How to Apply & Remove Transdermal Patch (Fentanyl) | Medication Administration for Nursing Students

Transdermal patch administration nursing skill. Learn how to apply and remove a transdermal patch (specifically Fentanyl) to a patient for medication administration.

Transdermal patch application requires you know how to properly remove a previous patch along with how to properly apply another one.

What are transdermal patches? They are patches that deliver a continuous amount of medication to a patient via the skin. Each patch has an adhesive backing that contains a specific amount of medication ordered for the patient. In this video, I demonstrate how to apply a Fentanyl transdermal patch. It is important to note that many medications are available in the transdermal form as well.

Fentayl is used for patients with chronic pain who are opioid-tolerant and are unable to achieve pain management with oral forms of opioids. The transdermal patch allows for continuous amount of the drug to be delivered from the skin to the bloodstream.

As the nurse, who is administering this medication, you must always monitor the patient’s respiratory and hemodynamic status because this medication can cause respiratory depression and hypotension. In addition, the nurse will want to evaluate the patient’s pain rating to determine the effective of the medication.

Transdermal patches should never be applied to broken or irritated skin, and the site should always be rotated during new applications. During the removal and application of the patch the nurse should always wear gloves to prevent becoming contaminated with the drug.

Fentanyl transdermal patches can be applied to the upper arm, chest, or back. It is VERY important to ALWAYS remove the previous patch before applying the new patch. In addition, after removing the patch it is vitally important to have another nurse witness the disposal of the patch because it is a controlled substance. Always dispose of the transdermal patch according to hospital protocol.

NOTE: The patch used in the video is a demo dose and used as stimulation for teaching purposes . It does NOT contain any medication or substances whatsoever.

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