Medication Aides?

  1. How many of you work with medication aides? I find them to be a great asset, what do you think?

    Today was my first day at my new LTC job. I found to be suprisingly different than I believed. To me it was like a mini-hospital. Patients with Foley's, IV's, PEG's, etc. Who says you don't get experience in LTC?!?

    Although I do enjoy the job and plan to stay a good while, when I'm done with school (be an RN within the next two years) I plan to venture back into the hospital. Do hospitals 'look' down upon people coming from LTC? Do they think like many do that you don't get much experience, etc.?

    Your thoughts?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I work with medication aides. They're an asset because they ease my workload during the medication pass, but they're also the double-edged sword because they can potentially eliminate jobs for LTC nurses. My workplace recently phased out a nursing position and hired a med aide to fill the spot, because the med aide saves the company money by earning less than the nurse. Instead of staffing this particular unit with four LVNs, they now staff it with two LVNs and one med aide.
  4. by   catlynLPN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I work with medication aides. They're an asset because they ease my workload during the medication pass, but they're also the double-edged sword because they can potentially eliminate jobs for LTC nurses. My workplace recently phased out a nursing position and hired a med aide to fill the spot, because the med aide saves the company money by earning less than the nurse. Instead of staffing this particular unit with four LVNs, they now staff it with two LVNs and one med aide.
    So they've eliminated one whole position and downsized another one?
    :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
    I just hope I get thru the next 7 years, so I can retire before they catch on to this kind of stuff at my job.

    God help me, I hope I never have to live in a nursing home.
  5. by   RN1989
    I have been forced to work with med aides. I'm sure that they enjoy having a job in LTC that doesn't require them to do so much physical labor. And I have met some very intelligent ones. However I do not believe that a non-licensed person should be administering medication period. What you do in the privacy of your own home (families giving dementia family members meds) is one thing. Having someone pass meds to 100 patients who have been entrusted into a NH's care is dangerous when those people have limited knowledge of meds and the diseases they treat compared to a nurse's knowledge.

    Why do you think hospitals see so many NH patients with hypotension and bradycardia - because the med aide gave the meds without noticing any problems, without asking or finding out if the pt was ever getting dizzing, because they don't check bp's or heart rates. One particular incident I remember involved Detrol. I was doing the MDS and found the lady had a foley. Then I find out she has a foley because the nurse had called and said that the pt was retaining urine and hadn't peed in a while. So doc orders a foley. NO ONE bothered to see that the pt was getting Detrol, among other meds with retention side effects and the woman was still getting the Detrol with the foley in. When I asked, the nurse didn't know the pt had ever complained of incontinence and had requested Detrol from the doctor. And the med aide didn't even know what Detrol was for. And the pt had had this foley for 3 weeks before I caught the problem. I got the Detrol stopped, the foley out, and lo and behold the lady could pee again.

    I realize that in today's system med aides are a necessary evil, but I don't like them. They may allow a nurse to do the "treatments" but if places would staff appropriately and work for healthcare reform, there would not be a need to endanger pts like this.
  6. by   NC Girl BSN
    Our facility is going to start training medication aides. So does that mean there will be layoffs within the facility? I really hate the idea of someone with a 3 month training course taking over the LPN jobs. It forces you to go get your RN even if the time is not right.

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