Discharge And Home Healthcare Guidelines

Be sure the patient understands all the medications, including the dosage, route, action, and adverse effects. Instruct the patient to keep the nitroglycerin bottle sealed and away from heat. The medication may lose its potency after the bottle has been opened for 6 months. If the patient does not feel a sensation when the tablet is put under the tongue or does not get a headache, the pills may have lost their potency.

Explain the need to treat recurrent chest pain or MI discomfort with sublingual nitroglycerin every 5 minutes for three doses. If the pain persists for 20 minutes, teach the patient to seek medical attention. If the patient has severe pain or becomes short of breath with chest pain, teach the patient to take nitroglycerin and seek medical attention right away. Explore mechanisms to implement diet control, an exercise program, and smoking cessation if appropriate.

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