Prescribing Skills

  Modules for self-directed learning


The Modules

If this is your first visit here, please read the information below first.

Otherwise, click on an icon below to open the appropriate module. You can either download it as a PowerPoint file, or open it as a pdf file, which is more convenient for printing, or as a 'rich text format' document which can be opened in word processing applications such as Microsoft Word.

Module 1
Intravenous medications
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Rich text format version
Module 2
Blood Transfusions   
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Rich text format version
Module 3
Prescribing on a Drug Chart  
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Rich text format version
Module 4
Intravenous fluid and infusions   
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Rich text format version
Module 5
The CVP   
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Rich text format version
Module 6
A guide to writing your C.V.
Print Version Rich text format version
Module 7
Common Drugs - Dosing and Monitoring
PowerPoint Presentation Print Version Charts PPT Charts Print Version


PoerPoint Presentation = PowerPoint presentations (open in a new window, some large file sizes, requires PowerPoint to view)
Print Version = Printable .pdf versions (open in a new window, get the free reader here)
Rich text format version = Rich Text Format (open in a new window, can be opened in eg. Word - no pictures)
= Web page version (opens in a new window)

Information Contents

About this resource

This week we will mainly be doing prescribing ..

This website gives you access to five presentations about prescribing skills, and one about building a CV. You click on each one and work through the presentation in conjunction with the paper-based materials you've been given. The presentations will give you information and then prompt you to do an activity. It's important that you use both the web presentations and the papers, as neither makes sense without the other.

The modules contained on this website are designed to guide your learning through basic prescribing skills. It is essential that you are competent in all of these skills prior to becoming a PRHO in August 2005. Many of the skills will already be familiar to you but some will take a little more practice. All of the skills can be used on your final year firms and will allow you to participate more in the day to day work. Thus making you number one favourite student! The modules try to bring together your therapeutics knowledge with actual prescribing skills ie the science with the art. I am sure you will agree that many of the skills included are very basic and that any of you would like your newly qualified doctor to be ‘highly' competent in all of them. Most of you will find these exercises very easy but all of you will learn a lot by completing the modules.

It is advised that you work your way through modules (1 – 5) in numerical order as the skills in the first few modules lend themselves to later work. Module (6) is a guide to writing a curriculum vitae. All of you will need a CV for job interviews and your post graduate career. A copy of your finished CV should be placed in your PPD folder.

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How to use the website

The website has been designed to be accessible wherever and whenever you feel the urge. This means you can complete the work in your own time. However since you have a week timetabled to do this work (Instep week 2) (I estimate it will take about 10 -20 hours to complete all of the work schedule) you should have no excuses as to why you are unable to perform these skills on your firms or why you have failed to complete the work assignments. The deadline for completion of the assignments is March 31 st 2005 . This does mean you have to take a mature, self-directed approach but this is the approach you will need for your entire post-graduate career, so you might as well start now! No-one will formally assess these skills but the work will be appraised and will definitely be assessed at some point in the finals' assessments.

Each module is pretty self explanatory. I have listed the contents below. Click on the icon to open the slides in a new window. You can also save the print versions if you wish. The website will be available on the internet so you can access it from home, library, coffee shop, internet café, beach, yes anywhere there is a computer with internet facilities. Please don't waste this opportunity to learn these basic skills.

You will need to book time in the skills centre to complete the skills in modules (1) and (2). This ideally will be in the week you are doing the Instep course but may have to be at other times if the centre is not available. It may be worth reading through modules 1, 2 and 5 prior to booking into the skills centre so you can ask for the items you will require. The checklists will guide you through the skills but if you can find a friendly skills facilitator try and get them to help you.

The packs of photocopied drug and fluid charts necessary to complete the prescribing exercises can be picked up from registry. You will need to include these in your PPD folders along with the copy of your CV.

I hope you find these modules useful. Please contact me if you are having difficulties or there are issues arising from the work assignments.

I have made every effort to check the calculations are correct but anyone spotting the deliberate mistakes will be rewarded handsomely (yeah right). Good luck in the coming year and I hope to meet many of you on the ever shortening road to graduation.

Adam Feather

Senior Lecturer in Medical Education


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Details about the Modules

Module (1) – Intravenous medications


  • Cannulation; Drawing up and administering an IV medication
  • Calculating drug doses to be administered

Module (4) – Intravenous fluid and infusions


  • Crystalloids and Colloids
  • Setting up an intravenous drip
  • Calculating drip rates and composition
  • Calculating infusion rates and drug doses.

Module (2) – Blood Transfusions


  • The ‘when, where, why and who' of blood transfusion
  • Ordering a transfusion
  • Prescribing a transfusion
  • Setting up a transfusion
  • Common complications and their treatment
  • Calculating the drip rate for transfusions


Module (5) – The CVP


  • Factors affecting the CVP
  • How to set up and read a CVP system
  • Self Assessment exercises

Module (3) – Prescribing on a Drug Chart


  • The components of a drug chart
  • Prescribing and Management exercises
Module (6) – A Guide to writing your Curriculum Vitae

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Suggested self-directing learning timetable:








Module (1)


IV access

IV medications

Dose calculations

Module (2)


Blood transfusions – all you ever wanted to know

Module (3)


Drug charts – A walk through the finer points

Module (4)


IV infusions

IV Fluids

Drip calculations

Module (5)


CVP and other items.

Self assessment


Module (6)


How to write a CV



Elective arrangements


Elective arrangements

Elective arrangements

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