Quote from M&MRN2005
HI. I am new. I am a nursing student scheduled to graduate in May. My state is proposing legislation soon regarding Medication Aides. I am very leary of the wording of the proposal because it states that these aides are mandatory in non-healthcare facilities such as: daycares, prisons, schools, group homes, and long term care facilities. However, it is optional for other healthcare facilities such as acute care facilities. I know programs such as this has passed in over half of the states. Does anyone have any imput? How is it working? Has there been any problems? Are med errors increasing? It really bothers me because these people have no prior medical experience and will have 24 hours of training. The RN will delegate to them. This is real scary. This program came about in our state because these med aides were already working in some of these facilities and had no formal training. From what I understand, this is suppose to help alleviate the nursing shortage for our state. I am looking for help, please. I would love your imput and any suggestions.
On March 17-18, the North Carolina Council of Practical Nurse Educators (NCCPNE) came out with the following press release concerning both the medication aide and geriatric aide:
Position Statement of the NCCPNE
Geriatric Aide and Medication Aide:
While we as an organization acknowledge the increased demand for more qualified nurses, we do not believe that the solution to the problem exists with creation of a larger unlicensed workforce. The average geriatric client that is in long term care is a person with age related physiological changes and multiple chronic diseases that require a variety of medications, critical thinking skills, complex health care, and other health services. We believe that we need more licensed nurses not more unlicensed personnel to safely care for our geriatric population. Issues exist that have not been addressed as to competency evaluation, supervision, number of unlicensed persons supervised, access to controlled substances, etc. We believe that the movement will produce adverse effects in a vulnerable, valuable population.
The worst part (besides putting the public at grave risk) is that these unlicensed personnel will be working under the RN or LPN's license. If these people make an error, who
do you think will be held accountable??? In case you are still wondering about the answer, see: http://www.ncbon.com/forms/Interface...Med%20Aide.pdf
This latest action by our Board is perplexing, as they are the agency who is supposed to be safeguarding the health of the public by ensuring "safe, effective nursing
care." Instead, they are giving away bits and pieces of our profession, and putting the health of everyone who enters an acute care facility across the state at risk:
We need to contact our state legislators ASAP! This bill (House Bill 783 and Senate Bill 662) has already been introduced into committee. This is legislation that could cause medication errors to skyrocket. Polly Johnson, the Executive Director of the NCBON, with the Institute of Medicine's blessing, made a presentation before the subcommittee in support of these bills. Apparently, there are also large numbers of physicians backing these bills. The Senate bill has support from the large counties including Meck, Wake, Guildford, Durham.
Here is an excellent template to use:
This letter is in reference to House Bill 783, filed on March 16 and sent to the Committee on Health. This bill will allow medication aides to give medications in health care settings. The Division of Facility Services along with the Board of Nursing introduced this as a measure to improve the medication delivery in unskilled facilities such as group homes, rest homes, and other residential settings.
In the update on nonlicensed personnel, it was reported that the intent was to require at least minimal training to unlicensed personnel who currently give medications to individuals (not patients) in residential settings. The Board of Nursing updates also stated this. However, in the bill there is no exclusion from using these technicians in acute settings or in skilled nursing home facilities.
As I am sure you have read and seen in the media, medication errors account for a huge amount of mortality and morbidity in our country. The residents in skilled nursing homes are requiring more complex care now than ever. The medication regimen, if not followed correctly can be ineffective or harmful.
I am certain that you would agree that for our loved ones and potentially in the future, for ourselves the person administering our medications needs more than 24 hours of training (primarily by video). I would venture to guess that a fast food employee obtains more than this amount of training.
I implore you to restrict the use of these technicians to only unskilled residential settings. Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter. The safety of health care across our state is at stake.
This is a link that should tell you who your representative is:
We also need to send letters-to-the-editor to newspapers across the state. Here is an excellent template to use:
I am a registered nurse/ licensed practical nurse who is concerned about a bill being introduced into the Health and Heath Care Committees. This bill, if passed, would allow unlicensed medication aides to administer medications to patients in health care settings. These "med aides" are only required to have 24 hours of video training, whereas a licensed practical nurse has a minimum of one year of training in pharmacological theory, lab, and clinical. You have to ask yourself, "Would I want someone with only 24 hours of training giving me or my loved ones medications rather than a licensed nurse with extensive knowledge of medications and their side effects? I think the answer is obvious.
This bill has been proposed as a solution to lessen the strain of the nursing shortage and to address rising healthcare costs by replacing licensed practical nurses with med aides. I believe that this is the wrong solution and can seriously jeopardize the health and well being of our patients. The very people that have proposed this solution are the ones that would like the bill to pass without public knowledge. If you feel as strongly as I do that this poses risks you are unwilling to take, please write your state representatives and senators requesting only licensed nurses be allowed to give medications and vote "no" for med aides.
Let's get the word out! We still have time to stop this madness!