Class Author

Patricia Schmehl
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Pat originally graduated from a diploma program and later went on to earn her BSN and eventually her MSN while continuing to practice critical care nursing. Currently she is a faculty member in the ADN program at Reading Area Community College in reading Pennsylvania. She is the author of a newly published book (Jones and Bartlett): Introduction to Concept Mapping: Critical Thinking in Action


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Use of Critical Thinking in Medication Administration

The Role of Critical Thinking in Medication Administration

Administering medications to patients is part of the plan of care in nursing practice no matter the care setting utilized. In today’s healthcare environment of ever expanding nursing roles and practice settings along with a wide variety of medication classes, newly created and off label drugs plus the use of multiple medication therapies per patient, medication administration safety standards mandate more scrutiny than ever.

To avoid medication errors and maintain professional standards of care, critical thinking must be integrated thoroughly and consistently into this area of practice. The technical aspects of handling and dispensing drugs must not be the sole focus of medication administration.

This course is designed to assist nurses in establishing best practices in medication administration safety through the development of multi-faceted critical thinking skills. These skills will enable recognition of all factors impacting safe nursing practice in any part of medication administration and prevent negative patient outcomes. You will also discover how critical thinking templates can be created to assist with promoting and developing critical thinking through the use of a case study.

A Linkit Course

A LinkIt© course uses reviews that aid in making associations between nursing knowledge and actions. When you see this symbol, associate the content with either prior learning or something new you learned in the course so that you are able to comprehend and begin to apply what has been learned. This is critical thinking and will allow for more meaningful learning.
©PatSchmehl 2013 


  • Identify practice implications beyond the 5 rights which assist in meeting medication administration safety standards 
  • Define the role of critical thinking and reasoning in medication administration
  • Create a concept map as a thought processing template for use within care planning for ensuring medication administration safety 
  • Recognize the role of utilizing the nursing process in maintaining best safety practices in regard to medication administration
  • State the necessary nursing actions required to safely administer medications in any care-giving situation or location


Chapter 1: Defining Critical Thinking

  • Critical thinking and Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Critical thinking and pharmacological knowledge
  • Critical thinking and nursing actions

Chapter 2: Using Critical Thinking to Recognize Barriers to Safe Medication Administration

  • Processes
  • Medications
  • Nursing care standards

Chapter 3: Integrating Critical Thinking Into Medication Administration
  • Thought process reframing
  • Incorporating critical thinking into care

Chapter 4: Creating Critical Thinking Templates

  • Use of concept mapping to develop a critical thinking template
  • A case study for application

Course Snapshot

Cost: $ 20.00
Contact Hours: 2


After successful completion the licensed nurse: RN, LPN/LVN will receive 2.0 contact hours. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15467.
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