medication aides

  1. Has anyone seen medication aids used in their facility yet? There is talk at the LTC where I work that this is in the works and CNAs are being approached to see if they are interested. If you have encountered this, does it work? What is expected of the RN or LPN? I have read the rules on the BON regarding medication aides, but wonder if it is working.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   hope3456
    I heard that there was a bill in the state legislature earlier this year that was going to decide whether they (med aides)would be utilized in LTC facilities in colorado.....I don't know if it passed or not or what the status of it is. I guess the nursing organizations and the BON were really fighting it. I personally don't have a problem with it, withing certain parameters.

    I will check more into this....
  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    There is so much information on this topic on this site. All you have to do is do a search..Good luck to you
  5. by   hope3456
    Yeah, there is a post somewhere that was hotly debating this topic. i havent seen it for a while.

    I guess the legislation to allow med aides did pass in April '05. I personally don't know of them being utilized yet - in colorado.
  6. by   Simba&NalasMom
    I got my LPN this past March in CO and my first job darn near killed me because of the med pass; unfortunately, CO does not legislate staffing ratios to my knowledge.

    I have recently moved to Portland, OR and it is quite typical for LTC facilities to use med aides. Although I'm sure my opinion is not popular, and I understand all the arguments for NOT using med aides, they have been a huge blessing to me personally.

    Mostly, in my opinion, whether or not to use med aides is a matter of how extensive their training is. For example, NC is trying to pass legislation that will train med aides in 24 hours. That is just plain scary. However, I questioned one of my med aides here in OR about her training and she said it was a solid month (around 160 hours) during which at least half was spent in clinicals, doing supervised med pass; they also have to be CNAs before they can be med certified. Heck, that's more medication training than we received at the Emily Griffith LPN program! So the bottom line is I'm quite comfortable having med aides working with me in Oregon because the training seems to be thorough enough.

    Do you know any details of the training they offer in CO?
  7. by   hope3456
    It sounded to me like they will need to meet pretty strict criteria in order to become "med certified."

    Some of the requirements include being a CNA for at least a year, taking a pharmacology class and a basic assessment class. A person who has taken the first semester of nursing school will also qualify. If I remember right, they also have to have had Anatomy and Physiology.

    And they can only pass meds under certain circumstances. and only certain ones.

    The specific criteria are listed on the colo BON website.

    Previous poster, can you give more specific details on exactly how exactly they are utilized in oregon?
  8. by   Simba&NalasMom
    Actually, I checked out OR's BON site and OR is not as strict. The training is actually 40 hours; must be a CNA for 6 months. They don't have to have any pharm or A&P and the routes they can do are PO, PR, J and G tubes, transdermal, and topical. They are not allowed to do injectables or NG tubes. They can also start/stop G and J tube feedings and do the flushes. They can also do blood sugar finger sticks. They can only administer PRNs after a licensed nurses assesses for need.

    I worked in one facility that required that nurses do tube meds and suppositories, but I think most facilities allow CMAs to do what the state allows them to do. The site does not say for sure if they work under the nurse's license, but it seems to imply that med aides are responsible for their own errors should one occur. So far, the ones I've worked with seem competent and thorough:I remember one occasion where I was doing an admit and after I put the MARs into the med book, the CMA came up to me and told me the new admit had asked for a pain pill. The CMA had asked the floor nurse what the pt. got for pain and the nurse told her Vicodin and the order was actually for Percocet. Not a disastrous error, but the CMA was upset that the nurse told her the wrong drug. Once I told her that it was not a serious error, as nicely as I could, I told her to always always ALWAYS check her own orders and never take somebody else's word for it, because in the end it is the person pushing the pill who takes responsibility, NOT the individual who told her verbally what the drug was. I guess my whole point for mentioning this is that nurses also make these types of errors and the CMA did what any responsible nurse would do...as soon as she caught it, she reported it. I've seen other examples of this kind of professionalism in other CMAs, but I do have to admit that I find it disturbing that my state doesn't require any pharm education before allowing somebody to become a CMA.

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