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Should Aides be Allowed to Give Medications to Frail Seniors

Home health aides and certified nursing assistants are beginning to administer pills, injections, and oxygen to patients, as well as, managing their catheters. Frail seniors, as well as adults with disabilities, often need help with routine medical care such as taking pills, receiving injections, getting oxygen, or managing catheters. Traditionally, this assistance has been provided only by nurses. But, especially for people living at home or even in assisted living facilities, having a nurse provide this routine care is prohibitively expensive and can lead to long delays in getting assistance. As a result, states are increasingly permitting home health aides or certified nursing assistants to take on these responsibilities.

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Reducing Medication Errors: A Focus on the Med Pass

Recent studies have shed light on the growing problem of medication errors within our healthcare system. It is important that all healthcare providers be familiar with the extent of the problem, both the high error rates and the potentially serious consequences. This knowledge is needed to facilitate active participation in implementing effective strategies and changes in attitudes to decrease these error rates. Errors are in effect a breakdown of a system and not the sole responsibility of any one individual. Designed for the licensed nurse and certified medication aide, this course will provide information on the scope of problem, the cause and the prevention of medication errors. With a focus on the current best practices of medication preparation and administration this course will enhance understanding of the survey process and remedies the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may enforce. The goal is to reduce facility medication error rates in order to provide safe medication administration to residents.

This course would be excellent for survey readiness review or for facilities that have received F-tags regarding medication administration this course serves as “Plan of Correction” directed education.
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