What is your opinion on CNA's being med certified? - page 2

I just read a post by a new Nurse who admitted to making a medication error, and as I was replying to her post I was wondering about something and I'd like to get opinions from others. In my... Read More

  1. by   jyoung1950
    I'm a CNA and no, I do not want to add med pass to my duties. I have enough to do as it is. My residents know that I am the one that takes care of their needs and I can just see the scenario now.

    Passing out meds; after each resident gets her med, I have to take her to the bathroom, get more water, adjust pillows, remake a poopy bed, etc., etc.

    I'd still be passing 4:00's at 11:00.


    Quote from nursedora
    I just read a post by a new Nurse who admitted to making a medication error, and as I was replying to her post I was wondering about something and I'd like to get opinions from others.

    In my area, there are several state run facilities for the mentally and physically retarded, either as a large institution or as an ICF house in the community. In thees places, CNA's are medication certified, they go threw a 3 or 4 week crash course on administering medications. I'm not saying CNA's can't do a great job, they can. What I'm concerned with, we as LPN's or RN's have spent a year or longer learning dosage formula's, different names, side effects, differing nursing interventions etc. of medication administration. In addition to this, we have to take continuing education courses. As far as I know, all a CNA has to do is once a year show proficientcy in administering one medication in front of a staff nurse. They are only allowed to administer PO medications, so a licensed Nurse has to be available for IM, SQ, and for feeding tube care, med administration, and so on.

    Do other states, counties or area's allow CNA's to administer medications. And what is your opinion on this?
  2. by   LPN/RDHNanaWantsToGo
    Quote from jyoung1950
    I'm a CNA and no, I do not want to add med pass to my duties. I have enough to do as it is. My residents know that I am the one that takes care of their needs and I can just see the scenario now.

    Passing out meds; after each resident gets her med, I have to take her to the bathroom, get more water, adjust pillows, remake a poopy bed, etc., etc.

    I'd still be passing 4:00's at 11:00.
    The Med Techs we work with do not do any of the patient care until meds are done. They have a very intense course, and the ones I have worked with are excellent, and also VERY conscious of what they can and cannot give/do. They can do simple treatments and oral meds (some suppositories, also) only. NO injections, NO chemo, etc. That is left for licensed staff to do. But, in LTC settings, where one nurse has a two hour med pass twice, plus assorted 'odd time' meds, PLUS accuchecks, neb tx etc, it is a relief to know that there is a Med Tech to assist! They can also do vitals and accuchecks, by the way, but WE give the insulins.

    Now, this is LTC settings or CBRF settings only. NOT in Hospitals or acute care settings. THERE, I have been told by my former co-workers, the CNA's are being trained to do caths and other things that IMHO should NEVER be done by any unlicensed personnel! They don't want LPN's there, for a myriad of excuses (not valid reasons) yet they allow UNLICENSED personnel to do invasive treatments? That is just as ridiculous or MORE so, than allowing routine daily meds to be passed by a Med Tech. And YES, they work under our licenses. But those who are accepted into the program are the dependable, conscientious, intelligent CNA's who choose to apply. NOT all of the best want to do this, but only the best are in the program. Thank goodness some of the best still prefer actual patient care instead of the meds.
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Sheesh, i had enough to do WITHOUT meds being thrown in the mix. I'd pass if i were offered the opportunity for med certification as a CNA.
  4. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    I am reading this thread with interest because I am a CNA and I am going to be starting QMA classes this coming June. It was supposed to be a 2month long program but IV Tech is going to "condense" it into a 1month program. I really don't know what all we are going to be taught, so I welcome any input, negative or positive, so that I can form my own opinion.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    You'd have to pay me more and lighten up the pt. care workload before i'd consider giving meds as part of my CNA job. There's only so much one individual can do.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Russell said it best:

    If you want to administer medications, HIRE A NURSE.

