Would you give this medication?

An fun clinical decision activity around pharmacology content

Deciding when to give and hold meds is tough.  This is a simple yes/no format game that gives the data and asks “Would you give this med?” 💊💊


Clinical judgement around medication administration is an area where students struggle.  Looking at a MAR on a medical unit or in a long term care facility is a long list of daily medications, new orders and PRNs. With every single medication administration, the nurse must ask themselves “Is this safe?” So let’s practice this skill with our students!

How to:

Create a presentation in powerpoint or in Canva.  Include some basic patient information including reason for hospitalization and history.  It is important to include both relevant and irrelevant information.  Nurses need to be able to filter large amounts of data, deciding what is important and what is “nice to know” everytime they look in a chart.  

Include one order for one medication.  Include one piece of data that a nurse should recognize and decide to hold the order.  Here are a few examples: 

This is a simple one, clearly a hold.  I would highlight that NSAIDs carry a high risk of nephrotoxicity and this med should be held based on her creatinine level.

You can also include scenarios with grey areas.  Is his blood pressure too low for a diuretic?  What about his potassium - should a loop diuretic be held when he is clearly in fluid volume excess and the potassium can be replaced?  Is the dose appropriate?  There does not have to be a definitive yes/no response but this type of prompt can lead to awesome discussion.


And as always, it is great to throw in a normal situation once in a while.  Students can get conditioned to look for something wrong or think that instructors are trying to trick them - when actually it is a simple “yes, I would give that med.”

And the best part - these slides were created in Canva and HERE is the link to the template.  You can easily start building your own today! 🎇


While great for a clinical post-conference, this activity could also be used in theory courses to reinforce medication knowledge.  These types of scenarios also make strong exam questions and could be used for alternate format items like short-answer.  

Best for:

No limits on this one!  This one could really work anywhere.  

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You don't have time to be timid.  You must be bold.   ~Lumiere