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Drug Prescribing & Administration in Paediatrics

Project Leaders: Dr. Moira Stewart and Jean Dornan

In September 2007, an interprofessional project on drug prescribing and administration in paediatricswas launched for third year children's nursing and fourth year paediatric medical students. This project was delivered through practical workshops in the clinical setting. small interprofessional groups of students work through a number of clinical cases, increasing complexity from simple analgesia through to preparation of intravenous infusions.

Student perceptions of shared learning, skills development, role awareness and knowledge of drug prescribing and administration in paediatrics have been evaluated. Feedback has been extremely positive and students have participated enthusiastically in these workshops.

The greatest change in students' responses was observed within the 'Knowledge and Awareness' domain, where a highly significant arbitrary difference was observed in pre and post workshop scores. Students reported considerable improvement in their knowledge and awareness of paediatric medication safety and the causes of medication errors.  Although similar post workshop scores were observed for both student groups, the reported increase was significantly greater for medical students compared with nursing students.

This workshop is now fully embedded in the curriculum for children's nursing and paedriatric medical students. Tutor and student study guides have been developed to support learning.

Medical students are assessed in their prescribing competency in their end of course examination.

‘The case scenarios exemplify the difficulties that may arise when prescribing and administering drugs for children’

‘Very interesting, informative and enjoyable session’

Medical Students

‘The workshop has helped us to work as a team with doctors and to learn from one other’

‘I’m now able to see drug prescribing from a medical perspective- I have a more rounded view of the process from writing a prescription to administering drugs’

Nursing Students



The Drug Prescribing and Administration Student Workbook (PDF, 1.14MB)


Stewart, M., Purdy, J. & Burns A. (2010) 'An interprofessional approach to improving paediatric medication safety'. The BMC Medical Education, vol. 10. | View article

Conference Contributions

Stewart, M., Burns, A., Kennedy, N., Purdy, J. (2009) 'Paediatric medication safety - a practical based model of interprofessional education' Paper presented at the Child Health & Welfare Recognised Research Group, Annual Scientific meeting. Belfast. 11th March.

Contact Information

Centre for Excellence in Interprofessional Education
Queen's University Belfast
School of Dentistry
Grosvenor Road
Belfast BT12 6BP

Tel: 028 9063 5313

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