Lets be careful how we use Med Aides - page 2

by achot chavi

4,137 Views | 22 Comments

According to this article, it is mostly in LTC where med aides are used and apparently abused by being asked to perform tasks that are beyond the scope of their practice. Is this what is really going on? Maybe we have to be as... Read More


  1. 1
    Typical corporations- use the cheapest help you can get.Why pay for a nurse???
    Jerks.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  2. 0
    I supervise homecare aides in a large seniors lodge, we utilize med aids.

    Our med aids can only assist with meds, the meds must be in labeled blisterpacks and a careplan from the homecare RN must be in place. The aids canno crush or break tablets and they're not allowed to put the pills in the client's mouth.

    The aids can assist with blood glucose monitoring and they can assist a client who uses an insulin pen. This means that the aid can only verify that the client has "26 units" clicked on the pen. I had a fit yesterday when an aid told me that she turned the dial on the insulin pen...I told her not to ever do that, she has to count the clicks as the client turns the dial then verify the number against the careplan.
  3. 0
    I'm in Maryland and I wish we had med aides. I'm pretty much type A and would never hand off any task to any other staff member that wasn't in their scope of practice, i even find it hard to delegate tasks sometimes.As long as med parameters are specific and they're only handing out scheduled, and not PRN medications, then why not? We have so much to do anyway, this would be a good way to free 15 minutes! As far as saying it's 'scary' that they only have to take a test to become certified is ridiculous. What do you think the NCLEX is? I work ICU and clinicals were pretty much a waste of time for me. What I do now and what I did in clinicals are worlds apart. Also, same with pharmacology, straight memorization and written tests to pass. I feel this is like having a respiratory therapist or an extra tech. We already have so much on our plate, why not have a little extra help? We just have to be responsible and, just like we do with nursing techs/assistants, know what is and what is not in their scope of practice. Plus even I have a hard time memorizing medications, would love to have an extra brain to utilize!
  4. 0
    Quote from texaslvn12
    To me nurse-pt ratios in LTC would need to be cut in half for it to even be remotely safe to not utilize med aides.
    Yes exactly. Put the CNAs bach to doing what they have been trained to do and hire more nurses for doing nurses work. I realize doing so would cut into profits and thus unlikely to happen.
  5. 0
    I have worked with med aides for years. They pass scheduled meds and PRN's after the nurse has assessed and given the okay to do so. With the mounds of paperwork for the nurses to do, they would not get their work done without them.
  6. 0
    Quote from noc4senuf
    I have worked with med aides for years. They pass scheduled meds and PRN's after the nurse has assessed and given the okay to do so. With the mounds of paperwork for the nurses to do, they would not get their work done without them.
    I understand. However the answer is not to have CNAs doing nurses work for which they are not trained. The answer is to streamline nurses charting, eliminating double charting and meaningless "boiler plate" charting and to increase the nurse staff ratios so that nurses have time to do the work they are trained and licensed to do.
    One hospital I used to work at invested a lot of money in a new computer charting system that allowed nurses to speak their charting into a headset. We would actually speak our assessments while we preformed them. Then once or twice a shift we would log into the computer to make sure the computer understood what we charted correctly and signed our charting. It worked great. The hospital was actually able to increased to number of patients nurses cared for AND ended up with happier nurses since they got to spend their time doing what they love, providing great care to patients. In a 12 hour shift with two very critical patients I would spend about 20 min total doing all my charting for the shift. About the same amount of time to chart of 5 patients when I floated to med-surg.
  7. 0
    This is LTC we are discussing. There will always be paperwork or computer charting that takes up the nurses time. Due to ongoing cuts at federal and state levels, there is never going to be more staffing. The point is to make sure the med aides are thoroughly trained and have annual training expectations to keep up on new drugs and changes.
  8. 0
    This is LTC we are discussing.
    Obviously. I was giving an example of how a faciliety could allow nurses to better use their time.

    There will always be paperwork or computer charting that takes up the nurses time.
    Wow you give up easy. Of course charting must be done. The amount of time a nurse spends doing it is entirely up to the managment of the faciliety, LTC or hospital.

    Due to ongoing cuts at federal and state levels, there is never going to be more staffing.
    Make it illegal for anyone not a nurse or physician to pass medications, as it is in some places, and they will find the staff.

    The point is to make sure the med aides are thoroughly trained and have annual training expectations to keep up on new drugs and changes.
    That's not MY point and I heartly disagree with you. I believe it is wrong for CNAs to do work only nurses are trained to do. Putting CNAs through a med course does not make them nurses. I would not allow my loved one to be a resident in any faciliety that had CNAs passing medications. It's not safe IMO and further erodes a nurses position.
  9. 0
    I have been doing this for so many years, there is no other choice. The money is not there to add the nurses. You may be lucky to live/work in a state that does not allow it. I work and consult in states that do.
  10. 0
    - it's this attitude that makes nurses leave the profession! Make medicine aides illegal and the hospital will have to find the staff? This attitude contributes to chronic understaffing and in many cases hospitals can't find the staff. Plus there are so many medications to keep up with its hard to memorize every medication and their side effects on top of everything else we, as nurses, have to remember. Make medicine aides pass rigorous tests and do continuing education, just like nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists. There are ways to make our jobs a little less stressful and I feel like this is one thing we can do as long as its regulated in a safe way.


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