SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Manage pharmacological preparations and treatment 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252087  Manage pharmacological preparations and treatment 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Preventive Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people working as clinically focused, service orientated, independent, registered staff nurses, who are able to render basic care to persons with stable and uncomplicated general health problems, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge and skills required to Manage pharmacological preparations and treatment.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of pharmacology, toxicology and drug therapy.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge and insight in pharmacology as it affects nursing practice.
  • Interpret prescribed treatment regimens.
  • Communicate with other professionals and the patients and/or public regarding the different pharmacological treatment regimens.
  • Provide meaningful support and information on pharmacological treatment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Numeracy at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • Prescribing and dispensing do not fit within the scope of practice without additional and specific training as prescribed in law. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of pharmacology, toxicology and drug therapy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The definition and basic principles of pharmacology are described in accordance with generally accepted pharmacological understanding and accepted scientific terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles include:
  • Origin/source, action, application (prevention, diagnosis, treatment).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The definition and basic principles of toxicology are described in accordance with generally accepted understanding and accepted scientific terminology. The description includes reference to the toxic effect of drug overdose and treatment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles include:
  • Origin/source, action, antidotes.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The definition and basic principles of drug therapy, as it related to the management of disease, are described in accordance with generally accepted medical understanding and accepted scientific terminology. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate basic knowledge and insight in Pharmacology as it affects nursing practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Proper conditions for the storage and care of drugs are accurately described for drugs in the unit, in accordance with legislation, regulations and unit procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Conditions include:
  • Refrigeration, specified temperatures, secured, special containers, protection from light.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Cold chain management is correctly described in terms of its importance in the care and effectiveness of specified drugs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Drugs in the unit are correctly classified and described in terms of their application and pharmacodynamics. Specific drugs are described in terms of their different physiological effects on living cells or organisms, and the effect of subsequent biochemical changes in body fluids and tissues on body functions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The relationship between drug concentration and/or dosage and the subsequent extent of therapeutic effects is described with reference to the mechanism of action of the particular drug. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The pharmacokinetics of different drugs are described with reference to ways in which body processes affect the drug molecules inside the living body, and their subsequent effect on the disease. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Body processes include:
  • Absorption, distribution, biotransformation, excretion.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The interaction of drugs with other drugs or alcohol and food, are correctly identified in terms of their potential influence on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles, and the unwanted effects. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Side effects of different drugs are described and explained in terms of their mechanism of action. The explanation includes ways of countering or using side effects. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Adverse effects of drugs are identified and explained with reference to unwanted or unexpected effects, and genetic conditions that may affect the biochemistry of specific metabolic processes in the body. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Adverse effects include:
  • Allergies, porphyria, gout, hyperthermia.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Contra-indications for the use of drugs are identified and explained with reference to their detrimental effects and/or ways in which drugs counteract the treatment goals in a given situation. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Interpret prescribed treatment regimens. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Scripts are evaluated for legality, completeness, and accuracy in accordance with accepted pharmacological practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Preparation for mixtures for treatment regimes is accurate in terms of solutions mixed, quantities, and methods, as prescribed in pharmacological procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Prescribed medicine is administered correctly as per the prescribed route, to the correct patient, in the correct dosage and at the right time. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Route is limited to:
  • Oral, intramuscular, topical, sub-dermal, route specifically excludes intravenous.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Complications resulting from drug therapy are identified and managed in accordance with established procedures. Complications are referred promptly to appropriate health care professionals. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Management includes:
  • Observation of patient, reporting/document of reactions and/or non reactions.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Communicate with other professionals and the patients and/or public regarding the different pharmacological treatment regimens. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Communication with other health care professionals is accurate with respect to drug administration and observations. Communication is documented and available on request to authorised persons. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Referrals are accurately documented and reports submitted to relevant practitioners promptly, according to institutional procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Practitioners include:
  • Professional nurse, treating doctor.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Drug registers and medicine administration records comply with the requirements of the Medicine Control Act. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Communication with patients and/or the public with respect to pharmacological treatment regimes is accurate and accessible to the target audience in terms of language, complexity and detail. Opportunity is provided for questions of clarification. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Information sharing with patients and/or the public about their treatment regimes is reinforced by user-friendly and accessible printed material. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Patient and/or care giver understanding of treatment regimes is checked and ensured to be accurate before discharge. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Provide meaningful support and information on pharmacological treatment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Support and information is accurate and sufficient with respect to the administration of the treatment regime. Information is provided to both patient and significant others involved in care, with the patient's agreement. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Information includes:
  • Dosage, frequency, compliance.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The importance of compliance is stressed with reference to maintenance of drug levels to ensure maximum effect for healing. The consequences of non-compliance for patient health and the action of the drug are explained in terms of short- and longer term effects. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Possible side effects of drugs are explained together with signs and symptoms, and appropriate actions for the patient to counter the effect or deal with the problem. The explanation details cases that require professional assistance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Adherence to treatment is monitored at scheduled intervals to evaluate and support compliance. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Monitoring includes:
  • Vital signs, laboratory tests.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Accreditation Options: Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation Options: The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard:
  • Pharmakodynamics, drug therapy & toxicology.
  • Drug interactions and complications & management. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note:
  • Correct decision making in preparation of medications is essential. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note:
  • Health care is team based. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note:
  • Core to the standard: Must be effectively organised in preparation and treatments. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note:
  • Core to the standard: Must have accurate information for preparation and treatments. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note:
  • Must be able to access the literature. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note:
  • Core to the standard: Using science and technology to affect illness and disease. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Note:
  • Core to the standard: Understanding the impact of treatment regimes on body systems and diseases. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: Appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:

    Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. Further clarification of terms is provided as follows:
  • The terms "patient" and "health care user" are used interchangeably in this unit standard. The term patient is used internationally, and the term health care user is used in the Nursing Act 33 of 2005, as well as the National Health Act 61 of 2003. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59236   National Diploma: Nursing  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2020-07-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Core  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.