Medication Administration in the Correctional Setting

Administering medication is one of the most important and risky health care processes in corrections. Frequent legal and licensure issues surrounding medication possession and administration make this a nursing process of significant concern. Due to the secure environment of a correctional setting and the limited movement of the patient population, medications are administered through several processes. All standard administration principles still apply in the correctional setting but additional concerns must also be managed.

This course provides an overview of three key process for medication administration in a correctional facility along with safety tips and special issues. 

This is a video-style course with text content located at the end of the chapter.​

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After participating in this educational session, you will be able to:

  1. Describe standard principles of medication safety in correctional settings for direct observation, prepackaged, and keep-on-person administration processes.
  2. Explain staff safety concerns when administering medication in the correctional setting.
  3. Outline special issues in medication administration in a correctional setting.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Direct Observation Therapy (DOT)

  • Patient Safety Tips
  • Final Tip to Save Your License
  • No Show for Pill Line
  • Additional Resource: Interpreting Medication Orders

Chapter 3: Prepackaged and Keep-on-Person Medication

  • Prepackaged/Pre-poured Medication
  • Prepackaged/Pre-poured Safety Tips
  • Keep-on-Person Medication
    • Additional Resource: Example Policy – Keep on Person Medications
  • Keep-on-Person Safety Tips
    • Additional Resource: Example Policy – Inmate Self Medication

Chapter 4: Special Issues in Corrections

  • The Medication Timing Challenge
  • Staff Safety
  • Verbal and Telephone Orders
    • Additional Resource: The Correct Way to Take a Telephone Order
    • Additional Resource: Improving the Safety of Verbal Orders

Chapter 5: Text Content

Chapter 6: References

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $12.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

Lorry Schoenly

Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN, CCHP-RN is a nurse author and educator specializing in the field of correctional health care. She provides consulting services to jails and prisons across the country on projects to improve professional nursing practice and patient safety. 

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