Med Techs.

  1. Hello AN community,

    Are any of you out there med techs (CNA, MA-C) or medical assistants that work in long term care?

    I've been working as a CNA for about 6 months, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would. However, my main problem is the heavy lifting. I can transfer many patients and residents alone-- something I never could have done when I first started. Last time I went to work, I was assigned a hall and a half alone. I've never even worked on those halls, and the lifting was more than I could handle. I hurt my neck and upper back, and fortunately it was nothing a few days of rest couldn't fix. I started wondering if I could even keep this up for another two semesters until I start nursing school.

    I don't want to run away from this facility because they hired me straight out of school. It's a pretty decent place to work and the pay is a lot higher than that of other places.

    To become medication certified in my state, I would have to take a pharmacology course at my university and then pass a test. It seems doable, since I was going to take pharm in the summer anyway.

    My questions for med techs:
    What are your hours? How often do you transfer patients? What is your pay like? What are challenges about your job? Should I become a med tech?

    Thank you for your replies everyone!
  2. Visit nguyency77 profile page

    About nguyency77

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 542; Likes: 482


  3. by   LaterAlligator
    Hi, I work once a week as a med tech at a dementia-specific assisted living facility, and as a regular CNA at the hospital the rest of the week.It seems that med tech requirements vary a lot state by state; where I live you only have to be CNA certified and have taken a few hours of training then passed an assessment.In my state, med techs are allowed to handle PRN's and narcotics, but at my facility we do not, which I like.My hours are 0700-1730, so that I'm there for all 3 main med passes (around each mealtime basically). I do a lot of 'side work' which includes providing direct care and transferring patients/residents, albeit much less often than I did before this promotion. The pay is a few dollars more per hour than my original pay rate as a CNA.It's a lot of responsibility, but I think it's a good job and I enjoy it.
  4. by   SF_RescueNinja
    I work in a 165-bed SNF with a wide range of acute, rehabilitation and long-term care residents/patients so the level of transfers varies greatly. If you know the patient is heavy, try to get someone to help you with transferring/lifting. My fellow CNA's and even some Nurses (that aren't too busy) are really good with helping out if you ask (and inform the patient you are getting some help). Don't burn yourself out! It's not being lazy, it's working smart, safe and efficiently! Usually if I have never worked in a particular hall before, I would voice my concern with the Charge Nurse and other CNA's. If they still place me there, same basic skills apply - read ADL's very thoroughly, make rounds, ask for help from co-workers and also help them in return when they ask.
  5. by   nguyency77
    Thank you for the replies, guys! In NM, I believe we have to either take a course with our board-approved place of employment, and then take a test. Or, I could just take pharmacology over the summer and then apply for medication certification as a pre-nursing student.

    It was interesting what you guys had to say. I guess one of my concerns would be working under someone else's license. It's not so much personal concern, but I always think about what I do and how it might affect the RN. I know they worked long and hard for their licensure, and a moment of my irresponsibility will create negative consequences for them.

    How do you manage your time in terms of which medications you pass to whom first? When I first got hired right out of school, I stayed on the unit almost 40 minutes over because my work hadn't been completed in time. Now I work much more efficiently and can do everything assigned plus more, but my CMA coworkers are always frantic about their meds being passed out late. So I was wondering if CMA time management is that much different.
    Last edit by nguyency77 on Mar 24, '12 : Reason: Typo! :(