Non-medical prescribing is an essential qualification for healthcare professionals in the UK. The non-medical prescribing course (also known as V300) provides individuals with the skills and knowledge to safely and effectively prescribe medication to patients without a medical doctor’sdoctor’s involvement. This can significantly improve patient access to medications and reduce prescription waiting times.
The topics covered in the non-medical prescribing course include; pharmacology; prescribing guidance; evidence-based practice; legal and ethical issues related to medication; patient assessment; impact on health care and health care professionals; different types of prescribing such as supplementary prescribing and independent prescribing; and management of medications. Through these topics, healthcare professionals gain a deep understanding of the principles of prescribing medicines safely and effectively.
The course is suitable for qualified healthcare practitioners who carry out clinical assessments and make recommendations for medications. This includes community public health nurses, special nurses, pharmacists, midwives, allied health professionals and those in advanced practice roles who want to take their careers in a new direction by gaining non-medical prescribing capabilities.
This qualification is also beneficial for healthcare professionals responsible for medication decisions. This could include General Practice Nurses, Community Psychiatric Nurses and pharmacists in all settings. It can also benefit those working in remote or rural locations, such as paramedics, who need to make quick medication decisions without a medical doctor.
The importance of taking a non-medical prescribing course cannot be underestimated. By gaining this qualification, healthcare professionals will have the knowledge and skills to prescribe medication confidently and safely. They will also be able to provide better patient care, reduce waiting times for prescriptions and increase access to medications.
What will you learn from this article?
- What is a non-medical prescribing course?
- Topics Covered in the Course
- Who Should Take the Course
- Why do a non-medical prescribing course?
- How hard is the non-medical prescribing course?
- How can it improve Patient Care and Access to Medications
- Steps to become a non-medical prescriber
What is a non-medical prescribing course?
A non-medical prescribing course is a qualification that allows healthcare professionals to safely and effectively prescribe medication to patients without the need for a medical doctor’sdoctor’s involvement. This qualification is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as it provides healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to diagnose conditions accurately and prescribe medications confidently.
What is supplementary prescribing?
Supplementary prescribing is an arrangement between a patient and a doctor or other healthcare professional in which the supplementary prescriber – a nurse, pharmacist or allied health professional – shares responsibility with the doctor for the clinical management of the patient’s condition. It allows appropriately trained practitioners to prescribe medicines which are agreed upon in advance by the doctor and patient as part of an overall care plan that has been agreed between the patient and doctor.
The supplementary prescriber is an independent healthcare professional who has completed specific education and training that allows them to prescribe within a framework of shared care with the patient’s GP or clinician. This includes taking account of any relevant clinical conditions, such as allergies and interactions with other medicines, and understanding the potential risks when prescribing.
The doctor will continue to be in charge of overall care and responsibility for the patient’s treatment plan. They will support the supplementary prescriber by formally agreeing on the care plan with them, reviewing progress regularly, and ensuring that their and the supplementary prescriber’s records are accurate.
Supplementary prescribing can be used to treat chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis or for acute conditions like bacterial infections. It can also offer a range of services such as health education, advice on lifestyle changes and support in managing long-term medications. It is designed to increase clinical effectiveness by providing greater flexibility and choice to patients in managing their conditions.
Topics Covered in the Course
Below is a list of topics covered in the non-medical prescribing course.
- Understanding the Law and Ethics of Non-Medical Prescribing
- Identifying and Managing Risks Associated with Prescribing Medication
- Assessment of Patients’ Needs for Medication, Monitoring Results & Response to Treatment
- Drug Interactions and Contraindications to Necessary Medications
- Principles of Safe Administration, Supply and Storage of Medicines
- Management Systems Relevant to Non-Medical Prescribing
- The Role of the clinician, i.e., Pharmacist or nurse, in Supporting Non-Medical Prescription
Who Should Take the Course
This non-medical prescribing course is a valuable qualification for healthcare professionals in the UK. It is designed to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to safely and effectively prescribe medication to patients without medical oversight.
Healthcare professionals who should take this course include pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, and paramedics.
Why do a non-medical prescribing course?
Non-medical prescribing is an essential qualification for healthcare professionals in the UK, as it allows them to safely and effectively prescribe medication to patients without medical oversight. There are numerous benefits of undertaking this course, which include:
- Increased Patient Care – By having the ability to undertake non-medical prescribing, healthcare professionals can provide more comprehensive and holistic care to their patients, as they can prescribe medication when needed.
- Improved Professional Development – This course provides healthcare professionals with the opportunity to gain a valuable qualification recognised by employers, giving them an edge over other applicants in the job market.
- Enhanced Knowledge – Healthcare professionals taking this course will gain an in-depth understanding of all aspects of non-medical prescribing, including legal and ethical issues, drug interactions and contraindications, risk management, assessment of patient needs, and more.
How can it improve Patient Care and Access to Medications?
Non-medical prescribing qualifications can have a significant positive impact on patient care and access to medications. This qualification allows healthcare professionals to confidently and effectively prescribe medications to their patients without medical oversight.
This means that patients can receive medication quicker and more accurately, as healthcare professionals can identify appropriate treatments according to their assessment of the patient’s condition. Furthermore, it increases access to medications for those who may otherwise not be able to receive them due to a lack of medical support or resources.
