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Re: RE:Has everyone heard of Medication Aides?

  •  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 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' 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"
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