Professional studies

Teaching language


Type of course


Recommended year of study


Total number of ECTS

5 cr

Competency aims

The aim of the course is that the students has a basic knowledge in geriatrics, nutrition and medication administration and are able to apply this knowledge in assessing and planning interventions for the unique elderly person in the health care and social sector. Furthermore, the aim is to create a base for ethical decisions

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to - know the symptoms and care of the most common diseases in the elderly and apply this knowledge in the practical setting
- know the basics in nutrition and understand how the needs of nutrition are met in health care and social service
- apply ethical principles to complex issues in care of older clients

Learning objectives in medication administration and dosage calculation:
On completion of the course the students:
- understand that in pharmacotherapy there are elements from many different areas: ethics, law, anatomy & physiology, pharmacology and mathematics
- know the most common terms used in pharmacotherapy
- relate safety in pharmacotherapy to patient/client safety
- know the different forms of drugs and different ways to administer drugs
- understand the role of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in medication administration, especially for older people
- are aware of their responsibility in safe pharmacotherapy and are able to act according to current regulations
- understand the different steps in the medication administration process and are aware of the importance to take part in developing this process
- Identify adverse effects and are able to act upon them (within field of responsibility)
- Know what is safe pharmacotherapy and what are good practices in medication administration
- are within their area of responsibility able to supervise the client/patient in matters concerning pharmacotherapy
- are aware of the special needs of older people and the influences of the client's age on the effects of drugs and drug responses
- are aware of the importance to create a patient safety promoting culture
- master dosage calculation to grant patient/client safety

Course contents

Geriatric care and ethics 1,0 ECTS
Medication administration and dosage calculation 1,5 ECTS
Geriatrics 1,0 ECTS
Nutrition 1,5 ECTS

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Basics in gerontology

Recommended or required reading

Sheila A. Sorrentino,Bernie Gorek 2003
Mosby's textbook for long-term care assistants
Sorrentino, Sheila A.
Mosby’s textbook for long-term care
St. Louis, Missouri : Mosby,
Kane, Robert L 2004 Essentials of clinical geriatrics / Robert L. Kane, Joseph G. Ouslander, Itamar B. Abrass
New York : McGraw-Hill,

Literature in Medication administration and dosage calculation:

Ernvall S. m.fl. 2005. Lääkelaskenta. WSOY.. Porvoo. ISBN 951-0-30244-9

Gatford J.D. & Philips N. 2008. Nursing calculation. Churchill Livingstone USA. ISBN 978 0 443 10288 2.

Larsen P. 1999. Polypharmacy and elderly patients. AORN Journal 69 (3), s. 619-628.

Lilley L.L., Harrington S. & Snyder J.S. 2007. Pharmacology and the Nursing Process. Mosby Canada. ISBN 978-0-323-04486-8.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. 2009. Safe pharmacotherapy, National guide for Pharmacotherapy in Social and Health Care. Publications of Ministry of Social Affairs and
Health 2009:10.

Norris J. et al. (ed.). 1996. Giving medications. Springhouse Corporation. Pennsylvania.

Nurminen M-L. 2007. Lääkehoidon ABC. WSOY

Veräjänkorva O.et al. 2006. Lääkehoito hoitotyössä. WSOY. Helsinki. ISBN 951-0-30230-9.

Current articles

Study activities

  • Lectures - 117 hours
  • Excursions and demonstrations - 6 hours
  • Individual studies - 10 hours


  • Total workload of the course: 133 hours
  • Of which autonomous studies: 10 hours
  • Of which scheduled studies: 123 hours

Mode of Delivery

Participation in tuition

Assessment methods

  • Exams
  • Reports and productions

Assessment requirements

Medication administration and dosage calculation:
This part of the course is assesses with an exam consisting of a theoretical part and a calculation part. The theoretical part is graded with grades 1-5. Maximum 28p. grade 1, 14-16p, grade 2 17-19p, grade 3 20-22p, grade 4 23-25p, grade 5 26-28p. The calculation part is graded accomplished or not accomplished. To get accomplished the total number of 5 calculation problems has to be correctly answered. The total grade of the course will be the grade given from the theoretical part. The student gets a separate certificate from this part. The use of calculator is permitted during the exam.


  • Dahl Birgitta
  • Kajander Elisabeth


Sundell Solveig

Home page of the course

in medication administration and dosage calculation study material from: http://people.arcada.fi/~bda/intern External link

Group size

No limit

Assignments valid until

Until date 2011-05-31

The timetable of the course

Content and schedule for medication administration and dosage calculation:
28.9 9.15-12.30 (4h)
Introduction to the course
Medication administration - introduction
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
Administering different types of drugs
- giving oral drugs
- giving sublingual drugs
- giving rectal drugs
- giving vaginal drugs
- giving nasal drugs
- giving ophtalmic drugs
- giving otic drugs
- inhalations
- applying topical drugs

28.9 13.30-16.00 (3h)
Labels, Prescriptions, generic substitutes
Pharmaca Fennica
- what is Pharmaca Fennica? Lääkeinfo: www.laaketietokeskus.fi External link
Introduction to dosage calculation

13.10 13.00-16.15 (4h)

- Giving medication in institutions
- Side-effects, slight symptoms-severe reactions
- Allergic reactions, anaphylaxis
- Legislation, Patient/client safety
- Giving medication to the client/patient/older person
- - institutional systems
- - medication reminder systems
Dosage calculation

14.10 9.00-12.15 (4h)

19.10 9.00-12.15
Safe pharmacotherapy (4h)
Drug therapy in the elderly
Dosage calculation

26.10.11 EXAM 9.00 -12.00, re-exam 1. 9.12.11, re-exam 2: 13.1.12

Assessment methods

  • 2010-12-17 - Exams
  • Date will be announced later - Reports and productions

Course and curriculum search