Overall, undertaking a non-medical prescribing course is beneficial for both patients and healthcare professionals, as it provides healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to prescribe medication with confidence, which in turn can improve patient access to medications and care. Therefore, if you are a healthcare professional looking to increase your qualifications and provide better patient care, this course is definitely worth considering.
How hard is the non-medical prescribing course?
The non-medical prescribing course is easy as long as you are willing to dedicate regular study time throughout the course.
At MEDLRN, we recommend thirty minutes a day of regular study throughout the course (usually between four to six months).
The non-medical prescribing course can be taught at level 6 or level 7.
To understand the different levels of qualification, let us review the education system in the UK.
Levels of Education
What are education levels?
Education levels are the different stages of learning that an individual goes through to acquire knowledge and skills. Education is generally divided into three main stages: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
The qualifications received from the stages mentioned above are split into Levels 1-8 in England. This system ensures that all qualifications are comparable and of the same standard.
Different types of levels of study
Level 1 – Entry-level qualifications, such as GCSEs and vocational qualifications, are often associated with work-based learning.
GCSEs encompass a range of topics, from English and Mathematics to the Sciences. Grades are now represented numerically – 9 being the highest grade – in line with the 2017 GCSE system replacement for the A*-G grading model. Depending on your score, these qualifications can qualify as either Level 1 or Level 2; levels D, E, F & G equate to level 1, while grades 4–9 (A*, A B C) signify level 2.
Level 2 – Intermediate-level qualifications, such as GCSEs, AS Levels and NVQs, are often associated with further Education.
AS-levels are Level 3 qualifications completed during Year 12 and were once part of your final A-level grade. Fortunately, they no longer count towards that mark; but some schools in England continue to offer them. So AS-levels can still be used as an indication for future grades!
Level 3 – Advanced-level qualifications, such as an A-level.
Completing A-levels (Advanced levels) after GCSEs and AS-levels comprises level 3 qualification. Usually, it involves the study of three or four subjects over two years, culminating in taking the examinations at the end.
LEVEL 4, 5, 6, and 8
Level 4,5,6,7 & 8 – degree or professional qualification, usually related to higher Education.
For students taking the higher education path, there are three main types of degrees to consider.
- An undergraduate degree is a university program that lasts from educational Levels 4-6 and typically occurs after completing the sixth form.
- A master’smaster’s degree is an advanced qualification that falls into the Level 7 category and could take anywhere between one and four years to complete, with some independent research required throughout.
- A doctorate degree. This prestigious Level 8 academic achievement takes an average of eight years to finish – not including all those invaluable research hours!
What you learn in each level of study
Level 1 – GCSEs
Fundamental understanding and capabilities, combined with the capacity to apply newly acquired knowledge under guidance or supervision, are critical elements of job proficiency.
Level 2- AS levels and GCSE grades A*, A, B C
Possessing comprehensive knowledge and comprehension of a particular area, along with the flexibility to complete several tasks efficiently under guidance or supervision. Learning at this level provides skills useful for many job roles.
Level 3- AS levels and A levels
This level of learning provides the capacity to obtain or exercise a wide variety of knowledge, abilities and understanding at a comprehensive level. Therefore, it is invaluable if you want to pursue higher Education, work autonomously or even direct and train individuals in their field of expertise.
Level 4- Higher apprenticeships
This study involves deeply analysing complex information and knowledge specific to your work or studies. Essential for those in technical and professional positions or managing a team of employees, specialised learning is key to success.
Level 5- foundation degrees
This level of study provides the skills to expand your knowledge base and comprehension of a specialised trade or discipline, and you can quickly address intricate issues and predicaments.
This involves an advanced level of proficiency in labour as well as in teaching and coaching others. People employed at higher technician ranks, executives, or supervisors will find this highly beneficial for their practice.
Level 6- bachelors degree
Level 6- bachelors degree, professional graduate certificate in Education, i.e., non-medical prescribing at level 6
Studying at level 6 gives you a deeper understanding of an area of expertise or study. It enables you to think critically and apply your research when addressing complex dilemmas.
This elevated level of knowledge is beneficial for professionals whose work revolves around the usage and discovery of new information and those who occupy managerial roles.
Level 7- Masters’sMasters’s degree
Level 7- Masters’sMasters’s degree, Postgraduate Certificate in Education, i.e., non-medical prescribing at level 7
Education at level 7 allows you to achieve advanced and intricate levels of expertise and construct creative solutions for complex and unpredictable problems. The ideal program for experienced professionals as well as management teams.
Level 8- doctoral degree
Studying towards a doctorate offers leading experts or practitioners the chance to stretch the boundaries of professional practice and knowledge by innovating new solutions.
Non-medical prescribing level 6 vs level 7
From the above, the non-medical prescribing course at level 6 offers the opportunity to gain a different set of skills compared to a non-medical prescribing course at level 7.
Although the content for a level 6 and level 7 course is similar – the difference is in the learning outcomes, marking criteria and possibly difficulty level of the course.
Generally speaking – the higher the level ”, the harder the courses”. Therefore – Level 7 courses are more advanced and challenging for students. And pharmacists must study non-medical prescribing at level 7 because only this qualification is recognised by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Steps to become a non-medical prescriber
- Visit your regulatory body for entry requirements, i.e., the General pharmaceutical council (GPhC) for pharmacists) or the nursing midwifery council (NMC) for nurses and the health care professions council for allied health care professionals.
- Select an approved course.
- Find a designated medical practitioner (DMP) or designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) willing to supervise.
3. Complete the application form.
4. Begin the course.