Have you worked with a CMA?

  1. Hello all.
    I've been a nurse for 10 years. This coming Monday, I am interveiwing for a nocs RN charge nurse position at a LTC facility.

    90 bed facilty. I will have half the pts, no matter what the census or acuity is.

    The DON tells me I will be working with a CMA, who will pass all meds, except for injections.

    I have never worked with a CMA before. All I know about them is that they are CNAs, who've had 80 hrs training in med administration.

    Have any of you worked with a CMA?

    What are the benefits? The pitfalls? What should I watch for?
    What do I need to know about CMAs?

    Any advise or expereinces you care to share will be appreciated.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Clarification:

    I'm reffering to certified medication aides, not certified medical assts.

    =0)
  4. by   911fltrn
    God bless you! I would never be responsible for 45 patients at a time.
  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I've been the only nurse to do all meds and tx for 1oo pts in the past. It was a horrible experience. Totally impossible. I only lasted six weeks. I think it took me another six weeks to recover from that job

    I've been the only nurse to do all meds, tx, charting, calling docs, monthly summaries, 24 hr chart checks, and new monthly MARs and TX books, CNA assignments, etc. for 65 pts in a LTC facility. this included 9 tube feeders and two MRSA trachs.

    It was doable with major butt busting, and no lunch break for two years.

    However, I am no longer able to tolerate such employment situations.

    Thanks for asking God to bless me. I need it!

    Do you think working with a Certified Med Aide will be a blessing or a burdon?
  6. by   NannaNurse
    Hellllllo Nurse.......You've got guts!!!! I question your sanity tho'.....
    I've had several years experience working with awesome CMT's. I was blessed with competent, hard working, dedicated people (both male and female), who were my 'right arm' so-to-speak'. They knew their patients and the medications they were on, what to watch for and reported to me with everything. They never gave a med w/o consulting with and getting my ok.

    That left me with the extra time 'I' needed to spend with the patients, rounds, reports, MD calls, etc.....

    I wish you the best....Good Luck!!
  7. by   ChainedChaosRN
    Hellllo Nurse. I've worked with CMA's before, even participated in their clinical portion of the course. Most states have requirements to get into the program: excellent reading and writing skills, employed at the facility for at least a year, math skills, and letters of recommendation. The cirriculum for the course is at a nurse level, actually more extensive then I've seen at some LPN programs.
    CMA's can give routine medications, need permission from a nurse to give a PRN (counter signature usually required), and can not give injections. They can do wound treatments.
    Any time I have worked with a CMA the first few times I observe some med pass for technique, ask pertinent questions, and always review and ask for a report toward the end of the shift. I've never had a bad experience with a CMA. I wish we used them in Michigan.

    Dawn
  8. by   Brownms46
    I have worked with one, and she was excellent, and very knowledgable about the meds she was allowed to give...which were oral only.
  9. by   nurse2002
    Originally posted by Brownms46
    I have worked with one, and she was excellent, and very knowledgable about the meds she was allowed to give...which were oral only.
    I have also worked with a CMA. She was excellent. Knew her meds inside and out. She worked at a LTC I worked for doing Agency. They had a cma on every unit. That way the nurse could concentrate on treatments, skin assesments, g-tubes and the like.

    They were all wonderflul. I think ALL LTC facilities would benefit from cmas. With cmas the nurse can do her job MUCH better, she/he'll have much more time to spend with the residents and making sure their needs are getting met. When the nurse spends her whole shift giving meds this just doesnt happen.
  10. by   Disablednurse
    Who will be responsible for the other 45 residents? Will the CMA give the meds for all 90 residents or will there be 2 CMAs? Just curious as to how many staff there will be there at night.
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Well, an update:

    It was a horrible facility. Terrible "care". I ended up having to be charge and pass meds/ do all tx without any orientation whatsoever. I was injured on-the-job. (Fire-door slammed on my fingers, splitting my nails down the middle, crushing injury to one finger-tip). The company has never paid the ER bill or follow-up. I paid it, to protect my credit rating.

    The CNAs (almost all) were just this side of criminal.

    After many years of trying, I have given up on LTC. Will never work LTC again.
  12. by   amk1964
    I'm originally from Buffalo, NY where I worked in numerous ltcf's through an agency while I was an LPN attending college for my RN. I did everything; meds, tx's, charting, monthly summaries, etc...NOw I live in TEXAs where they would train a cow to do nursing tasks if they could get away with it. I currently am doing a short-term run at a 60 bed nursing home for a friend {the DON] while the regular nurse is out having surgery. I have an excellent med aide on both the day and night shifts and find working in a nh now rather pleasurable. I like working with cna's better thansome LVN's I've known here; They are focused on the med pass and understand their limitations. I'm impressed.
  13. by   sassynurse78
    I have worked with great CMA's or Qma's as they are called here in IND. And I have also worked with poor ones. You can usually tell by what they report to you, if the whole shift goes by and they tell you nothing about the paitents then I have found they are usually not very good to depend on, just like everyone else, they need to be tuned into pat. needs and if they are not reporting anything then a prob may be missed.

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