*note* This is meant to be a sarcastic image, please do not have fun with medicine!
I know we all have times when eating candy like M&Ms turns from eating just one to eating way too many, this happens to me all the time because as my blog buddies know M&Ms are my favorite. So why am I bringing this up? Well because I’ve realized that often people do the same exact thing but with medicines and especially antibiotics! Some of us are guilty of over medicating through over the counter treatments and others run to the doctor and ask for antibiotics when they are not necessary. I know the common cold and flu can make anyone feel awful and that medicines may seem like the quick fix, however through better understanding of when and why to take antibiotics we can actually stop the spread of resistant bacteria. I hope this blog has brought a clearer picture on this issue as the spread of resistant bacteria requires the need for stronger and stronger antibiotics, increasing the number of patients admitted to hospitals with infections. I know it has taught me to not only be careful when it comes to myself but also to be careful when it comes to patients now and for the future. As a medical assistant I am often in charge of authorizing prescription refills for pharmacies to fill a patient’s medicine. At least once a day I receive a refill request for Amoxicillin or Z-pack (2 commonly prescribed antibiotics) and we may not have even seen the patient in the office. In this situation I always go to the Doctor to see what he wants to do, however I’ve learned to take more pro-active steps after learning so much about this issue. I know now that many patients are not aware of the danger in taking antibiotics so frequently and need to be educated through patient teaching. I know that patients sometimes don’t want to call and let health care providers know what their symptoms are because sometimes they may feel that they can get a quicker response if they just ask for the medicine. In future situations I believe patient teaching is necessary and taking the time to call the patients myself, asking for their symptoms or asking for them to come in for an office visit may make a difference in decreasing the spread of resistant bacteria. As a future nurse I believe active steps like these will help with patient teaching skills and also make me a better nurse. I wanted to thank all my group members for their hard work and everyone who has commented, hopefully together we can increase awareness and stop the spread of resistance through the misuse of antibiotics.
Remember antibiotics are not candy so be safe!