Quote from WRCRN
HELP!!!!!! I am an 18 year veteran RN in a State Prison for male offenders who also have a mental illness or behavioral problem. We are suffering a 25% vacancy and Management has come up with this "brainchild" of taking unit personnel (who are NOT CNA's by the way), giving them a 60 hour hybrid course in medication passing at a local vocational tech. college, and then putting them under our direct supervision to pass all kinds of psychotropic and anti-anxiety (ie controlled meds) meds to guys who don't have a hoot about what they are taking at times. This is making all of us verrryyyyyy uncomfortable to say the least. I have done some research about med techs in other states and there appears to be statutes that govern their certifications. But not so in Wisconsin.....there are no such accredited positions here. Can anyone help me??? I need some info to take to management as I have volunteered to be on the development committee for this outrageous idea and I want some ammo to help me and the dwindling pool of nurses I work with.
Reply to WRCRN: My state prison uses Med Techs, but they are always CNA II's with 1 yr. experience, and we in DOC in our state have to train them through not only a 40-hr. course we administer (that I teach as a nurse educator to these Med techs) but they must also take a final exam, and then complete a clinical skills checklist that is quite involved, for 3 times on each item. Only an RN can sign the tech off. Once the checklist is complete, a certificate is issued from our Nursing Education Dept. that these Med techs have successfully completed the DOC med Tech course, and they are allowed to pass meds (no IM or SQ, or any insulins) to our inmates. We have a prison population of 1300. My state is on the forefront of all this in the South. I don't totally agree that the use of these techs is any answer, but we as RNs in the DOC system have clear guidelines from our Board of Nursing re their role, and our responsibility, where it starts, and also what it encompasses. The techs cannot do any patient teaching, for example. In the NC DOC we have more than 100 techs already since late 2001, and the goal is for 250. All in all, they fulfill a role, but I am kind of old fashioned, and feel licensed staff only should administer meds.