Educating the Patient and Family

Only medical personnel give some adrenergic drugs, such as the vasopressors. The nurse's responsibility for teaching involves explaining the drug to the patient or family. Depending on the situation, the nurse may include facts such as how the drug will be given (eg, the route of administration) and what results are expected. The nurse must use judgment regarding some of the information given to the patient or family regarding administration of an adrenergic drug in life-threatening situations because certain facts, such as the seriousness of the patient's condition, are usually best given by the primary health care provider.


When a nasal decongestant (drops or spray) containing an adrenergic drug has been recommended or prescribed, the nurse shows the patient or family member the correct method of instillation. The nurse explains possible adverse effects and the importance of adherence to the dose regimen prescribed by the primary health care provider. Because many nasal deconges-tants are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, the nurse advises patients using them that these drugs are con-traindicated in those with high blood pressure and that overuse can increase nasal congestion (rebound congestion).

EDUCATING THE PATIENT PRESCRIBED A BRONCHODI-LATOR. If an adrenergic drug, such as ephedrine or iso-proterenol, has been prescribed as a bronchodilator, the nurse explains the drug regimen to the patient (see Chap. 37 for additional information). It is important to stress the importance of reporting adverse reactions to the primary health care provider as soon as possible. If the drug is prescribed in sublingual form, the nurse demonstrates the technique of placing the drug under the tongue. The nurse warns the patient not to use any OTC drug unless use has been approved by the primary health care provider. The nurse encourages patients receiving a bronchodilator to contact their primary health care provider if the drug fails to produce at least partial relief of their symptoms.


When midodrine is given to patients with severe ortho-static hypotension, the nurse explains the importance of

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Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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