Medical

The Healthcare Delivery System

The essential role that nursing professionals played in the use of drugs was restricted to its administration. The complexity of drug regimens and the continuous flow of new drugs by themselves have increased the demands on the nursing professionals (2). Law, 2004, (3), points out that the administration of drugs is no longer a simple issue, but a complex one that calls for enhanced knowledge of pharmacology drugs used for beneficial therapeutic effects. Against this background, the role of nursing professionals has been enhanced over the last fifteen years to include prescribing of drugs and with that the additional demands on the nursing professionals involved in drug prescribing (4).
Independent nurse prescribing was initiated by the health authorities as a means to make drugs more freely available to patients and Price, 2003, (5) points out that it has improved patient access to effective remedies for a wide range of common medical problems. Nursing professionals with adequate experience in the various clinical specialties were chosen as capable of handling such an additional responsibility (3).
The functioning of prescribing being attributed to the nursing professionals began with the Medicinal Products: Prescribing by Nurses Etc Act, 1992, whereby certain groups of nursing professionals were provided the additional facility of prescribing select drugs (6). This Act was amended in 1994 to enable the implementation of the act. (7). The second Crown Report of 1999, which dealt essentially with the issue of professionals other than doctors initiating and prescribing drugs, while stressing patient safety requirements did allow for an expanded role of nurse prescribers. As a result, began initiatives from the government to intensify training of nurses and health visitors to make nurse prescribing a reality (8).&nbsp.
The education and training for nurse prescribers began in 2002 and consisted of an exhaustive&nbsp.program spread over a period of three months. Such education and training is a requirement taking into consideration the accountability of the nurse prescribers from legal and professional perspectives. This accountability hence calls for enhanced knowledge in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, anatomy and physiology, disease processes and patient circumstances, medical history and current medications.

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