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Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

Last post 04-09-2009, 11:18 PM by Maura Flynn. 61 replies.
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  •  08-06-2006, 3:51 PM

    medication assistants

    in one of my recent assignments, a med tech with limited training administered meds to my client in an assisted living facility. The census for this particular place is approx. 63 people.  The med tech. is administering the meds for all, under supervision of the nurse. Who is taking advantage of who?  What is good care worth?  Even the ratio for nurse to patient has been capped off in most states.                                                      My sympathy is with the med tech who hasn't got a clue!Old Biddy
  •  08-06-2006, 3:51 PM

    medication assistants

    in one of my recent assignments, a med tech with limited training administered meds to my client in an assisted living facility. The census for this particular place is approx. 63 people.  The med tech. is administering the meds for all, under supervision of the nurse. Who is taking advantage of who?  What is good care worth?  Even the ratio for nurse to patient has been capped off in most states.                                                      My sympathy is with the med tech who hasn't got a clue!Old Biddy
  •  09-23-2006, 7:38 PM

    RE:Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    I've heard of them, then I worked with some.  Four months was plenty, lemme tell ya!!

    The best med tech I worked with spent 10 years as a Medical Assistant and phlebotomist.  She is about to graduate from LVN school, and is at the top of her class.  She had more questions about medications that I could handle, sometimes, and that sent both of us to the PDR and other medication books pretty often.  We did learn a lot, both of us.

    The scariest ones I worked with were not always those who did not speak English well.  That is actually scary enough.  The ones that scared the living daylights out of me, and finally made up my mind to leave that facility, were those who would look at a medication and assume it was the right one because 'it looks like almost the same spelling.'  Yikes!!  Atropine and Atrotol are NOT the same!!

    I think there are places for Med Techs in our world.  In long term care here in California, CNAs and CHHAs are permitted to assist the resident to take their own medications.  That's about the limit I would permit unless and until the prospective Med Tech had a minimum of 1 semester in basic Pharmacology for Nurses.  That would come out to about 3 hours per week for at least 15 weeks.  That would be 45 hours of formal accredited schooling, up to maybe up to 60, if it were a 20 week semester.  Also, I think that Med Tech certification is not something for the Patient Care Assistant to get as a means to get away from changing incontinence garments.  I think that Med Tech is a certification that should be renewable only while in nursing school. 

    The giving of medications is an awsome responsibility, and it is my feeling that developing a sense of ethic and responsibility takes more than a few hours of in-house training and an in-house-devised test, passed with 70% answered correctly.  When it comes to medications, 7 correct out of 10 is not good enough.

     

  •  12-27-2007, 9:11 PM

    Re: RE:Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    I am/was a certified Medication Aide and I take/took great pride in the work that I did. Why would some one hate a "medication aide?" We are all there for the greater purpose and bigger picture...patient care. So is it that you "hate the job and its scope of practice or do you hate the people that work in that capacity?" And for you to "hate" anything says alot about your character or lack there of. Your actions towards the "med. aides" speaks volumns about your condition of heart and respect for the work of others.

    I pray that your hep-c treatments are working...  

  •  12-28-2007, 11:04 AM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    Live in Upstate, NY.... Work for assisted living? Then you have medication aides everywhere! Scary huh. State law in New York depicts, You do not need a nurse in assisted living. The ratio is, Two aides per 40 pts. As nurses, we know this is absurd. One person can not adequately care for 5 pts let along 40. Medication aides have become a booming business in Upstate, NY. They can make as much as 12-14 dollars an hour, with no nsg knowledge. Most facilities don't require a medication test, but some places do administer one, which consist of popping pills from a blister pac and the ability to identify the patient in question along with the ability to read. They don't need to know the side effects of the medication given, further more, they don't even need to know what the medication is for, for that matter. Most facilities want a LPN present. Reason being; It brings in more revenue, calms the reluctance of families who place their loved one in such a facility. As a licensed nurse in assisted living, The nurse can not assess any situation. As LPN'S we cannot asses. Nor can a RN in asst living. The requirements for residents to reside in assisted living our; One must be able to ambulate, feed one self and ask for any prn medications. A few more regs to go along with this.

    It's all too scary; Here's a perfect example. I once was doing meds because we were short on aides. One particular patient had a dx of chronic pain, was on q3 day duragesic patches. (Yes aides administer narcotics too) It was the 3rd day, a change in patch was needed. I, the good nurse I was, knew to check for the old patch prior to placing the new one on. This pt in question, had three patches on. I thought OMG! No signature to any of the patches. Blank sig in the medex. Nothing could be done. Of course not one of the aides would admit to not checking prior to placing a patch on. So, who wins? The administrator was notified, but usually this person has no knowledge of the nsg process. So is clueless as to the guidelines to follow. It's a no win situation. As the LPN, we are to teach the aide the rights and wrongs, when in fact the bottom line is, we hold the license, so in the end it all comes back to the nurse.

