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Medicines: Improve Your Knowledge

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000

2 Day Seminar - A General Update for Nurses



Medicines are one of the highest risk areas of practice for all nurses. This vital update will increase you confidence in:

  • Preventing medicine errors
  • Important facts about how drugs act and are metabolised
  • Safe administration and storage of drugs
  • Common drug interactions and side effects
  • Where to look for credible medicine information
  • What to tell people about their medicines

This seminar is for all nurses who have not had a formal update in medicines education in the past 18 months. Come and ’TOP UP’ Your knowledge!


Need for Program

The administration of medicines is one of the riskiest areas of nursing practice and requires a thorough understanding of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. In this context it is imperative that drug interactions and unwanted side effectsare readily identified. The combination of new and current medicines require nurses to continually expand their knowledge and that of their patients. The onus for safe and quality practice remains on the professional who handles the medicines to source and engage in evidence-based education.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to provide up-to-date, evidence-based knowledge about the safe and quality use of medicinesin nursing practice.

Your Learning Outcomes
  • Explain to a student nurse or colleague where to find high quality sources of up-to-date information relating to new medicines
  • Administer medicines correctly to achieve best possible patient outcomes.
  • Apply knowledge of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics to prevent unwanted side effects and errors.
  • Know counselling points for commonly used groups of medicines, (including analgesics, antibiotics and antidepressants) for patient education.
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Medicines in Context

    This session describes the place of medicines within the healthcare system and how the quality supply and use of medicines is maintained.

    • The concept of ‘essential medicines’, the National Medicines Policy and the partners involved in its implementation
    • What are the roles of prescribers, pharmacists and nurses in implementation?
    • Patterns of medicine use in Australia


    Medicines In and Medicines Out

    This session looks at how the body acts on a drug and how drugs act on the body. You will gain an understanding of why this is essential knowledge for anyone administering medicines, and how these factors impact on clinical practice.

    • Absorption and Distribution
      • Getting a drug into the body and to the various organs: why does drug absorption matter?
      • How does a drug get to its intended site of action?
    • Metabolism
      • Where does drug metabolism usually occur?
      • Why is it important to understand drug metabolism?
      • Why are some drugs activated after metabolism?
    • Excretion
      • Which organs are important routes of drug excretion?
      • Why is clearance rate important?
    • Clinical implications
      • What is the relationship between the effects of a drug and its concentration in the body?
      • What happens when we dose someone repeatedly with a medicine?
      • Why is clearance rate important?
      • What is meant by ‘half-life’ and why is it important?
      • What is meant by ‘steady state’?
      • What is meant by ‘therapeutic index’? How is it relevant to medication safety?
      • What is the effect of a loading dose?
    • How do drugs work?
      • Action on receptors or other targets
      • Agonists and antagonists
      • Why do side effects and drug-drug interactions occur?
      • Why do so-called ‘selective’ drugs have effects on other receptor sites?
      • What are adverse drug reactions and how are they related to drug dose?
    • Dosage adjustments
      • Ensuring the right dose is important in patient safety. Why are different doses suitable for different people?
      • What are the issues to consider in drug dosing?
      • Why is this so important when administering medicines?
      • Which groups require special attention and why? e.g. paediatric and geriatric patients

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Getting Medicines to Where They Work

    This session will review the different dosage forms and routes of administration, including:

    • Oral medicines e.g. tablets and capsules
    • Parenteral administration e.g. Intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous injections
    • Transdermal delivery systems
    • Rectal administration
    • Inhaled medicines
    • Nasal administration
    • Ocular administration
    • Topical medicines e.g. patches, creams, ointments and gels



    The first of the drug group session will look at commonly prescribed analgesics and cover:

    • Pathophysiology of pain
    • Differentiating between the types of pain
    • Pain assessment
    • Major drug classes used in the treatment of pain
    • Main practice points for various pain medications

    12:15pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Finding Credible Information About Drugs

    This session examines an evidence-based approach to the selection and use of medicines, and explains how to analyse the large amount of information available. What are the most reliable and up-to-date sources and how do you assess their credibility?

