CNA's passing meds

  1. I have heard tales that in some states the CNA's are the ones who pass meds. I was just wondering if any of you live in any of these states that supposedly do this and if the CNA courses are more diverse than in a state where they cannot.

    I wish i had a list of the suspect states but i have no idea which, if any, actually let this happen.

    Thanks for any input

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    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 357; Likes: 5


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    In Missouri, I went through a certification course in which I was taught to pass meds. We couldn't do parenterals. My certification was for Medication Technician. I could then pass meds for LTC's.

    My daughter did a similar program in NY.

    In FL, in an assisted living facility, the person "assists" the person taking their own meds. (Which to me sounds like a med pass with absolutely no safeguards.)
  4. by   azgirl
    Here in AZ the assisted living facilities try to get "certified caregivers" which pass meds. Very dangerous and maddening as there have been horrific mistakes and makes me mad that they are paid $8 to $10 an hour and trying to replace nurses.
  5. by   P_RN

    A LOT of states have these. I didn't see SC on the list, but it probably will be soon. I can see in the future that the hospitals will convince the legislature to "help the nurses shortage" by using techs in the hospitals. Why not? Grrrrrrrrr
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Noth Dakota:
    Medication aides
    "give medication to nursing home residents under the direct supervision of a nurse or other licensed professional"

    That means allowing another person TO PRACTICE UNDER YOUR NURSING LICENSE with YOU the RN/LPN liable for mistakes.

    NOT a good ideas, IMO. Glad PA has not jumped on this bandwagon.

    Patients are on too many medications requring evalution of effects that a Medication aide can not possibly know.
    Still keep my drug book at my side after 25 years of practice. Anyone ever see a Medication tech ever refer to a drug book??
  7. by   nursecheryl
    I live in Ohio and had a job for 1.5 years at a childrens psych facility that allowed CNA to pass meds until one of the patients committed suicide with the pills she hid under her tongue for a few weeks. I don't know what legal issues happened after this incident because no one talked about it and it was a few years before I started working there. All I know is only RN's or LPN's pass meds there now.
  8. by   moonchild20002000
    I worked in a LTC facility that used CNA"S to pass meds to Assisted Living patients.

    I don't think it worked well,the CNA"S only had a 4 week class,they were not prepared IMO.
    There were many medication errors,I resigned,I just didn't feel like I could be a part of that.

    But,I do need to say that in no way am I putting down CNA's. I worked with many great aids,they really didn't have much choice in the matter.
  9. by   RNbella
    In OR, we call them Certified Med Aides.........they pass all the meds in LTC facility and quite a godsend........they do not make decisions r/t prn meds and only give meds that are listed on MAR. Injections, suppositories, etc. are posted in TAR for nurse.

    Actually, they are CNA's who undergo some 6wks of additional pharmacology training.

    Having worked in LTC for many years, I don't know what we ever did without them passing 8am meds, and some facilities still require the nurse to do this time consuming med pass(along with having 20 skilled patients).......then turn right around and do noon med pass, forget the tx and acutely ill patients you have been assigned........too busy passing APAP and MOM.
  10. by   pebbles
    I graduated from one of the few nursing programs in North America that had no pharmacology component.... (they have since changed that) We had a one hour lecture on pharmacology. The rest was look it up in the drug book as you go along, learn new meds by experience. As long as these people recieve adequate training, I don't see the problem. There are aides that do that in some "assisted supervised living" facilities here too. 5 rights, etc.
  11. by   Teshiee
    It is bad enough you have medical asst in doctors offices trying to pass off as nurses, now you have CNA's passing meds? It won't be much longer when nurses will be the thing of the past. Another ploy ofcutting nursing down as if it was an occupation. I guess when unlicensed people kill enough patients because of improper training they will learn. I speak on this because like many others on this thread I work very hard to get my license and it is not only popping pills, nursing is very dynamic challenging profession that takes critical thinking. Giving pills is a small aspect of it yet you have unlicensed people dishing them out not having an inkling what the pill is for what vital signs you may have to obtain before administering. I sware it seems these states that go for this okey doke is trying to skate up hill. Nurses, we as a whole need to get it together start unionizing it is no wonder some of us are leaving nursing in droves. Purley stupid...... just my 0.002 worth.
  12. by   jenac
    Teshiee- I agree wholeheartedly! I worked very hard to get my nursing license, and the idea of a Med Tech being able to give meds is terrifying to me. We have all been trained to assess health variations and understand the process of disease. We have spent years studying A&P, Basic Nursing and Nursing Care- in addition to countless hours of indepht pharm. Medication Administration is SOOO much more than just giving a pill- it's recognizing all aspects of care necessary to maintain life and comfort. It's about knowing the course of a disease and what we have been trained to do about it. It's about knowing the difference being a normal disease process and an adverse reaction. It's about having the knowlegde to make critical thinking judgements- that can mean the difference between life or death. I understand that the theory behing the Med Tech is to "free up" nurses to do other duties, but how many Assisted Living and LTC facilities have no nurse on staff at the time that these Meds are given? How many hire these Techs in lue of a nurse? It's half-rated care. How many Tech's have the knowledge to recognize a lifethreatening reaction the occurs instantaniously- and the knowlegde to deal with it? And what of the VS that need monitored with so many of these meds for the elderly? Do they monitor them- and have the knowlegde to recongize the signs of drug toxiciy?
    When this issue recently came up last year in Ohio-I immediately wrote and called my congressmen. And organized each of my 32 classmates to do the same. Although I do understand the rationale for this issue, and have seen first-hand a justifiable need- it terrifies me none the less. Again- there is so much more to health management than giving a pill. That's why we spend so much time in school, learning all we do.

    Just my opinion on this can off worms......thanks for letting me rant and rave!
  13. by   nightingale
    I shudder at the thought of med. techs. passing meds.

  14. by   Youda
    These are things I've seen in LTC when a med tech was passing meds. Not technically a "med error" but definitely a lack of skill, knowledge, and understanding of meds.

    1. Res. refused to take "water pill" (Lasix 80mg/qd) because she didn't want to pee so much. CMT circled it on the MAR, but continued to give the K+ for 3 weeks. Woman went to ER with heart dysarrythmias.

    2. Blood in foley catheter bag, and CMT gave coumadin as ordered.

    3. CMT gave albuteral nebulizer treatment. Res. c/o chest pain after treatment. AP was 140.

    4. CMT gave antiobiotic when res. c/o "itching all over."

    Yeah, CMTs can put a pill in a little cup and most of the time, it's actually the right med, but they don't have the training or understanding to make critical judgment calls. It's asking a CMT to have the knowledge of the nurse, and there are plenty of disasters because of it. But, nothing will change, and it isn't because of the nursing shortage, it's because they're CHEAPER than a nurse.

    To make this more bizarre is that none of the examples above were ever written up as med errors, and the CMTs were never counseled because it was "beyond their training" to have "known not to give." And, most of the CMTs I've worked with didn't even understand that they should have TOLD THE NURSE about these things!! <big sigh>