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Replacing LPNs with medication techs - Is this legal?

Geriatric   (11,331 Views 21 Comments)
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Havin' A Party! has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

15,346 Visitors; 2,721 Posts

May depend on the particular State's regs.

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752 Visitors; 5 Posts

In Jersey, we have med techs in AL that dispense all medications including hospice/comfort meds, they give insulin too via insulin pens and wound care that isn't considered complex. We still give IM injections. I've only seen this is in AL and group homes (non-skilled facilities). LTC and subacutes still utilize LPN's and rn's for med carts.

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MedChica specializes in Psych, LTC/SNF, Rehab, Corrections.

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I'm an lpn in ltc. They are talking about replacing the lpns with med techs! Is that legal in skilled care?

Is it legal? The question doesn't even make sense.

LVNs can't be 'replaced' by med techs because med aides aren't nurses.

We have med aides that pass (scheduled) meds. The nurses just handle prns. CMAs aid the nurse with the med pass in the same way that CNAs aid the nurse by assisting the resident with ADLs.

I play med nurse on occasion and there's no way that you can pass for that many residents while suctioning/charting/doing skin assessments/BS/tube feedings/immunizations(at this time of season) /wound care, etc....

Not in LTC.

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Havin' A Party! has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

15,346 Visitors; 2,721 Posts

Hi, MedChica. Am I understanding your post that med aides are only allowed to pass meds in assisted living facilities in your State?

That's in accord with my experience.

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Mandylpn has 10 years experience and specializes in home health, LTC, assisted living.

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May I ask if you went to school for this and how long was the training?

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Mandylpn has 10 years experience and specializes in home health, LTC, assisted living.

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I live in CA and work at an Assisted Living Facility as a Med Tech. I pass schedule meds, PRNs, Narcs, eye drops, nasal sprays and even administer patches. I also transcribe orders and keep in constant communication with Doctors. Personally, I do not feel that LVNs are being replaced by med techs.

May I ask if you went to school for this (vo-tech, etc.) and how long was the training? Do you work under the wing of an RN?

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1,138 Visitors; 21 Posts

I live in Iowa, and my understanding is that Certified Medication Aides (as we call them) can only pass non-parenteral medications. Like you, I am questioning my facility's use of CMAs. I tried to find some sort of scope of practice for CMAs in my state, and can't find it anywhere. I have doubts that CMAs are being used appropriately in my facility. For example, the CMAs administer breathing treatments without performing assessments. And management has eliminated documentation of lung sounds and sPO2 from the TAR for this reason, so even LPNs and RNs are not required to document assessments with breathing treatments. Seems fishy to me.

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akanini has 10 years experience as a MSN, LPN, RN.

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I live in New York City and I've never seen a med tech. They are here in assisted living facilities, I was told. I've never been to one, so I don't know. At one point, the talk was that they will phase LPNs out in NY. I can't see THAT happening. Who else will go to the nursing home and pass meds for 50 people? Lol

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450 Visitors; 10 Posts

You're awesome for sitting with that patient. You'll reap more than break time in the long run from doing that. Karma can be a b, but it can also be a powerful thing when it's good karma returned to you.

I do hope that LPN's will not be replaced by Medication Aides, but that med aides can help the LPN by giving routine tablets like Synthroid in the morning, Neurontin at night. PO antibiotics as well. I would much prefer to give the blood pressure medications and definitely any controlled substances.

I am very unclear of the statutes in Nevada for they read so oddly and, to me, are vague and unclear. As though they are trying to say something, but are not quite going for extreme clarity. I've tried NSBN, but they referred me to the actual statutes repeatedly. So they, as well, may be dodging 'extreme clarity'.

'My' LPN's that I work with have had their IV responsibilities given over to the RN. In our vent/rehab facility they no longer are allowed to make the call as to when a resident needs to go for an ER eval.

They are slowly, but surely being stripped of their job duties.

When I was attending UNLV I remember one professor who always drove to Carson City to lobby to protect nurses job roles, their actual duties from being taken over by 'medication aides'. This was so long ago. I thought it odd at the time that that tired professor would drive all night to do this. Now I don't think she was that odd or crazy. Now I see why.

The parent company of the vent facility in which I work is in Oregon. They started stripping the LPN's of their duties systematically, then replaced them with Medication Aides. The RN's cover for IV therapy and emergent situations. For me, it would be an untenable responsibility, too unwieldy, too unsafe, too much of a risk to monitor CNA's who have a minimal pharm knowledge base.

I intend no disrespect to CNA's. But there is truth in what I said. An LPN is a very important part of our workforce. An experienced LPN is so much greater than her initial educaton which grants her her dlploma. I consider most experienced LPN's to be VERY much at the level of myself and some, much better than myself, a BSN. Many are better than the RN's with whom I work in ICU's as far as starting IV's and assessing skin conditions, as well as other areas of patient care.

So, again, while I'd welcome the idea of Medication Aides as a helpers to the LPN. not to exceed carefully chosen duties, I firmly believe that the LPN should be present on our healthcare teams for a very, very long time.

Edited by tsomargotte

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