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When did you last fill out a Yellow Card?

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Nurses are in the best position to observe if a patient has a reaction or a suspected reaction to a medicine they are taking. The good news is that more and more nurses are filling out Yellow Cards – more than hospital doctors but not as many as GPs.

The Yellow Card Scheme helps to protect public health by monitoring the safety profile of all medicines in the UK. Continual analysis of these reports and other adverse reaction data helps detect any previously unidentified problems with a medicine.

To help encourage even more nurses to fill in Yellow Cards, Nursing Times Learning has been working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to launch a free learning unit on the scheme.

Nurses sometimes feel that they have to be sure the patient has had an adverse drug reaction before they fill in a Yellow Card. But as our learning unit emphasises, it is enough to suspect an adverse reaction to fill in a card. Each card contributes to a body of knowledge.

The learning unit will count for two hours of continuous professional development and supports nurses to know how and when to report side effects of medications – an essential element of patient safety.

If you can’t remember the last time you filled in a Yellow Card or would like an update on how the scheme works please go to our free online learning unit.

Online learning is an accessible and convenient way for nurses to keep up to date and improve their practice. A recent survey of Nursing Times Learning found that 92% of users said it was an effective learning tool with 86% saying they would make significant changes to their practice as a result of studying a unit.

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