medication. You will not have a key to your medication locker.

Level 3: You will have a key to your locker and get your medicines without any help, then sign a medicine chart. If you become unsure about your medication at any time, please tell a nurse.

The key to the medication locker must be kept safely out of sight and with you at all times. If you leave the ward you must give the key to a nurse. Never give your key to anyone else.

When you go home, your medicines will be checked and you will hand the locker key back to the nurse.

Medicines that are not part of the self-administration

  • Medicines that need to be stored in the refrigerator
  • Controlled medication such as morphine
  • Intravenous medicines
  • Medicines in compliance devices such as dosette boxes
  • Insulin
  • Cytotoxic medicines, for example, medicines used in cancer treatment
  • Medicines that will only be given while you are in hospital, for example, antibiotics.

Important points to remember

  • Keep all your medicines safely out of sight. They should be locked in your medicine locker when not in use.
  • Keep the key to your locker with you unless you are leaving the inpatient unit.
  • Take your medicines at the times and doses on the labels; do not take more medicine than is stated on the label.
  • Medicines can be dangerous if not used properly.
  • Tell one of the nurses if you are not sure about when you should be taking your medication or how much.
  • Do not share the locker key with any other family member who has not been signed off to take part in the self-administration.
  • Please tell the nursing staff straight away if any visitor or another patient tries to take your medicines.
  • It is important the medicines are checked before you leave hospital to go home.
  • Remember to give you your medicine locker key.

Printable version of this page

Paediatric self-administration of medicines GHPI1443_05_21 Department: Paediatrics Review due: May 2024 PDF, 411.3 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI1443_05_21
Department Paediatrics
Review due May 2024