    It's a booming business, as I said prior. And I don't see it changing anytime soon.

    Give us LPN's the recognition we deserve and worked so hard for, It could be your relative getting their life saving medication from a very inexperienced person! 

  •  01-08-2008, 9:44 AM

    Re: RE:Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    I took a 3 yr break from nursing in 2001 to recover from a liver transplant due to Hep C- (NOT work related) and when I came back to work in 03' there were medications aides in place at every LTC facility here, plus in doctors offices and urgent care places.  And assisted living especially.  I went back to work in an assisted living facility- I had never worked asst. living, only in nursing homes, so I had a lot of change to deal with on my return to work.

    My concern with medication aides is the limited amount of information they are given, then turned loose on the floor.  I used to have to fill insulin syringes for about 15 people, enough to last for a week. Thats hundreds of syringes.  I used to wear a blister on my fingers spending 2 hrs once a week filling them all.   So they gave the insulin, but LPN's filled them.  I have seen them mix up peoples insulin.  They don't understand how serious it is, and some know how serious it is so they cover up their mstakes.  They are not taught critical thinking but expected to respond with knowledge...my example is- the very expensive and supposedly "posh" asst living I worked in had an LPN who was "in charge" of 7-3 but she did very very little work.  Much of her job trickled down to me because she "didn't have time" (She was in meetings all day, a couple of times a week)  I was 3-11 Supervisor.  I loved the job but admin was only interested in the almighty dollar and hired unskilled people ("my only job prior to this has been working at McDonalds") and give them the title "Resident Assistant".  Because they would have to pay more for a whole crew of CNA's..so only 1-2 CNA the rest of them resident aides.  Our med techs were CNA's, trained to be med techs.  So many 3-11 shifts the only 2 CNA's were busy passing meds 3 times a shift, the resident aides were in charge of getting ppl. to dinner, keeping people clean and dry, getting them ready for bed.  I dont' need to tell you most of the resident aides had a very poor work ethic, not showing up for work, some were lazy, I had to track a few down in a huge facility (and me still recovering from transplant)who hid out in rooms, etc. My med techs were frequently passing meds with the cell phone at their ears- OMG- I never left work at 11pm, many times working till 1 or 2 am just to get my paperwork done because I would have to pitch in and help put people to bed when we were short- I many times just took a team of my own and worked it like an aide.  I wouldn't allow anyone to do the wound care but me, when I started I was the wound care guru and got many a red butt cleared up when I first started.  People left in depends for 12 hours- I weighed one urine soaked depends that weighed 8 lbs.  I gave inservies on how important keeping people dry and turned...the importance of skin care, etc.  Some ppl who truly were assisted living patients got bad and frankly too advanced for the spotty care given in asst living.  Assisted livings are not licensed to care for people with needs that are that advanced.

    The more I did the more was expected of me.  Yes we had many battles, med techs saying they couldn't take a team.  Alot of med techs "lording over" the CNA's and Resident Aides, feeling very important.  It was a personnel nightmare.  Trying to talk to Admin about the serious problems we had did no good.  My God, on 11-7 shift there was NO nurse, just a med tech and a resident aide, the "nurse" was supposedly on-call for them should a problem arise but whenever they called her she never came in.  It was a joke.  Sometimes the 11-7 med tech would call ME at home, because they didn't feel comfortable with what the nurse on call was telling them...they didn't trust her and for good reason.

    My dads in a nursing home, went in Nov 23.  You can imagine how anxious I was to be sure he was getting the right meds, etc.  I tried not to be the pain in the butt family member.  And I'm not.  But I am alwrmed when I ask the charge nurse something about my dad and they answer me "I don;t know" then don;t offer to find out...and WHY don't they kow?  Don't they give and get report?  Geez, I made it my busines to know every patient I was in charge of and what was going on with them.

    So what do I think about med aides, which they call Med Techs here in Maryland?  They don't feel threatening to me as far as my role as an LPN.  I just wish they would be wiser about who they "promote" to med tech and it should be someone mature, with good work ethics and an eye for quality work.  These people handle and dispense narcotics- wish I had a $1 for everytime the count was wrong.  Of course then I had to intervene which meant going back and investigating the MAR, writing out a report...One time a family member brought in a bottle of narcotics and just left it in the nursing station.  Needless to say it disappeared.  The facility called the police and they did an investigation, but never got to the bottom of it.  The people were not supposed to just leave it,  but they did.  I had to take a few hours and serch every patient room in case a confused patient had taken it and walked off with it.

