Medication Aides - page 9

:confused: I am asking this question of you because I have looked for days for my answer and am still empty handed. I need to know where I might find information on medication aides and their... Read More

  1. by   nicolel1182
    hmm....i myself am a Medication aide in the state of Texas...i went to school for 6 months to get my med aide license...its not that big of a deal as most of you are acting...
    we can only work in LTC settings...not hospitals and can only give PO meds and nothing that goes into the lungs....
    we work under the care of a nurse just like CNA's do..we can not give PRNs without letting the nurses know and have there acceptance to give it. We can give narc's but have to sign out for them just like the nurse...and count every change of shift...we are humans too - we dont want to steal the narcs and anybody can steal narcs - even NURSES can be drug abusers...

    i dont understand why so many of you are against medication aides....we take our licenses very seriously....we dont mess around..we know how to read the MARS and chart correctly...
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I just said why I am against their use. If you can't understand the fact that I cannot LEGALLY delegate my responsibilities, yet would be asked to do JUST THAT by using a Medication Aide, well what can I say. I am NOT better than you, that is not what I am saying. I am saying, I have the responsibility to assess each person under my care....and medication administration cannot be done w/o proper assessments. I cannot see it saving me time or trouble to have a CMA as I would have to assess the patient prior to the CMA giving the med, anyhow. I just don't see an advantage where I work, not to mention, I can't say I see it as safe. I can't be more plain than that, I am sorry.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 14, '05
  3. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from nicolel1182
    hmm....i myself am a medication aide in the state of texas...i went to school for 6 months to get my med aide license...its not that big of a deal as most of you are acting...

    we take our licenses very seriously....we dont mess around..we know how to read the mars and chart correctly...
    and you work only ltc settings. that's a good thing? where people are on multiple medications and can have interactions between medications? where people are old and fragile and may have unique reactions to medications because of their age?

    you make it sound like the only important things about giving medication is reading the mars and charting. wrong!!! the most important thing about giving a medication is "is it doing what it is expected to do for this patient? is this patient benefiting from this medicaton." and, even more subtely (sp?), "do the benefits of this medication outweigh the risks, as seen in potential problems and actual side effects?" and even, "should the physician be lobbied for a different medication or dosage?"

    your post scares me because it appears that you have no understanding for what it means to assess a patient (not your fault)-- you are not taught how to do it, for the most part--but that you also seem to not know what an assessment means and how it is relevant to the patient is, well, scary. i have no doubt that you have an interest and dedication to what you are doing--this is a good thing. that you are on this board learning--is a good thing. medication aides as human beings are not the problem--the level of education they get is.

    nursefirst
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Mar 15, '05
  4. by   begalli
    Quote from nicolel1182

    we take our licenses very seriously...
    Are you really licensed? Is there a licensing body, like a state board, that oversees the licensing of medication aides? Do you carry professional insurance?

    Just wondering because I don't think you are licensed. I wonder who protects who in the case of a mistake? Does a patient or a patients family come after the med aide or the RN and facility in case of a mistake?

    There are just way too many unanswered questions regarding this role of med aide. It's too scary and dangerous for me to accept as a standard of practice.

    Seriously, 6 months education is not nearly enough to give my loved one their meds in LTC.

    Medication aides are simply a way for facilities to cut costs. Period. With all do repect to the CMA's out there, they do not contribute anything to the safety of the patient or lightening an RN's load, they only benefit the bottom monetary line of their employer.
    Last edit by begalli on Mar 15, '05
  5. by   explorer
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    perhaps I do. I know a couple prior nurses and techs who work with State Legislature. Fortunately, none of the hospitals where I have worked use them. It's mostly a LTC thing, I think. Which, to me, anyhow, still is not right, given how many meds some of those folks use. Yes, I still think it ought be illegal, myself. If that offends, you , I am sorry. That is not my intent. My intent is to protect my patients and my own license. Period.
    I don't think that the med techs have the background to be passing medications
    and they have restrictions on them such as can't give insulin or sched IV meds.
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from nicolel1182
    hmm....i myself am a Medication aide in the state of Texas...i went to school for 6 months to get my med aide license...its not that big of a deal as most of you are acting...
    we can only work in LTC settings...not hospitals and can only give PO meds and nothing that goes into the lungs....
    we work under the care of a nurse just like CNA's do..we can not give PRNs without letting the nurses know and have there acceptance to give it. We can give narc's but have to sign out for them just like the nurse...and count every change of shift...we are humans too - we dont want to steal the narcs and anybody can steal narcs - even NURSES can be drug abusers...

    i dont understand why so many of you are against medication aides....we take our licenses very seriously....we dont mess around..we know how to read the MARS and chart correctly...
    " Can only give PO meds and nothing that goes into the lungs...". That statement right there scares me. I have suctioned enough meals out of patients with dysphagia after an aide fed them to know the fallacy of that statement. I personally think that doing MDI's (which do go into the lungs) would be safer than PO meds in many cases.

    Is what you hold a certification or is it a license? There is a difference.

