Who's qualified for dispensing medication to assisted living patients?
Who's qualified for dispensing medication to assisted living patients? My mother is in an assisted living facility. There is a student nurse in charge over the weekend. Nurses' aides and healthcare technicians who have only completed one four-to-eight hour course are allowed to pass out medications. This concerns me -- are they properly qualified?
CNA 's should not give any medications to the patient , yet, if certified they can assist the patient in self administering the medication. Even when certified, the medication should be pre-measured and given to them by a nurse or doctor. This sounds like the situation you have described and is OK.
Medical Assistants, who have more educaiotn than the CNA, can give shots under supervision of an on-duty doctor. An IV may only be administered by a nurse or a doctor.
In my opinion, CNAs should not even be touching medications. But that's healthcare in America; They are phasing out LPNs and using CNAs to function as nurses if they get "certified". They can now provide cheaper hired help. That means even high school drop outs can now become nurses. All I can say if you have a loved one in a nursing home, God help them. https://www.ncsbn.org/1725.htm
imo too, CNA's should not be touching the medicine. Theft of narcotics by CNA's....CNA's have very little invested into thier careers, maybe that's why. i have an abusive drug addict neighbor CNA that works at a nursing home, and have known others like that. Pretty good at keeping thier job=narcotics.
Assisted Living (AL) residents are considered medically stable. In an AL this is their home and they are assisted with the activities of daily living. Caregivers or CNA's with the proper training to become Medication Aids can safely and effectively give medications or oversee that the proper medication is administered. These Medication Aids's are still under the license of an RN, which is in their best interest to make sure all medications are passed correctly by their Medication Aids if they wish to keep their license. Many seniors eyesight is an issue and/or remembering which medications they took can be difficult even if their pills are put into an AM/PM pill counter.
Note this, just because someone has gotten their CNA certification does not mean that they have the mental capability to pass medications. We put our Medication Aids through rigorous training and they have regular audits they must pass to continue in their roll.
Further complicating the issue, nursing schools have begun to phase out LVN/LPN programs forcing retirement communities to find new methods to safely pass the medications, thus training CNA's to pass medications.
Please note that if the resident is unstable medically than living in an AL may not be the best setting for them.
When it comes to Skilled Nursing or Hospital settings where patients are consistently unstable, I agree, medications should be passed by a trained professional i.e. RN.
Anyone is allowed to pass medicine as long as they are certified. Case closed
My mother is in a memory care unit in an assisted living facility (ALF). She has advanced dementia but is physically healthy. She does take BP & dementia meds on a daily basis, as well as vitamins. When her dementia wasn't as advanced, I would handle the ordering/purchasing & aliquoting of the meds into weekly pill boxes. Either my sister or I would call and remind Mom to take her meds. But as her dementia advanced, that no longer worked.
She was put on their meds management program. They get the meds through a pharmacy that pre-packages all her meds on a single blister card, since she only take them once/day. They are stored in a locked box. All that is required is for someone to remove one card, pop out each pill and hand it to my mother. Frankly, a child could do it. I have witnessed this on several occasions, with different aides, and the most time it has taken is 5 min. For this they charge $500/mos!! Using a figure of 5 min/day, that comes out to ~$200/hr!!!! That is just plain ludicrous! However, since I don't know anyone who lives close enough to do it, we are stuck paying that!!!
I have turned the care facility where my parents live into the State of Michigan twice for medication errors done by "Aides" that took an 8 hour class. At one point an ambulance had to be called because my Dad was so over medicated he was unresponsive and breathing poorly. Hospital said he was toxic. All that for $7500 a month!!!! My parents deserve a qualified nurse to be giving them their meds instead of Aides killing them.
Being a RN for many years, I have witnessed my Profession take a drastic and horriffic downward spiral. First, the term "nurse" is used entirely too loose. A " Nurse " is a Registered Nurse . A Registered Nurse is the ONLY Nurse who has " Legal " authority to give ALL medications, hence , why We are REGISTERED !!! LPT/ LVN/ LPN are also nurses but the Scope of Practice is less than that of an RN. LVN can NEVER give IV medications EVER ! They can stop and hang a bag on a IV pump but never push start . They cannot do Central Lines. LPT / LVN/ LPN can give oral and IM medications. Now they are letting MA give Immunizations / blood draws (without phlebotomy certs.) / and some IM meds.. (SCARY ) CNA give oral meds.( SCARY) . I do Not and will not work at these facilities and jepordize patients lives and my License that I went to school for 7 years !!! Some RN dont even know what classification is an Ativan . " Its a benzo dear, anti-anxiety. No its NOT a pain pill " If a Nurse cant tell you what a pill is for, then DONT TAKE IT !! That is a Nurses job ! Not the MA or CNA. As long as the community bow to corporatiins risking our / your Loved Ones they will continue to downsize and competent patient care. As long as Foreign taught nurses (an doctors) are allowed to " practice " medicine and nursing care on US citizens there will be , and is, substandard medical care. Dont ever leave a loved one in the hospital by themselves. Also have a RN ( USA taught) at their bedside with at least 5 years experience.. Hire an outside RN to question the Dr. Orders and to keep family informed.
