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What Every Medical Assistant Should Understand about a Prescription Order
You should know and understand the following:
The date and patient information, which consists of the name of the party for
whom it is designed and the address, usually occupies the upper part of the prescription. Sometimes age or
weight is also added, though rarely.
The instruction, "take as directed" is not satisfactory and should be
avoided. The directions to the patient should include a reminder of the intended purpose of the medication by
including such phrases as "for pain," "for relief of headache," or "to relieve itching".
And if the patient is to receive a brand name medication, rather then
generic, the physician enters NO SUBSTITUTIONS at the end of the prescription.
If there are no refills to be dispensed, it is advisable not to enter the
number 0, because it can be altered by adding numbers before the zero, thus making it a 10 to receive ten
refills (or more!). Always write out the word None, or No Refills!!!
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number system was
implemented as a way to successfully track controlled substances from the time they are manufactured until the
time they are dispensed to the patient.
The DEA opposes use of the DEA number for other than its intended purpose,
which is tracking controlled substances, and strongly opposes insurance company practice of requiring that a
DEA number be placed on prescriptions for non-controlled substances.
Not all medications require prescriptions. There are certain medications on
the market that can be purchased over the counter, thus their name over-the-counter drugs
Learn the units of quantities and apothecary symbols written on prescriptions
in the apothecary's system which can easily be misread or misunderstood.
In order to write, read, and understand prescriptions, the medical assistant
must also understand Roman numerals.
Disclaimer: This is a non-accredited, non-credit
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