Action: the effect a drug has on the body. The therapeutic effect is the intended
positive response by the body. The mechanism of action is how the drug works to
create its effect on the body. The action, therapeutic effect, and mechanism of
action provide the justification for administering a particular medication.
Administration: the route and form by which a drug is given.
Contraindications: situations in which a medication should not be used.
Dose: the amount of a medication that is given to a patient at one time.
Drug: a chemical substance that is used to treat or prevent a disease or condition.
Form: the size, shape, consistency or appearance of a medication
Indications: the common reasons for using a medication to treat a specific
Medication: a drug or other substance that is used as a remedy for illness.
Metered-dose inhaler (MDI): device consisting of a plastic container and a
canister that a patient can inhale.
Pharmacology: the study of drugs.
Route: the means by which a medication is given or taken.
Side effects: the undesired effects of a medication.
Small-volume nebulizer (SVN): a device that uses compressed air or oxygen to
nebulize a liquid medication into a mist that a patient can inhale.
14.2 Describe the roles and responsibilities associated with administering
and assisting patients with administration of medications.
Administering: the EMT will actually take all of the steps necessary to give the
patient the medication via an oral, injection, or inhalation route.
Assisting patient with administration: the EMT will prepare the medication and
then hand it over to the patient who will then proceed with taking the medication.
14.3 Differentiate between administration of medication and assisting a
patient taking his own medication.
14.4 List the medications in the EMT’s scope of practice.
a) Oxygen: given to any patient that is hypoxic, hypoxemic, or complains of
dyspnea or has evidence of respiratory distress, signs of shock, poor
perfusion, heart failure, or SpO₂ < 94%
b) Oral Glucose: given to patients with history of diabetes who is suspected to
have a low blood glucose level.
c) Activated Charcoal: a fine black powder that is designed to adsorb, or bind
an ingested poison to the charcoal.
d) Aspirin: administered to a patient who is having chest discomfort or pain
that is related to the lack of oxygen getting to the heart.
e) Inhaled Bronchodilator: causes the bronchioles to dilate. Can be
administered two different ways. The drugs are albuterol and levalbuterol.
a. Metered-Dose Inhaler
b. Small volume nebulizer
f) Nitroglycerin: medication that is used to treat cardiac patients with
diseases of the coronary arteries that deliver blood to the heart. Vasodilator.
Dilates blood vessels to reduce workload of the heart and allow increased
blood flow to the heart muscle
g) Epinephrine: used to treat patient suffering from severe allergic reactions
known as anaphylaxis.
14.5 Differentiate between a drug’s chemical, official, generic, and trade
Chemical: describes the chemical drug structure.
Official: drugs meeting the requirement of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia that are giving
an official name usually followed by U.S.P. or N.F
Generic: still reflects the chemical characteristic of the drug, but in a shorter form
than the full chemical name.
Trade: the brand name is assigned when the drug is released for commercial
distributions. Usually short and easy to recall or is related to the problem the drug
14.6 Demonstrate the proper administration of drugs by each of the
Sublingual: medication is placed under the patient’s tongue.
Oral: The drug is swallowed and absorbed
Inhalation: the medications is prepared as a gas or aerosol and is inhaled by
e) Intramuscular (epinephrine auto injector only): The drug is injected into the
14.7 Differentiate between the following medication forms:
a) Tablet: a compressed powdered that is shaped into a small disk or elongated
b) Liquid for injection: a liquid substance.
c) Gel: thick, sticky substance that the patient swallows.
d) Suspension: drug particle that are mixed in a suitable liquid. They have the
tendency to separate and must be shaken well prior to administration.
e) Fine powder for inhalation: crystalline solid that is missed with liquid to form a
f) Gas: is inhaled. Ex. Oxygen.
g) Liquid for spay or aerosolizartion: may be deposited under the tongue.
14.8 Explain the roles of off-line and on-line medical direction with regard
to medication administration.
Every medication the EMT administers, or assist the patent with must be
administer must obtain online or offline medical direction.
With online direction you must verify by restating the drug, dose, and route.
14.9 Adhere to the following key steps of medication administration:
Obtain an order.
Verify on-line orders
Select the proper medication
Verify the patient’s prescription
Check the expiration date
Check for impurities and discoloration
14.10 Document required information regarding medication
Right date (time)
Patency of airway
Respiratory rate and quality
Skin color, temp, and condition
Change or relief of the patient’s
Relief of signs and symptoms
associated with the patient’s
Medication side effects
Improvement or deterioration of
patient’s condition following
14.11 Describe the reassessment of a patient after you have administered
or assisted the patient in taking a medication.
Check adequacy of oxygen administration
Reevaluate any care or treatment that has been provided.