What is it about?

Increasingly, mental health nurses are expected to base their clinical practice on evidence based knowledge and many of the practice traditions that have passed between generations of nurses must now be examined within this scientific context. Since 2000, there has been an increasing debate on what is best practice for the administration of intramuscular injections particularly in relation to site selection, needle size and technique. Weight gain associated with second generation long acting antipsychotics influences the site and needle size for effective medication delivery.

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Why is it important?

It is vital to ensure that medications given via IMIs are delivered into the muscle tissue to ensure maximum medication absorption within the body. Needle size and site location need to be determined by BMI and manufacturers' guidelines and appropriate education and information for site selection given to both staff and consumers.

Perspectives

Mental health nurses have a dual responsibility to ensure that their practice is based on the best available evidence and to provide health promotion education when case managing consumers receiving antipsychotic medication.

Lesley Barr
Curtin University

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This page is a summary of: Administering intramuscular injections: How does research translate into practice over time in the mental health setting?, Nurse Education Today, April 2015, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2014.12.008.
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