UAPs administering meds

  1. Please help! The Facility where I work is going to initiate UAPs administering meds. I want to know if a nurse can refuse to be responsible for this. The facility is calling them Med Techs but my understanding is that Med Techs go to school to learn about meds and the administration of meds. UAPs on the other hand do not. Am I being too conservative to go along with this practice? This situation has caused a turmoil at work.
    Thanks for any advice.

    Melinda Sue
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    About Myra Gail

    Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 7; Likes: 12
    Supervisor 3rd shift LTC

    36 Comments

  3. by   efy2178
    I don't know of a state where a UAP can legally administer medications. This is not a task that can or should be delegated. If somehow the institution is reading between the lines of a board decision I can at least assure you that a licensed nurse is responsible for any and all outcomes.
    It is important you check with your state board of nursing. If it is not absolutely clear what the law says ask for a declaratory ruling. Your BON can tell you how to do that. If what they are doing is, in fact, illegal then you have a legal and ethical responsibility to report them to the BON or state agency.
    You may very well suffer repercussions from this so get your resume in order. And if you haven't already done so, join your nurses association. You need a lot of support right now.
    Be strong and take care.
    EFY2178
  4. by   Myra Gail
    efy2178,
    Thanks for your reply. My DON has informed us that UAPs are able to medicate residents in our facility as long as the nurse signs her signature after the UAP. I emailed my BON re: this situation and never received a reply!
    I plan to protect my license.

    Thanks again,
    Melinda Sue
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by Melinda Sue
    efy2178,
    Thanks for your reply. My DON has informed us that UAPs are able to medicate residents in our facility as long as the nurse signs her signature after the UAP. I emailed my BON re: this situation and never received a reply!
    I plan to protect my license.

    Thanks again,
    Melinda Sue
    Wow! I knew that med aides pass routine meds in some LTC centers in my area. I did NOT know the nurse had to cosign or was responsible....let us know what your BON says about this.

    I wouldn't sign my name to someone elses' drugs, either...wonder if this is required everywhere???.

    If the facility wants to take on this responsibility, fine, but they shouldn't ask the nurse to.
  6. by   Katnip
    Mattsmom, I agree with you. No way on Earth would I sign that someone else gave a med unless I was there to see it drawn up/taken out then administered properly. After that I might as well have done it myself.

    Melinda, don't email, send a letter to the BON and keep a copy of it. Or call and document the date, time, and who you spoke with. There's now reason at all for you to be risking your license over this. Also isn't there some sort of regulatory agency that oversees LTCs? I wish I could think of it right now.
  7. by   SnowymtnRN
    ITA! Without proper training, there's NO WAY that i'd allow that. We had med techs in the LTC facility i worked at before, but we had to sign off on narcotics only. So we always counted with them, and made them accountable that way. Personally, i wouldn't do it. i'd call the BON and get some backup there.
  8. by   purplemania
    I would not sign my name even if another nurse gave the meds
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    what purplemania said, I would NEVER cosign the administration of meds by other people unless WITNESSED and then only that of an OTHER LICENSED NURSE, not UAP...NO WAY. very dangerous. RUN the other way now.
  10. by   unknown99
    Melinda Sue,
    PLEASE never agree to this!!! You should never sign your name to a med that someone else gave. If something goes wrong, it's your butt, not theirs!! I worked at a nursing home where this happened. The nurse got called to another patient's room, and told the tech to get the pills that were out and give them to the client. (She should not have done that!!!) Well, the tech gave 100mg Oxycontin meant for a 459 lb patient, to another lady. Needless to say, this lady died.
    If your facility insists on doing so, well, there are other jobs who will not put your license in jeopardy.
  11. by   imenid37
    Wow I love when some facility tries to jeopordize their pt's safety and their nurses' licenses w/ some bright $ saving idea. Tell the DON she can co-sign all the meds, since she agrees w/ the idea. Will they charge the pt's less $ to stay at the facility since their meds are being given by non-nurses? Maybe the information can be shared w/ the pts' families. IMHO when a facility implements such a policy, the pts families should be informed in writing, since this could have a signifigant impact on their loved ones' safety. Aren't med errors a signifigant problem identified by our federal government? What a way to address this...Let's have some untrained folks dole them out!! What a way to sabotage some of the new pt. safety guidelines. ERRRRRR!!!
  12. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by Melinda Sue
    Please help! The Facility where I work is going to initiate UAPs administering meds. I want to know if a nurse can refuse to be responsible for this. The facility is calling them Med Techs but my understanding is that Med Techs go to school to learn about meds and the administration of meds. UAPs on the other hand do not. Am I being too conservative to go along with this practice? This situation has caused a turmoil at work.
    Thanks for any advice.

    Melinda Sue
    http://www.ncbon.com North CarolinasBoard of Nursing website is awesome...Much more detailed then many other states. and the scopes of practices for LPN's,RN's and aides is very concise.You have certified nurse's aides with 2 levels of training.The NA 2's have quite a broad scope-however medication administration does not appear to be covered in their curriculum.Here is the link-print this stuff out and share it with your co-workers.I am a bit surprised ith some of the tasks that the NA2's are permitted to perform and am surprised that your RN professional organizations did not fight some of this(disimapction,nasopharyngeal suctioning,trach care,sterile wound care) If you are in home care or assited living,UAP's are permitted to "assist" clients self administer meds....I believe that if you are in a SNF or acute or long term care that this is permitted.NA 1 and 2 are not taught the rights of med administration ...The BON also clearly states that the RN is ultimately responsible......
  13. by   ktwlpn
    my bad-I am still reading and found even more info but it's in acrobat are darned is I can copy and paste any of it...Basically it states that utilizing medication aides in broadened settings is being examined and education guidelines and protocols being written by the BON-also staes that the LPN and RN are responsible for any critical thinking regarding therapeutic effects,side effects,etc.......I guess it's all open to interpretation-but if I were the nurse responsible then I think I would delegate only the administering of aspirin and maybe multivits and such....
  14. by   Myra Gail
    Thanks to everyone for your replies! You all have been very helpful and I certainly appreciate your advice.
    I have been on a quest for the last 2 wks. gathering info. re: UAPs giving meds. I do not wish to be responsible for this new policy.
    The nurses at our facility were never spoken to about this plan. One night at work, one of our nurses shows up at work and finds out she'll have a so-called Med Tech carrying Narc. keys and being responsible for a whole unit! She called the DON, who was sleeping, and then called the ADON.She was told to just go along with it . There was a resident in the dying process receiving Oxyfast bucally Q15 min. Prn pain and also receiving Oxyfast Q6hr. routinely (Hold if unconscious).
    This "Med Tech" had only studied a Med-pass booklet and answered the questions in the booklet 2wks. prior to being handed over the keys to the Med. Cart! She had no clinical experience at all! My understanding is that she picked up the booklet at the local Dept. of Social Services or the Dept. of Human Resources. Does that make any sense to anyone?
    I'll try to keep you informed about this situation.
    Thanks again for everyone's input!
    Melinda Sue

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