01 Feb The Medication Aide
Continuing our look at career options for students of our classes, we’re taking a closer look at the Medication Aide class this week.
Medication Aide is one of our only classes that requires any previous training. Students must already be a licensed Certified Nurse Aide/Assistant before starting the Medication Aide class. The class is currently available in Kansas and South Dakota.
Medication Aides are authorized to pass medications to residents of nursing homes, a skill that can increase both your job options and your salary. This is in addition to Nurse Aide duties, so the work still involves a great deal of patient care beyond just passing medications.
While passing medications sounds simple there are many things a Medication Aide must know to be effective at his or her job. Along with knowing the major classes of medications and major modes of administration, Medication Aides must also be able to do mathematical computations to determine dosages and administration frequency. Medication Aides must also be very detail oriented and able to keep careful records in facility and patient files. In addition, Medication Aides must be observant. They are a doctor’s eyes and ears and spend much more time with residents than a doctor. Therefore, Medication Aides are the people who are most likely to spot an adverse reaction to medication, or to notice when a course of treatment is or is not working for a resident.
Job prospects for Medication Aides are excellent and the US Department of Labor reports that this is a field that is growing much faster than average. They anticipate up to 20% or more growth in this field between now and 2018. “Employment for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants will grow 19 percent, faster than the average for all occupations, predominantly in response to the long-term care needs of an increasing elderly population.” (source: http://www.bls.gov/oco/