Pharmacology for PSWs

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Pharmacology for PSWs

  • Duration: 02 Days

  • Starting from 16-Oct-2023

This course is designed for Personal Support Workers (PSW) employed in Long Term Care facilities, hospitals, and home care/community settings. The focus of this course is on the general principles of medication administration. Topics covered include; current drug legislation, methods of safe medication administration; common drug interactions and reactions; and classifications of medication.


At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify OSHA standards regarding needle sticks
  • Identify potential causes of medication errors and guidelines for reducing errors
  • Define vocabulary terms related to medication administration
  • Identify the rights of medication administration
  • Recognize methods, equipment, and documentation procedures for medication administration
  • Administer medications by oral, sublingual, and, buccal methods using the proper procedure, equipment, and supplies
  • Learn skills on how to properly administer different medications through particular routes including oral (pills/liquid), nose drops, eye drops, ear drops, suppositories, topical, and transdermal.



Hepatitis B vaccine, Criminal reference check, TB skin test, and proof of a certificate in Personal support worker certificate from a community college of a registered private career college.


Benefits of this course:

Completing a course in Pharmacology for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) provides several valuable benefits for individuals working in healthcare, particularly in roles where they assist with medication management. Here are some potential advantages:

  1. Safe Medication Administration: PSWs learn about different types of medications, their uses, and how to administer them safely, reducing the risk of medication errors and adverse effects.

  2. Increased Competence and Confidence: Gaining knowledge in pharmacology boosts confidence in handling medications, allowing PSWs to carry out their responsibilities with greater competence.

  3. Enhanced Patient Safety: Understanding medication interactions, side effects, and contraindications enables PSWs to monitor for potential issues and advocate for patient safety.

  4. Improved Communication with Healthcare Team: Knowledge of pharmacology allows PSWs to communicate more effectively with nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers about medication-related concerns.

  5. Recognition of Adverse Reactions: PSWs are better equipped to recognize and respond to adverse reactions or side effects of medications, ensuring prompt intervention when needed.

  6. Compliance with Regulations: Completion of a Pharmacology for PSWs course ensures that PSWs are knowledgeable about legal and ethical aspects of medication administration, maintaining compliance with regulatory standards.

  7. Support for Clients with Chronic Conditions: PSWs can provide more effective support for clients with chronic conditions who may be on multiple medications, ensuring they receive the right medications at the right time.

  8. Professional Development: Obtaining specialized knowledge in pharmacology demonstrates a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development, which can lead to career advancement.

  9. Reduced Risk of Medication Errors: Proper training in medication administration reduces the likelihood of medication errors, safeguarding patient safety and well-being.

  10. Personal Fulfillment: Mastering pharmacology skills provides a sense of accomplishment and personal fulfillment, knowing that PSWs are delivering a higher standard of care to their clients.

  11. Career Advancement Opportunities: PSWs with a strong understanding of pharmacology may have access to a wider range of job opportunities and may be more competitive in their field.

  12. Versatility in Healthcare Settings: Pharmacology knowledge is valuable in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home healthcare, and assisted living facilities.

  13. Prevention of Polypharmacy: PSWs can play a role in preventing polypharmacy (the use of multiple medications), ensuring that clients receive the necessary medications while avoiding potential adverse effects of excessive drug use.

  14. Understanding Medication Regimens: PSWs can better assist clients in adhering to their prescribed medication regimens, promoting better health outcomes.

  15. Advocacy for Patient Rights: Knowledge in pharmacology empowers PSWs to advocate for patients' rights to receive appropriate and safe medication treatments.

  16. Contribution to Interdisciplinary Team: PSWs with pharmacology knowledge can contribute valuable insights to the healthcare team, particularly in discussions about medication management.

  17. Improved Documentation Practices: PSWs with pharmacology training can maintain accurate and detailed records of medication administration, which is crucial for ensuring patient safety and continuity of care.

Remember, ongoing education and staying updated with best practices in medication management are crucial for PSWs. Regular refresher courses and continuing education opportunities help PSWs stay current with industry standards and regulations.