As you advance in rate to Hospital Corpsman
First Class and eventually Chief Hospital
Corpsman, your work will become more and
more specialized, and your responsibilities will
involve more supervision and training of others.
Not only will you probably head a department,
but you will also have more people working under
your supervision in various capacities. One of
these departments for which you might con-
ceivably become responsible is the pharmacy,
the service that fills prescriptions.
This section is a continuation of the chapter
on pharmacy in the HM 3 & 2 training course.
Review of that chapter at this time is advisable.
The key instrument used in the pharmacy is
the prescriptionthe written order from the
prescriber directing the pharmacy to compound
and dispense a drug or medication for the
use of the patient. To accomplish this correctly,
you must thoroughly understand prescription
writing and filling.
Any information pertaining to the prescription
is confidential and shall not be made known
to persons not involved.
Another important point to remember is that
a prescription or any part of it cannot be
applied or transferred to any person other than
the patient specified.
Because regulations and policies sometimes
change, it is important that you are familiar
with Chapter 21 of the Manual of the Medical
D e p a r t m e n t ( M A N M E D ) . C h a p t e r 2 1,
MANMED is the basic guide to pharmacy
For proper use, the prescription must contain
certain information written legibly in ink on
a bonafide prescription blank (DD Form 1289,
fig. 4-1 ) or a polyprescription blank (NAVMED
6710/6, fig. 4-2). The prescription shall contain
the name of the ship or station where it was
written. This is important if the source of
prescribing has to be traced.
To avoid errors, make sure that the patients
full name, rate, address, and age if under 12
is written clearly on the prescription. This
will aid in getting the right medication to the
patient for whom it is intended.
The superscription Rx means take or
take thou or in effect, I want this patient
to have the following medication.
The inscription is that part of the prescription
that lists the names and quantities of the
ingredients to be used. Legibility here is of utmost
importance, since the spelling of a great many
unrelated drugs is quite similar. Whenever
there is doubt as to the drugs or their amounts
listed in the inscription, always double-check
with the prescriber. Use the metric system to
The subscription follows the inscription and
is that part of the prescription that gives
directions to the compounder.
The signa, not to be confused with the
prescribe's signature, is that part of the prescrip-
tion that gives the directions for the patient.
This portion is preceded by the abbreviation
Finally, all prescriptions must be signed by the
prescriber. Ensure that the prescribers full
name signature is legible and that the rate or
rank, corps, and service are included. Mimeo-
graphed, preprinted, or rubber-stamped prescrip-
tions may be used, but signatures must be original,
in the handwriting of the prescriber,
are not acceptable.
WHO MAY WRITE
According to chapter 21, MANMED, the
following persons are authorized to write prescrip-
officers of the Medical and Dental
Corps, Medical Service Corps podiatrists, civilian