Courses and programs

Safe Use of Anticoagulants


Welcome to the eLearning module "Safe Use of Anticoagulants".

Anticoagulant medicines are used extensively in clinical practice. They act through targeting a number of different proteins that may limit or prevent thrombus formation. They have a narrow therapeutic index and over or under anticoagulation can result in significant adverse patient outcomes. Your role may require you to either prescribe, dispense, or administer these medications. This module will help you use critical reasoning when prescribing and administering anticoagulant medicines. Adopting a risk assessment and management approach in the context of individual situations is vital to patient safety. This module will outline how you can ensure the safe use of anticoagulant medicines at every stage in the patient journey.

This module contains information that may be emotionally confronting for some people. If you find it raises any concerns please speak to your manager or contact the Employee Assistance program. See references for contact details.

A certificate is issued on completion.


By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise anticoagulant medicines and their function in preventing clot formation
  • Correctly prescribe anticoagulants for a patient using evidence-based guidelines (if your role requires you to prescribe)
  • Administer anticoagulant medicine to a patient using evidence-based guidelines
  • Conduct appropriate monitoring for patients based on evaluation of their individual situation
  • Assess and manage risks associated with peri-procedural anticoagulation therapy
  • Identify the potential effect of anticoagulant medicines when responding to a deteriorating patient.


  • Prescribers prescribing anticoagulant medicines and reviewing patients
  • Pharmacists reviewing orders for anticoagulant medicines
  • Nurses and health staff administering anticoagulant medicines.

This course may qualify for up to 0.5 hours of Continuous Professional Development.