    I finally got so disgusted with working under those conditions and put in a 3 weeks notice,  They begged me to stay but I held my ground (I didn;'t really want to leave, but couldn't keep working like that...) and I just started my own home health co. and do private duty.

    I don't work alot of hours per week because the Hep C leaves me tired after just two -2 hour cases a day.  If I advertised and marketed my service, I would be really busy.  Most of my referrals are from a doctors office and from another home health nurse I know who has patients that need care above and beyond what their insurance will pay.  Since I am private pay only, I can fill in the gaps.

     


    "Do what you like. Like what you do"
  •  01-08-2008, 9:55 AM

    Re: RE:Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    Unononehigher:

    I am/was a certified Medication Aide and I take/took great pride in the work that I did. Why would some one hate a "medication aide?" We are all there for the greater purpose and bigger picture...patient care. So is it that you "hate the job and its scope of practice or do you hate the people that work in that capacity?" And for you to "hate" anything says alot about your character or lack there of. Your actions towards the "med. aides" speaks volumns about your condition of heart and respect for the work of others.

    I pray that your hep-c treatments are working...  

    You may be one of the "good ones" who take pride in their work and if you don't know something, you ask.  Good med aides read and keep up and add to the knowledge they already have.  Some are proud of their position and really do strive for perfection.  Others, well, I have found pills floating in a residents toilet- I dug alittle deeper and found out my 2nd floor med tech and my 3rd floor med tech were "racing" to see who could get done first...OMG.  The one med tech in question took NO SUGGESTIONS and if you caught her in a mistake or tried to correct her in a professional and diplomatic way she would GO OFF...frequently tooting her own horn and a few residents told me they were scared of her.  Thats just sad.


    "Do what you like. Like what you do"
  •  01-29-2008, 9:01 AM

    Re: medicine aids

    Please get a life. Nurses must be able to spell. "Medication Aide". "Med Tech", "N.A", " CNA" and "CNA lI" AKA a Nursing Assistant before they had all these tiltes,. I worked in a hospital and Nursing Home setting since 1973. I worked my tail off on all the night and weekend shifts when the hospitals were short and the Nursing Assistant has been on and off the chart like LPN's. I took pride in becoming an LPN ll. As a Nursing Assistant I never would have passed a medication, that was the MA and the Med Tech programs that came along and started that. The RN was wanting the LPN out of the way and yet they did not want to care for the elderly and the insane. The Dr office wanted the RN to use their license to cover the MA and free up the Dr license but the Dr did not want to pay the money to have LPN in the office setting. The hospitals wanted to cut cost and the CNA was trying to get thieir hands into the NURSING end of the care. The team system was rapidly being phased out by RN's and the "total pt care system". The thought that an RN was going to do total pt care for the same amt of money that they were willing to be charge for . Once the RN had to do the hands on care, pass meds, admit and discharge, document everything and make all the Dr calls and treatments the hospitals put a new spin on the bowl of teach the CNA to be a tech- turf more work to them and free up the RN to give the Medication and shuffle more paperwork. That lead to the Housekeeper and the janitor now answering lights, phones and loving the fact that they could be refered to as "Nurse" and no body seemed to care. The budget looked good, the pt were rotating in and out of the hospitals at a timely rate and the RN was willing to take the risk and libility of "Charge".  I personally don't want the "Nurse" to clean the toilet answer the light , get my meds and change my dressing  and then bring my dinner tray. All without an education. I want one theat is able to recongnize that I am not running a fever but the redness around the wound or the soreness in my back are not "just part of the routine". The LPN is a dying bredd in the West and the East has limited them the the nursing homes and vent pt in the home care setting. Why pay and LPN with 30 some years the 20 or 30 dolloars and hr when you cn get a new grad RN to work for 15 and carry her own malpractice. Why pay an LPN when the Housekeeper is willing to train or even the pt discharged from rehab or a prison reform program to pass meds and care for a loved one in the hospital. They only need to produce a clean record for a few years and if they bring a clean urine they are in like Flynn.  They NURSING association and state boards need to Decide either we are going to have LPN's or we are not. If yes then they need to commit to strengthening the LPN movement and stop taking away from the LPN scope. The dinosours are all dying off and fossilizing. At 50 sosmething I must find a new home or a new career. This is the PITS.  
  •  02-01-2008, 9:57 PM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    Yes i have heard of them, but it's mostly in an personal care or assisted living setting,  This would never be in a skilled facility, or hospital,  the laws are too stiff, But yea they do allow them. It's cheaper, and for real if the place is allowing med aides to do the work, belive  that they are sneaking around lying about other things , when reporting them to the state,  thats how they save money,  WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF NURSING !  Watch you back  trust me its cut throat,,,   you can loose your liscence faster than you can blink your eyes,  and hey keep on double checking when you give a med, one day it will save someones life  ,, 


    God Bless !
  •  02-01-2008, 10:00 PM

    Re: medicine aids

    amen and amen !!!!!!!!   Lol   well said lol  well said
    God Bless !
  •  02-03-2008, 5:59 PM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    We have med aides here in Maryland in the Assisted living facilities.  For awhile they had a few in NH but guess it wasn't working out because now I notice its all LPNs in Nh passing meds.  My dad is in Nh now so I feel so much better that a licensed person is passing meds.

