Advice if CNA is asked to do med pass

  1. 0
    Hi I'm an RN who no longer works in Healthcare. My 20 year old daughter just got her first job as a CNA in an LTC/Rehab center (she's doing her pre-reqs now for BSN program next fall). Here is my question, at a different LTC that she had applied to she shadowed a CNA (not med tech) for the day. When she got home she said the CNA passed all the meds and hung bags of what to my daughter looked like IV meds but I'm not sure she'd know... To me this seems totally out of scope of practice for a CNA and rather freaked me out (but I only ever worked in hosptials). So the question is, how does she handle this if she is asked to do this in her first 'real' job? Is this common? Is my reaction unreasonable? I'm figuring forewarned is forearmed so any other advice for her would also be welcome. Thanks!

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  2. 27 Comments...

  3. 5
    I would advise her to decline doing anything she is not licensed to do. The facility will not have her back if anything bad happens and it will surely follow her throughout her career. I'm not an attorney, but legal action could possibly be taken if something were to go wrong...adverse reaction, wrong med to a patient, etc.
  4. 3
    No offense but maybe your daughter has a career in fiction. I've worked in many facilities and CNAs NEVER give medications or hang IVs....ever.
    poppycat, loriangel14, and KelRN215 like this.
  5. 4
    you cannot get a cma certificate without holding a valid cna cert. (in my area anyway)
    the iv bag may have been a tube feeding bag which can be hung by cmas with extra training
    i don't think your daughter will be asked to pass meds
    one caveat or word to the wise, don't go spreading stories unless you
    have all your facts straight, because that will get you in trouble
    if, however, my daughter was a cna, asked to pass meds
    i would instruct her to resign from such an employer
    Last edit by systoly on Oct 9, '13
    poppycat, loriangel14, KelRN215, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    I saw a post on here earlier this week about nurse -advised cnas or something like that. Basically it explained that in some states, the CNA could give meds if an RN supervised and said it was's a long thread and very strange. I had no idea anything like that existed, but perhaps that would explain it???
  7. 0
    Okay the thread I am referencing is called "couldn't believe he did this" and it's on the patient safety forum. I'd link it but I'm on my phone and I'm not sure how!!
  8. 1
    Quote from schnookimz
    Okay the thread I am referencing is called "couldn't believe he did this" and it's on the patient safety forum. I'd link it but I'm on my phone and I'm not sure how!!
    that is not LTC environment as stated in the original post
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. 4
    Since you say you're daughter is new to healthcare I'm going to guess that what she's calling "IVs" was actually bottles of tube feed formula. No LTC facility I know of would let unlicensed aides hang IV meds.

    "Medication aides" are legal in some states. Thankfully, not in mine. Some will try to tell you med aides are used to "free up" the nurse and that they actually make fewer med errors. But the truth is, it's all about money. CMAs are cheaper than LPNs. Ask a CMA what a calcium channel blocker is, or about the difference between lasix and aldactone and their effect on potassium, and I'll bet all you get is a blank stare.

    Such aides have a role in assisted living or adult foster care. But the acuity of skilled nursing is such that medication administration should be restricted to licensed nurses. I feel that any SNF that allows med aides has, by doing so, degraded the level of care they provide to that of an assisted living facility. I think to present themselves to the public as a "skilled nursing" facility when they allow unlicensed personal to pass meds is disingenuous.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Oct 9, '13
  10. 1
    Is it possible the "CNA" was actually and LPN?
    loriangel14 likes this.
  11. 0
    Thanks to everyone for the responses and I'm really happy to hear that this is not something that they are familiar with/common practice! My daughter had 'learned' in CNA class that she was never to give meds "even if an RN told her to" and so asked me if that was the case after her shaddowing day. To the poster who wondered if she was making it up, that's not her style and no, she wouldn't. Like a couple poster's suggested it IS possible that the CNA (definately not an LPN she'd asked) was hanging feeding bags not IVs -- she doesn't have the experience to know the difference. But the oral meds pass was equally concerning to me since so much could go wrong. I had discouraged her from pursuing a job in that LTC -- and am happy to hear that it's unlikely she'll see the same thing where she took a job. Thanks to the person who recommended reading "couldn't beleive he did this"...gave me the willies but thanks.

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