MEDICATION ASSISTANTS AS ALTERNATIVE TO NURSE STAFFING SHORTAGE IN NURSING HOMES

MEDICATION ASSISTANTS AS ALTERNATIVE TO NURSE STAFFING SHORTAGE IN NURSING HOMES

With the underlying effects of nursing crisis, licensed nurse aides are now trained to administer medications and to substitute nurse staffing shortage in nursing homes.

In an article, certified nurse aides trained as medication assistants can be a workable alternative, as stated in a pilot study detailed in the Annals of Long Term Care.

The Washington State has a 5-year-old law authorizing certified medication assistants, or MA-Cs, to administer certain medications to nursing home residents under the direction of a registered nurse.

Previous research found no significant changes in medication error rates when medication techs were in use, and this program set out to define what would happen to staffing costs after using medication assistants who earned specialized training through the Geriatric Interest Group of Spokane.

As reported by the researchers, associated with five different nursing homes, the program improved medication error rates, along with staff satisfaction, rehospitalization, signal minor response and fall rates, all without costing the test home significantly more in salaries.

The model was tested in a 50-bed long term care unit, employing nursing assistants who had at least three years of experience, limited absences, affirmative attitude and are emotionally mature. Trainees saw their pay rise to $16 hourly, at the midpoint between the facility's average rate for CNAs and LPNs. Each received 104 hours of training before being qualified for medication administration.

Based on the positive findings, the Geriatric Interest Group plans to test the pilot at three more nursing homes in 2018.

 

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LINK SOURCE:

https://www.mcknights.com/news/study-medication-assistants-can-help-nursing-homes-during-a-nurse-staffing-crunch/article/773684/

 

Note: The foregoing article is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in part or entirety without advance written permission. For permissions or editorial corrections, contact: Ms. Kelsey Hanna, khanna@EruditeNursing.education

 

 

 

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