How is it "SCARY" that an MA gives patient's oral meds & IM meds? I went to school for a total of 5 years experience. An AAS in Medical Assisting & a certification. So I am a CMA, I took phlebotomy as an elective so I have that skill as well. When I worked at the hospital I found out that several of the RN's I worked under only had an AAS degree & not a 4 year degree..had I have known I could have been a nurse with the 2 years of schooling I wouldn't have wasted my time in the MA program but it was hard & I succeeded & I can pass medication, not so scary.
my workplace is considered an assisted living facility but my residents are not assisted living they are total assistance with their meds, cooking, cleaning, laundry and we do their pmc and no we don't get a designated break bc of the 5:1 ratio. I am an STNA but I'm not sure if I am even supposed to passing meds I took a class hwen I worked with MRDD so I know the proper way but those new hires they don't do any med training classes isn't this illegal? can we stna's get in trouble or even jail or would the company get in trouble since it is listed as a job duty? I am really worried because I have a child to take care of and I don't want to risk anything
Degree should have nothing to do with it. I am a certified medication aide. I have worked in assisted living and skilled nursing For 30 years. I am responsible and have ran the whole building with just having a consulting nurse available. I also have worked with LPNS and RNS that I wouldn't trust my dead dog with. They are the only ones that can get meds out of the emergency kit......there are many times I have sent them back because they get the medication wrong. Also, I have seen many RNS lose their license because of stealing narcotics. I have not seen cmas lose license due to stealing narcotics. ...I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just haven't seen it.
I have been a lpn for a few years, just started working at an alf....in the month I have been there found several narcs popped out, then taped back in...I said ummmm no, they have no clue why not, some proudly state they have been passing med for years. Fentyl patches put on without old one being taken off. Comments like it's the round blue pill, which next month could be the yellow oval pill. Scary
As a registered nurse in an extended care facility, I am comfortable with trained med techs giving most medications. However, I think that high-risk medications (i.e. insulin) and any controlled substances should only be given by a nurse.
wow i love how you people put down cna really
My son has a serious mesh infection and has decided to go to girfriends mother (CNA) and she will give him a year supply of antibiotic.. My question where is she getting she Meds? Her patients? That would mean someone is not getting thier med. I have suspected she has been doing this for awhile. I would Love to know where I can turn her in?
I just graduated (July 12, 2016) as a CNA from a local university that was an crash course over the span of four weeks....every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I have not as yet taken my state boards but plan to do so next month. While working in a local memory care facility I have been asked to take the medication's assistant exam. What it amounted to is reading the material, answering the hard copy questions and then taking the online exam while looking at the answers!!! I now pass meds and am very uncomfortable with this, especially the prn ones. I would rather not pass meds now because I can see the effects they have on the elderly and the meds are keeping them groggy and foggy a lot of the time; not to mention the addictive nature these drugs (clonozapam, diasapham, hydrocodone, to mention a few) are causing. ) I am concerned, as the new employees that are being hired are not all CNA's but those in no profession at all. The Director of the facility was a cook and a special education teacher before being hired by the facility. I look forward to leaving this facility and finding something more professional. When the rooms range from $2,500 to $4,500 a month (without other costs!) I find myself not being happy about having my name on the meds roster and watching these fine older folks getting ripped off.
The facility i worked for gave us 2 days train8ng n then cut us loos ( working with just one other pca, who many times was as new as me) i know NOTHING about meds, what is for prn etc but was suppose to adm8nister them. Even i atructed to crush uo meds for some of the higher level dimensia/ahlzheimers persons. I heard hush stories about some pca's confusing meds n to stay qyiwt about it.wgen taking my PCA test, i ran out of time n the director tild me not to worry, she woyld finish my test n be sure u passed it....i do not work there any more..the LPN diesnt even have a co trilled account if the mefs yet as she states she us new there n will get around to it ..she counts on the PCA'S to take charge of reorder etc ...shldnt this be reportedto the state? I just dnt want my future employment effected bcause i turned them in. But i dont want patients hurt either. This med situation is such a touchy dangerous thibg for all concerned. Any advice???
I am a counselor in the field of both addiction and mental health. I consistently and forced to spend most of my hours at work providing medication management and oversight. This takes off most all of my shift due to the number of people and all kinds of medications. I went to school to be a counselor not a nurse and there are therapy aides that are also required to do this. Most places do not want to hire nurses because they do not want to pay the money. Staff is also not paid much but still needs to provide this service. I have been a counselor for many years. Over the past several years we no longer have our own desks to sit at and we provide these medication distributions.