    I totally agree. Institutions trying to save money is what it's about and it's a disservice to our patients. NO WAY do CMA's have the pathophysiologic knowledge, in addition to the pharmacology training nurses do. I just do not think anyone but NURSES and PHYSICIANS should dispense medications.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Wait a minute, you can now post as a guest???
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    This Nurse I Worked With Said When She Was A Cna The Nurse Would But All Meds In Souffle Cups And Hand Them To Her To Pass Out According To What Name Was Written On Cup.....she Said She Never Thought About What A Dangerous Game She Was Playing Until She Became A Nurse Herself...needless To Say She Always Gave Out Her Own Meds...i Don't Know If This Was Condoned By Facility And/or State As This Was Many Years Ago...but Anytime You Are Asked To Do Something That Will Endanger Your License Say No No No I Promise You That You Can Get Another Job In A Heartbeat
  9. by   Dixiedi
    Another thread here makes me wonder about the safety of CNAs passing meds. OK, they can only pass PO meds so insulin is not included, but it does make a wonderful example.
    What would have happened had that woman in the other thread been given her insulin? What if it's someone on dig? That is another that could have disasterous results.
    I'm only thinking of meds likely to be seen in a LTC facility, not acute care since CNAs do not pass meds in acute care.
  10. by   BHolliRNMS
    In my state, nurse aides cannot pass meds or apply any medicated topicals or do treatments. I don't think they should. Yes, it would be nice if nurses didn't have so many tasks, but that's our job. There is more to med pass than handing the resident their pills, no matter how many years they have taken them. What about s/s of toxicity of coumadin or lanoxin? Who is checking their pulse and bp prior to administration when needed? It takes a nurse to assess residents and it takes a nurse for med pass to be safe.
  11. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from BHolliRNMS
    In my state, nurse aides cannot pass meds or apply any medicated topicals or do treatments. I don't think they should. Yes, it would be nice if nurses didn't have so many tasks, but that's our job. There is more to med pass than handing the resident their pills, no matter how many years they have taken them. What about s/s of toxicity of coumadin or lanoxin? Who is checking their pulse and bp prior to administration when needed? It takes a nurse to assess residents and it takes a nurse for med pass to be safe.
    After I thought about it for a while, as my last post notes, there are far too many things to consider even for meds taken for years. My first thought was sure, they can go through the motion and the nurse then has more time available for assessing. But, in reality, assessing AFTER something has been given just isn't going to do. Not to mention, we all know how long term care is; as soon as the nurse saves an hour or two by not passing the meds, that time will be more than filled with something else continuing the problem of not enough time to properly assess. At least when we are passing the meds we can do a quick assess.
  12. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from BrandyBSN
    ... but they did not learn any drug calculations, how to check dosages, use body surface area dosage, or what to do if there is an accidental overdose, or the steps to take if meds were given to the wrong patient. I do NOT feel this class was enough! During clinicals I asked many Med Techs what they were giving, how, and why. No one could tell me why! I hope nothing ever reacts for an ADR, or no one will be able to tell the ER what happened!
    Is that because these are usually standing med orders that have been checked by a nurse already before becoming the distribution-responsibility of the CNA? Or does that not matter because in theory that checking should be done at the time of distribution?
  13. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    This Nurse I Worked With Said When She Was A Cna The Nurse Would But All Meds In Souffle Cups And Hand Them To Her To Pass Out According To What Name Was Written On Cup.....she Said She Never Thought About What A Dangerous Game She Was Playing Until She Became A Nurse Herself...needless To Say She Always Gave Out Her Own Meds...i Don't Know If This Was Condoned By Facility And/or State As This Was Many Years Ago...but Anytime You Are Asked To Do Something That Will Endanger Your License Say No No No I Promise You That You Can Get Another Job In A Heartbeat
    Just a friendly side note... I've seen your posts before and they are always SO hard for me to read because of all the caps. I usually end up skipping to the next one. For some reason it really hurts my brain, lol.

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