Understanding what Doctors want

The prescription chart is a legal document- The doctor writes the prescribed dose, route and times of administration and any other elements of information or directions specific for that patient.

Navigating a prescription sheet:

Prescription sheet that follows correct hospital trust protocol

You can find this prescription sheet and more guidelines from the Wye Valley Trust 'Prescription sheets- guidance and examples' here

When you can't read the prescription sheet due to 'POOR' handwriting:

There will be instances in your nursing career when you're coming to the end of a long shift - completing your rounds and you have to decipher a poorly written - illegible prescription chart. In the first instance DO NOT feel pressurised into administering drug based on a best guess of what the doctor may or may not have written- follow the BMA guidelines- consult a more senior nurse or if possible - consult with the prescribing doctor.

This excellent article, written by Andy Fox - Principal Pharmacist - Southampton University Hospital outlines typical examples and outcomes of illegible prescription charts

Andy Fox - Safer prescribing Workbook