Friday, April 16, 2010

Medication Aide Study Guides: No increase in med errors associated with Med Aides

Medication Aide Study Guides: No increase in med errors associated with Med Aides

No increase in med errors associated with Med Aides

Medication Aides are a fairly new phenomenon to North Carolina. The first pilot program was in 2007 and proved that Med Aides are a safe and reliable adjunct to nursing care in Long Term Care facilities.

Multiple studies have been conducted by various states. Comprehensive research done by Illinois and New Mexico have shown Med Aides make the same or fewer med errors than LPN's and RN's.

Studies have found that Med Aides make errors for the same reasons that nurses do. Mainly having too much to do with too many distractions. Med errors were shown to occur in direct correlation to the number of interuptions and distractions that occured during the med pass.

These studies prove that decreasing distractions and interruptions should be of the utmost importance. Med Aides could provide the answer.

Imagine having at least 1 CNA per shift that is also a Med Aide and ready to step in and take over the med pass. Imagine being able to free up the nurse to deal immediately with the pressing issues- with the focus and concentration it deserves. And the Med Pass also gets the focus and concentration IT deserves!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 10 List of Medication Administration

This information is intended as educational material for Med Aides and Med Techs in nc. healthcare training programs for med aides preparing for the nc med aide test.
This Top 10 list is applicable to LPN and RN programs as well. Anyone who passes medications would benefit from an occasional "inservice" in Medication Administration. As a Med Aide Instructor, I created this Top 10 List to assist students in understanding the critical issues to be considered when giving meds.

Top 10 List of Medication Administration

#1 The Six Rights: Our patients are protected by the 6 rights of Medication Administration. All patients are guaranteed these rights. All the time. Without exception. These guaranteed rights are:
1. The Right Patient ( Jane Doe )
2. The Right Medication ( furosemide )
3. The Right Dose ( 10mg )
4. The Right Route ( PO )
5. The Right Time ( 0600 )
6. The Right Documentation ( Put your initials next to everything you give )

#2 The 3 checks: As nurses, Med Techs, and Med Aides, we are the last safety check before a potentially harmful medication and the patient. These checks are performed before each medication given.
1. You first check the medication when you remove it from storage.
2. The second check is done before you remove it from its container.
3. The third check is done before you return the medication to storage.

#3 No Interruptions. It is crucial to pay attention. If you are distracted, you will not notice the critical information needed to avoid a dangerous mistake. No phones. No earpieces.

#4 HIPPA standards should always be observed. The Right to Privacy is the patient’s seventh Right. Protect your patients’ privacy. The Right to Privacy is a Federal Law.

#5 Integrity. Patients and their families are trusting us to be careful and thoughtful about giving them potentially harmful meds. It’s what makes our job so important. Nurses, Med Aides, and Med Techs promise that when we take responsibility for their meds, we will always do the right thing. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one can see you.

#6 Wash your Hands. This simple step is the best way to prevent infection from spreading patient to patient, staff to patient, and staff to staff. It is everyone’s job to prevent infection.

#7 Observation. Med Aides and Med Techs are the eyes and ears of the nurse. Observe your patient for anything out of the ordinary for that patient. Make sure they are capable of taking the meds safely. Observe the patient take the medication. Never leave any meds in the room.

#8 Maintain a clean work area. Just as hand washing prevents the spread of infection, keeping your cart and the Medication Administration Record clean prevent contamination of the medicine you are preparing. Nothing you have put your lips on should be on top of your cart. No drinks or food should be where you are pouring meds.

#9 Question everything. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Stop what you’re doing and figure it out, before any harm comes to the patient. It’s OK to ask questions. No one expects you to know everything. That’s why we have each other.

#10 Report everything. People are not fired for making mistakes. People are fired for covering up mistakes. Remember that as Med Aides and Med Techs, you are observing for the nurse. Report anything unusual or different about the patient.

It's always alot more work when you first begin a job, but if you stick to the above tips, you'll be safe. We have to make sure that what we do is going to help and not harm our patients. Above all else, Do No Harm. For more information on Medication Administration