Continuing Professional Development: Considering and applying pharmacokinetics

OverviewManaging medicines in modern healthcare practice is a significant issue for all healthcare professionals. Paramedics have a particular role in managing medication in acute care settings and those environments are often the most challenging. Despite this key role; many healthcare professions are often afforded little opportunity to consider the science behind medicines management behaviours.This article explores, in a reflective manner, the principal actions of the body on the drugs we administer in attempt to assist the paramedic practitioner to make greater sense of the effects of medication in practice. The article explores the theory behind considering the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of medicines and highlights how ADME considerations are made in everyday practice. The reader is asked to reflect upon the value of this information and take forward a model of understanding pharmacokinetics in the context of caring for patients.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will:• Define and describe pharmacokinetics to a fellow healthcare professional.• Use the acronym ADME to describe the important aspects of human pharmacokinetics.• Develop an awareness of the application of pharmacokinetics while dealing with patients.• Explain with greater understanding why drugs are administered through particular routes, for example, at meal times, and relate this knowledge to basic pharmacokinetic principles.

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