Replaced by Certified Medication Aide! - page 3

by ladyjanelpn

11,440 Unique Views | 54 Comments

Yes, fellow LPNs, its happening here in Northeast Ohio! Trained and oriented CMA and was then given extreme partime hours(as were the other LPNs) while CMA gets 40hrs and benefits! And of course, they are paid less per hour. The... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from nguyency77
    I am a CMA. Let me enlighten you all on how I got my certificate!

    I took my transcript to the BON, with a form that stated my name and address. I brought them a $40 money order; they mailed me the paper, no questions asked.

    That was it! I took pharmacology as a requirement for nursing school. The course was intended for us to learn the names and actions of medications...Not so much about how to administer them, or when to hold them, etc.

    Not just that, but my guilty conscience weighed on me. Whose job would I be stealing, if I decided to go to management and tell them I got my med tech certificate?

    I say this OVER and OVER on these boards...You nurses need to do something about your professional image! EVERYONE wears scrubs, from dietary to the secretary. Even people who have never been near an OR in their life wear green scrubs. I knew a front-desk medical assistant who routinely wore OR scrubs and told guys at the bar she was a nurse...Lol.

    Granted, uniforms are usually color-coded... but the public doesn't really care enough to find out what each color stands for. There's gotta be something that can be done to differentiate nurses from non-nurses... Until something is done, corporations will exploit the public's ignorance regarding who is qualified to provide care and who isn't by using "Med Techs" and other inflated job titles to protect their bottom lines.

    Thoughts?
    WE nurses have very little say in most areas when it comes to who wears what uniforms. If we had that kind of power, believe me, there are other more pressing issues that would have our attention first.
    netglow, SE_BSN_RN, anotherone, and 2 others like this.
  2. 0
    I'm a PCA/MED TECH while in nursing school, I know what about half of the meds do... It disturbs me... Some of the people I work with can't pronounce the meds... Sad...
  3. 5
    Quote from OCNRN63
    It's the watering down of patient care being given by educated nurses, bit by bit. The public doesn't care who hands them their meds, as long as they can also bring them a warm blanket and a turkey sandwich. Licensed nurses are going to find it increasingly difficult to find jobs except in select areas.
    While some of the public may not care, some do. I think that those that do often have a hard time even finding someone to voice their concerns to, let alone being heard and receiving any kind of corrective action in response. To give a personal experience: When a close family member and I observed the MA taking my family member's blood pressure incorrectly in the doctor's office, we mentioned this to the doctor. Our concern was courteously received, and the MA continued to take my family member's blood pressure just as incorrectly on following visits. We concluded it was not worth our time to pursue our concern again with the doctor, but we made sure to bring my family member's own blood pressure readings in each time to discuss with the doctor. If the doctor was tempted to make a medical decision based on the MA's reading that was not consistent with our blood pressure data, then we referred to our data. But without me, an RN, to advocate for my family member, medical decisions would have been made on the basis of incorrect readings by the MA.

    I believe it is difficult for the public, without medical/nursing training, to even perceive that their quality of care is being compromised, and even if they sense or know it is happening, it is not easy to find someone to complain to who will take action on their behalf. At the large medical practice we go to there is no office of the patient advocate or patient complaints person present in the local main office that I know of. One can take a concern up with their doctor, or there is an address one can write to if one has a complaint about their medical care. There is a number to call for the practice manager who is based on another medical campus.

    I also believe patients are afraid of alienating their doctors/nurses by saying anything negative about their care, and being ill and in need of medical care is not a strong position from which to complain. Without medical/nursing knowledge, and with illness/infirmity and often no-one to advocate for them, the public is in a weak position. I often think that as a patient or family member, one needs medical/nursing training, and probably legal training.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Feb 2, '13
    gummi bear, IowaKaren, anotherone, and 2 others like this.
  4. 3
    OCNRN63: It doesn't seem like it's a big deal, but I think it is. It's frustrating that patients can't tell you all apart from the housekeeping department. Nurses are professionals, and when companies take away what distinguishes nursing staff from non-nursing staff the lines between who gets to do what are blurred. That's when the "watering-down of care" happens.

    Yes, I'm aware that nurses know the technicalities of what they're allowed to do vs. what the CMA is allowed to do. But to a patient, it's all the same; anyone in scrubs who is twirling around a stethoscope = nurse. Then if you add in the issue of non-nurses calling themselves nurses, it's no wonder the public has no idea what to think.