    I am a nurse- graduated 21 yrs ago.  I still look meds up too.  I have a few nightmare experiences w/ assisted living medication aides- when

    I first worked in an asst living, which was enough of a change from home health and nursing homes for me as it was.  Then the med aides...the CNA (nursing assistants) they "promoted" to medication aides on my shift was a bad choice to begin with.  The pay was so low (and a really swank facility) no med aides already certified would apply for the positions.  So they recruited from within.  IN MY EXPERIENCE:

    The med aides got a certain attitude over the rest of the aides, which was the first problem.  They suddenly thought they didn't have to take a team or help bring people down to dinner, answer call lights, none of the usual stuff.  I was spending 5 hrs a week just sitting and filling insulin syringes for all the diabetics.  I used to have blisters on my thumb and 3rd finger from filling them.  Then the aides would get the worng syringe from the fridge, or forget to sign a syringe out so we didn't know if someone got their insulin or not (they remembered to sign the book!) They would pass all thier meds then sit down and initial all their MARs at the end of the niht.  I told them you need to initial the meds as you pass them, not at the end of the night.  I found pills floating in toilets a few times- med aides not giving them to difficult or time-consuming patients.  Then they decided the aides could write up the MARs for monthly change-over.  What a nightmare that was.   Two of the worst ones came in 3 nights in a row and worked 11-7 to do them.  Word came down to me that they spent 1/2 the nights sleeping, watching tv or just fooling around.  The MARs were hideous and I had to get the pharmacy to send all new ones and had to stay after my 3-11 shift many nights to do them ALL over & get then done in time. I was the only nurse 3-11 for 78 patients.  We had aides when they all decided to sahow up for work, and 2 of those were med aides.  We even had an aide who was very sweet and always showed up for her shift but beleive me I am being kind when I say she was somewhat of a "slow normal".  Darned if they weren't putting her in the next med tech training class when I resigned (not because of her).  Unbeleivable.  I am now semi-retired and have my own home health company.  so much less stress!!!!!!!!!!- teri


    "Do what you like. Like what you do"
  •  02-08-2008, 10:50 PM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    Ummm, I worked in a "skilled" nursing home in Rochester, MN as a "Certified Medication Aide/Tech."  I was trained at a technical college in Mankato, MN. and registered with the state of Minnesota. That was about 5 years ago and I made $14.00 per hour. Oh, and the facility I worked in did not "sneak or lie" about any job position, description or scope of practice. And unlicensed personnel are not allowed to give parenteral medications.

     

  •  04-20-2008, 10:22 AM

    • Lisa Morell is not online. Last active: 07-16-2019, 11:26 AM Lisa Morell
    • Joined on 10-15-2007
    • MDS Coordinator, Certified United Nures Reform
    • Bridgeport, CT
    • 17 Posts

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    Do you believe you can be replaced with the current regulations for the use of UNLICENSED Personnel?

    LPN's, Please visit our site and take our survey! We would appreciate hearing form you. http://www.ctnursereform.org

    On-Line Petition http://www.petitiononline.com/lps2t/petition.html

     

     


    Lisa Morell, LPN, RAI-C
    http://www.unitednursereform.org
  •  05-05-2008, 8:45 PM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    I agree. I don't think this should be allowed at all. It is amazing how and aide can go through a 40 hour program to hand out meds and lpns have to take the entire RN program except 1 or 2 classes to take the RN boards. I have been an lpn for many years and I feel that I and all lpns with many years experience should be able to sit for the RN boards.
  •  05-10-2008, 3:08 PM

    Re: Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

    I don't think this is a good idea or concept. How can they think that a 20-40 hour class can even touch all the types of medications,effects and precautions. Not to mention adverse reactions and contraindications. Just letting anyone pass meds is the scariest thing I can think of. I'm not concerned with the impact on LPN'S but more concerned with the impact on patients. I know that if I was told I would have a  med aide I would let the company know that I won't risk my liscense and career so they can save a little money and if they really want a med aide then hire another and use your own liscense because I'm gone. I love my job and won't let anyone take thay away!

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