It is all about profit. Cheap labor costs by employing non-certified and non-licensed workers to do the work while racking in the money and top managers receiving a quarterly or yearly bonus for keeping expenses low. Many of these profitable facilities have a shortage, unhappy, and burnt out employees. Always ask what the CNA to resident or nurse/medication tech to resident ratio is in a facility before leaving a family member in their care. An ideal ratio would be 1 CNA to 5 residents and 1 nurse/medication tech to 15 residents in am, noon, and evening shifts to ensure safety. Ratios outside these ranges is something to think twice about; safety hazard. There are some meds that are NOT to be given if a pulse is below 60 in the elderly and unlicensed medication techs are not aware of this.
Its scary bien poor because geting a job required so much thing from you that sometime you have not the slightess clue what you are doing yet they told you client/patient safety come first so my concern is What can we do to avoid thing you a ex e not comfortable with and keep your job at the same time
Can someone please point me in the right direction to find information about the current laws regarding pill dispensing times for nursing homes.
My mother has Parkinson and needs her medication to be given on time. When I said something about it after here medication was given an hour and a half late I was scolded and told that they
have up to two hours after the prescribed time to give the medication.
This can't be right, any way shape or form. I need official documents stating the current laws in Missouri.
Sorry to bust into this thread, I've been searching and this is the closest information I've found for what I'm looking for.
Does anyone know where you go to ask a question on this site? I can only find questions asked.
Wow. I love how you guys put down CNAs, MAs, and none certified workers to pass meds that makes it look like it's their fault that patients are messed up or overdosed. In reality, while it is true that some CNAs, MAs, and non certified workers pass meds have been given the responsibility in "some" facilities to pass meds, it is still the fault of the RNs for not making daily follow up on the conditions of the patients. RNs are still highly responsible in making due diligence for assessing the effect of medications on the patients. I have not heard CNAs, MSs, and non certified workers steal narcotic drugs from the med room....why? cause they don't have the key to the med room...only RNs have the key to the med room. Families should blame on some of the RNs for not doing their job.....doing due diligence to monitor the effect of the medications of the patients....why? cause they are licensed to do that.
Really!!. Many of the elderly have limited insurance which limits their skilled medical attention as well as what facility they can be in. The average social security check is $750 while monthly nursing home care is over $4,500 per month, and that is for the crappy homes. Medicaid how has a stipend that in many states are now paying caregivers to take care of the elderly at home- yours or theirs. Medication has always been a big deal even with the stipend caregivers. As long as the patient can administer meds to themselves you can supervise. These stipends range from $25 to $85 per day. If more people looked into this, wonder how many seniors can finally be at home with loved ones. I was one of those relatives complaining of care. The exception is that I brought mine home. Make the room. Grandkids, great-grandkids, shift work, whatever it takes. At the end of the day, the senior is suffering, wrong meds, no meds, too many meds... I would want my children to make the sacrifice for me, so I made it for my Mother. Best damn decision I ever made. Sacrificed for two years until Stipend program came my way and now I am paid to take care of my Mother. This isn't for everyone so save your negative comments for saving a whale somewhere just sharing as you all did.
In addition, I have absolutely no medical background but I can read and ask questions. Most insurance companies will not fill a script if it conflicts with side effects of other meds. Often times it starts with the doctor prescribing meds unaware of other meds prescribed by other specialists. They may know what they are, but do they have the understanding of side effects. I appreciate the insurance company aiding in checking the checker.
Dear Commutergirl, I just LOVED your answer.......and would like to interview your for an article I am writing on the subject. (I too brought my loved one home and out of a facility and it was the BEST experience ever for everyone!). How can I contact you? Stayathome
We should not ask the question “Who is qualified for dispensing medication to assisted living patients”? Instead, we should ask “How can we dispense medication in a more efficient manner to them”? One company that is revolutionizing how senior citizens receive their medication is Omnicell . Their Pharmacy Automation product line allows staff to establish more personal relationships with their respective patients. Therefore, you know that your loved ones are receiving the best possible care. Apart from medical professionals establishing more personal relationships with their respective patients, pharmacy automation also decreases human errors when dispensing medication. There is not a worse feeling when your loved one has taken the wrong dosage(or even takes the wrong medication) and suffers medical complications. Pharmacy Automation also streamlines the logistical operations of medication, which include ordering and packaging. The effect of streamlining the logistical operations of medication is that it also decreases stocking errors and increases security of controlled substances.
Instead of asking “who” we should instead ask “how” when discussing the issue of dispensing medication. The rise of technology will allow us to bring the antiquated process of dispensing medication into the modern era . It will also allow us to rebuild trust in the medical field.
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