    • National Treatment Guidelines
    • National formulary
    • Other resources
    • Engaging with evidence – taking a structured approach to filling the information gaps we come across in practice

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Cardiovascular Medicines

    Cardiovascular medicines can be daunting to work with as consequences when things go wrong may be profound. They are often seen as complex and challenging. This session will explore a number of important groups of cardiovascular medicines in common use including:

    • Heart failure
    • Hypertension
    • Atrial Fibrillation
    • Cardiac Rhythm
    • Dyslipidaemia
    • Other cardiac conditions


    Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs)

    These medicines are widely used in Australia and are not without risk. This session looks at:

    • Issues and risks of CAMs
    • How to find information and evidence about their effective use and risks

    4:00pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Antidepressants and Hypnotics

    This session looks at medications for the treatment of depression and insomnia and covers:

    • An overview of depression
    • Major drug classes used in the treatment of depression
    • How drugs in the various classes exert their action on the body
    • Most common effects and side-effects
    • Main practice points for various antidepressant medications
    • An overview of insomnia
    • Non-drug approaches to treatment of insomnia
    • Major drug classes used in the treatment of insomnia
    • How drugs in the various classes exert their action on the body
    • Most common effects and side-effects
    • Main practice points for various hypnotics


    Medicines for Diabetes

    This session looks at medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and covers:

    • An overview of type 2 diabetes mellitus
    • Major drug classes used in the treatment of diabetes
    • How drugs in the various classes exert their action on the body
    • Most common effects and side-effects
    • Main practice points for various antidiabetic medications

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Respiratory Medicines

    This session will follow the framework provided by the Therapeutic Guidelines and AMH considering issues in therapy for a range of respiratory medicines including:

    • Medicines for asthma and other airways disease
    • Medicines for cough


    Gastrointestinal Medicines

    This session will follow the framework provided by the Therapeutic Guidelines and AMH considering issues in therapy for a range of gastrointestinal medicines including:

    • Drugs for dyspepsia, reflux and peptic ulcers
    • Drugs affecting gastrointestinal motility
    • Antiemetics
    • Laxatives
    • Antidiarrhoeals
    • Drugs for inflammatory bowel diseases
    • Drugs for obesity

    12:15pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Maintaining Safe Practice

    This session will introduce and explore critical issues in modern medicines use with focus on quality and safety. Concepts to be considered and put in context of what it means for the patient include:

    • Ensuring the right dose is important in patient safety, so why are different doses suitable for different people?
      • Where things go wrong: Medication-related problems
      • Where errors occur
      • Strategies to reduce errors
      • Useful sources of CPD in medication safety
      • Review of basic principles of calculations
      • High-Risk Medications

    Once the problems have been describe an exploration of systems approaches and resources available for health care professionals will be presented, including:

    • Poly-pharmacy and the appropriate use of medicines, including problems connected with multi-drug prescribing
    • The role of outside pharmacy consultations in residential aged care facilities
    • Home medication reviews (HMRs)

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Antibiotics – Use and Abuse

    This session focuses on one common drug group that you will encounter commonly in your nursing practice – antibiotics – and their use in all aspects of health care.

    • How are antibiotics selected and administered?
    • The empirical use of antibiotics
    • How is antibiotic use best monitored?
    • Issues relating to dose forms and antibiotic regimens
    • Concerns and cautions



    A brief summary of the two days with a reminder of key points and the resources available to help improve patient care.

    3:45pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Kay Stewart

    Kay Stewart

    Kay Stewart holds an adjunct position in the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University. She has over forty years experience as a pharmacist, in both community pharmacy and academia. She qualified as a pharmacist at the University of Queensland and later obtained her PhD at the same institution. On moving to Victoria in the early 90s, she joined Monash University.

    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Director of Medication Education and Management Australia. Anne is a clinical pharmacist and has been a Director of a hospital pharmacy. She is a Fellow of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), is an Australian Council on Health Care Standards (ACHS) surveyor and consultant, and is a trained clinical competency assessor for hospital pharmacists. Anne has been a member of the Victorian Medicines Advisory Committee, and was a member of the team that developed a national interdisciplinary clinical educator preparation program. She has presented and conducted seminars and workshops in national and international conferences and forums. Anne has published on topics including improving medication safety with articles on high risk medicines alerts, drug allergy documentation, clinical pharmacist interventions and pharmacists’ contribution to medical education.


    Medicines: Improve Your Knowledge
    Interest Areas
    -- GENERAL --
    Provider Type
    11 hours 15 mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    11 hours 15 mins
    Price Details
    Brisbane City QLD 4000
    Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast , 3023 Surfers Paradise Boulevard
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