Despite it being an intrinsic part of the midwives' role, many aspects of medicines management can be confusing and challenging. This is due, in some part, to the different ways in which midwives can practice with autonomy regarding medicines using exemptions legislation and the application to daily practice. 

Whilst it is acknowledged that midwives work across many areas including the gynae setting and in neonatal units, the majority of information within this module is aimed at midwives working in maternity settings although the principles of safe practice and governance apply to all.

This module aims to provide the midwife and the student midwife with an understanding of their role in medicines management in midwifery and obstetrics.  It will explore the issues around safety in drug administration as well as aspects of prescribing, self medicating, over the counter treatments and safe storage and disposal of medicines.  It will also give practical examples of how to apply these principles in different clinical situations.

The module is designed to support both midwives and student midwives in their day-to-day practice.

By the end of this module you will:

  • Have an understanding of the role of the midwife in the safe administration of medicines
  • Appreciate the role of the student midwife in the safe administration of medicines and the midwife's role in supporting this
  • Be able to explain the difference between Patient Group Directives (PGDs) and midwifery exemptions
  • Understand what is involved in the creation of a PGD
  • Have a clear understanding of the medicines included in exemptions and why the guidance is not more specific
  • Revise good practice around prescriptions, medicine kardex use, administration of medicines and record keeping

The module needs to be considered alongside the NMC Code (2015). There are also many sources of extra information on the NMC website.

Study time: 1.5 hours

This version: 2023