    It's sad that nurses dedicate so much time to finish school and to gain experience in their specialties, only to be replaced by us puny dime-a-dozen UAP.
    Hygiene Queen, SE_BSN_RN, and lindarn like this.
  5. 7
    Quote from nguyency77
    OCNRN63: It doesn't seem like it's a big deal, but I think it is. It's frustrating that patients can't tell you all apart from the housekeeping department. Nurses are professionals, and when companies take away what distinguishes nursing staff from non-nursing staff the lines between who gets to do what are blurred. That's when the "watering-down of care" happens. Yes, I'm aware that nurses know the technicalities of what they're allowed to do vs. what the CMA is allowed to do. But to a patient, it's all the same; anyone in scrubs who is twirling around a stethoscope = nurse. Then if you add in the issue of non-nurses calling themselves nurses, it's no wonder the public has no idea what to think.It's sad that nurses dedicate so much time to finish school and to gain experience in their specialties, only to be replaced by us puny dime-a-dozen UAP.
    We are not really viewed as professionals and if someone with 1 year training can be a nurse than who cant? anyway.... nurses do not have much authority in how they practice. i cant even decide how to give my report.management is now working on a script that we are to not deviate from. they are deciding what is really important and we are instructed to only give that info in report. fill in the blank . lol
    ybanurse, SENSUALBLISSINFL, OCNRN63, and 4 others like this.
  6. 0
    When I was 18, quite a few years ago, I passed meds in an Alzheimer's unit after one five hour training session at our county health department. I was pushing Haldol, PRN Klonopin, PRN Ativan, and even Darvocet. Reflecting now....that's scary. I had not one clue what to look for. The RN manager was there during regular business hours only, leaving myself and two other teenagers to care for 15 patients. While this was in the 1990s, the practice has been redesigned and has now replaced licensed health care professionals. It does come down to dollars, but patient safety just makes cents. I'm not insinuating this is completely bad, I'm just skeptical on administering meds without thorough training AND understanding of what one is doing, especially when vulnerable populations are directly impacted.
  7. 12
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    All the studies I have read indicate that medication aides make FEWER med errors than nurses do. They just pass pills. Tney don't assess, they don't teach, they don't plan or evaluate. They pass pills. If medication aides were allowed in my state would I hire them? You bet I would. It would give the nurses more time to do what only NURSES can do.
    I think passing meds SHOULD be something only nurses can do. So if today we say it's okay for UAP to pass meds, what will happen tomorrow? Will they say dressing changes take too much time and train CNAs to be "certified wound techs"? Why not certify aides to suction trachs? Straight cath? If they can pass scheduled pills now, it's only a matter of time before nursing home administrators push through legislation allowing CMAs to give injections, or give PRNs. Why not just delegate *all* of the "tasky" stuff licensed nurses do to UAP? Is all we need licesnsed nurses for is assessments and supervision, how many nurses will LTC facilities actually need?

    Be careful what you wish for. If we give those at the top an inch, they will replace as many of us (LPNs AND RNs) as they can with $10.00 an hour techs.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Feb 3, '13
    HazelLPN, chevyv, gummi bear, and 9 others like this.
  8. 1
    Brandon, I hate to tell you this but many states already allow and have for years a CNA to get certified for basic dressing changes...
    gummi bear likes this.
  9. 2
    Ok. I am not incredibly happy that I keep seeing "Our jobs are duties are being given away by nurses." First, these duties are being given away by MCR/MCD. This is a money issue, pure and simple. Facilities cannot continue to pay for an LPN to be a medication passer. I will tell you this, sadly, many LPN's have become medication passers and nothing more. IM NOT DOWNING THEM, IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT- LTC med passes have become monsters and that is all they have time to do!! There are MANY MANY THOUSANDS more drugs than there used to be. The average patient in facilities in this area (I have worked at a few) has more than 10 pills! Many have more. This, plus reduced funding, is causing the shift to CMA's, not nurses giving it away. Now- if a CMA program is implemented appropriately, it can be effective. It is up to the BON and facility to do this. VA's BON requires a higher amount of training (no, it's still not enough). The goal is to allow the CMA to pass the tablet, a medial, repetitive, non-changing and expected outcome physical task. If my CMA is passing tablets to 30 patients, then I can more appropriately assess, talk to, sit with, and NURSE those patients. I would PREFER an LPN do it, absolutely! BUT, I would prefer an LPN to only have 15 patients if they have to pass the meds- that will allow them to give the the meds AND assess. With 30, it just isnt possible, so having the CMA pass and the LPN to assess, I feel much better supervising that building because even though the "number of licensed hours per patient" will drop, the ACTUAL time that LPN spends with the patient should increase. The second part to this of course is the facility. They MUST implement the system correctly and be vigilant in their on-the-job training. I, for one, when working with CMA's in other facilities, assess them often for safety. That's my job as an RN. The facilities I've seen with CMA's also monthly challenge their CMA's to review, in house, their basic knowledge of the meds. Think about it- if their job is to PASS THE PILL only, they dont need to know too much about the drug because the LPN now has more time to spend on assessing for the change that he/she should STILL BE AWARE OF as that patient's nurse! Yes, rose colored glasses, I know- but it only works if the staff makes it work. It's not going to change, and it's not going to stop. Our facility does not allow CMA's yet. They will, it's inevitable. I will also lose a nurse or two. I will, as a facility and a professional, do my best to at least assist them in changes. Just trying to stop the "Nurses are giving away their duties" thing. Nah, it's all about the money...

    I'll leave this last bit of information. I will not down a person for going to get their CMA by calling them puny or whatever else that prev. poster called them, that shows your professional ability and mindset (not too good). CNA's come in all types, just like LPNs, RNs, MDs, NPs, housekeepers, store owners, etc. A good CNA who gets their ability to pass meds is good- its up to the facility to find the good ones, that reflects your facilities hiring process, not the CMA... STOP PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN!!! Ugh...
    gummi bear and Hygiene Queen like this.
  10. 2
    Oh I don't think there was any down putting going on. When we talk about reality, those that want to feel down, will try hard to get put down even if they have to do it to themselves, you know?
    OCNRN63 and nguyency77 like this.


Top