    As long as ANYONE else is held legally responsible for the errors that an aide may make, then an aide should not be giving meds, in my opinion. In LTC, or anywhere else. And I do not work with med aides and frequently, not with any aides at all.
  7. by   Achoo!
    please don't think that CMA's can't get sued because they are certified and not liscenced. Their butts are on the line too. It isn't as if they make a mistake it's " oh well, I won't get sued, the doctor or nurse will".

    It is the law, that medical assistants when providing patient care have to remain within their limited scope of practice; if they don't, and a mistake happens that injures a patient, they may face a serious malpractice lawsuit, especially if it can be shown that they acted outside the professional norm, and their specific scope of practice!
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Achoo!
    please don't think that CMA's can't get sued because they are certified and not liscenced. Their butts are on the line too. It isn't as if they make a mistake it's " oh well, I won't get sued, the doctor or nurse will".

    It is the law, that medical assistants when providing patient care have to remain within their limited scope of practice; if they don't, and a mistake happens that injures a patient, they may face a serious malpractice lawsuit, especially if it can be shown that they acted outside the professional norm, and their specific scope of practice!
    Maybe so. But you can bet the nurse responsible overall, (along with the doctor possibly), likely, are going down, too. You won't read of too awfully many cases where non-licensed people were sued alone. Sorry, I am not going down for ANYONE else's actions under my license. I have enough to worry about, taking care of what I am responsible for as an RN. I am sorry, I know this is sounding OLD, but just because CMA' s CAN be sued, does not relieve me of my responsiblity charged by the BON to ASSESS each patient in my care. I can't get out from under that mandate, no matter how "legal" or very good at what they may do CMA's may be. They do NOT assess patients. They do not have pathophysiology or pharmacology knowledge to back up their giving medications to people.

    Honestly, I don't mean to sound superior, because I am not. I know CMA's are making a living just as I am. I am just stating the facts, trying to show you why some nurses are so upset about all of this.

    Someone here stated "all you nurses have is higher education". It illustrates the serious lack of understanding non-licensed folks have of our concerns regarding the the safe administration of medications. The greatest emphasis in school we received was SAFETY in care of our patients. It was drummed again and again our legal and ethical responsibilties to them. I can't see shirking this off to UAPs,and I can't see how it's legal, even though, obviously it is. Blows my mind. I am sorry we can't be more clear to help you understand why some of us are so concerned and that you think we are just attempting to "put you down" or protect job security. It goes SO far beyond all that.

    I am sure that is one of the things that may keep me out of LTC nursing. I will worry a lot if/when I see them coming into the hospital setting where I practice. I just can't handle having others give meds under my license.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 15, '05
  9. by   Achoo!
    I understand. I am currently a CMA going back for ADN, and I do understand the difference. I work in a clinic, not LTC or hospital. I do know of med passers at assisted living facilities though, that go to a ONE DAY class and become certified. As others have said, in that instance they are giving out prescription meds from the pharmacy as a family member would. They don't even have an RN on site at the facility I am speaking of, she is on call. That I feel is very scary.

    I will also say though that in the clinic setting I do give injections, from Rocephin to epi, to solu-medrol. I work Urgent Care, and we also have a supply of medications to dispense which I fill (I was a pharmacy tech while in school), as well as topical meds ( silvadene/ let solution). I have been doing this for over 10 years, and it was never brought up that this was not in my scope of practice. We do take a pharmacology class, as well as medication administration. It may not be as in depth, but we are taught and it is listed in our job description.

    http://www.medicalassistant.net/ma_can_do.htm
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Thank you for that information. I am checking out that site now.
  11. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from Achoo!
    I understand. I am currently a CMA going back for ADN, and I do understand the difference. I work in a clinic, not LTC or hospital. I do know of med passers at assisted living facilities though, that go to a ONE DAY class and become certified. As others have said, in that instance they are giving out prescription meds from the pharmacy as a family member would. They don't even have an RN on site at the facility I am speaking of, she is on call. That I feel is very scary.

    I will also say though that in the clinic setting I do give injections, from Rocephin to epi, to solu-medrol. I work Urgent Care, and we also have a supply of medications to dispense which I fill (I was a pharmacy tech while in school), as well as topical meds ( silvadene/ let solution). I have been doing this for over 10 years, and it was never brought up that this was not in my scope of practice. We do take a pharmacology class, as well as medication administration. It may not be as in depth, but we are taught and it is listed in our job description.

    http://www.medicalassistant.net/ma_can_do.htm
    I think there may be a bit of confusion. There is a difference between a "Medication Aide" and a "Medical Assistant". Huge difference. I think the confusion may come when people use "CMA" -- which generally refers to medical assistants in my experience. Not being exposed to med aides, I don't know whether they have a certifying organization or not. One difference between the two is that medication aides tend to work in LTCs and medical assistants tend to work in clinics (not really trained in anything related to the bedside.)

    NurseFirst
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yea I was thinking the same things as I checkedout that Medical Assistant site. Not really the same things.....
  13. by   Achoo!
    I wasn't sure who was all being reffered to in the context of passing meds, I just saw CMA listed with CNA and PCA. Like I said, I only work clinic, but know of many places that have medication aides that have had little training. In doing my CNA training for the nursing program, I spent a few days in an assisted living facility and their med passer was not even a CNA but a " residential aide", trained on the job.
    Last edit by Achoo! on Mar 15, '05

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