A-News / Mini Reviews

Do you actually know how to take your antibiotics? Apparently, nurses don’t.


So it’s been found that 55% of nurses in Iraq have poor knowledge of rational antibiotic use. Although, mind you, the sample size was not comprehensive in any way with only 110 nurses having returned completed questionnaires. That’s still a lot of nurses who don’t really know what they’re giving me in a hospital. (In Iraq.) What’s worrisome is not just the lack of understanding, but a majority feel that their experience gives them the competency to instruct the necessary treatment without the physician’s opinion. Despite understanding the consequences of inappropriate antibiotic use, a misconception of its use is carried by most of the nurses which propagates the wrongful use of antibiotics. Blame has been placed on a poor education base.

Public knowledge on rational use of antibiotics is limited and its very much a global problem. Many of my friends for some reason, have no idea how to actually take their antibiotics or care to understand the consequences. Either its a case of some inflated patient confidence or a mistrust of their doctors, but whenever I bring up the issue with friends – they have no idea. No idea. None.

Most of the time, they just stop taking antibiotics when they feel better because they can’t be bothered. They have no knowledge of antibiotic resistance and its serious potential consequences. One friend will even save her antibiotics for the next time she gets sick to save money and a visit to the doctor. Whether she takes it when she just feels she has a cold coming on or not, I don’t know either. Seriously, even recalling this makes me speechless and hollow. So hollow.

Long story short: If you don’t take your antibiotics properly, like actually finishing your full prescribed course – you could get sicker later on or down the track when you’re a lot older and have a poorer immune system. Then you’ll have to pay for stronger drugs and that means higher cost. Worse case scenario: You become so sick, there are no antibiotics for you because the leftover bacteria have multiplied to such a degree that, that’s all that’s left in you. And that now colony of leftover bacteria aren’t affected by any antibiotic available.

I’ll be posting a mini review on this in the coming days to explain all.


Till then, keep healthy fellow humans!



SEE: Utoor T Jassim. Assessment of Nurses’ Knowledge and Awareness about the Rational Use of Antibiotics. Medical Science, 2014, 6(19), 15-21


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