A National Survey of Medication Aides: Education, Supervision, and Work Role by Work Setting

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Medication aides are unlicensed assistive personnel who administer medications. A survey was developed to provide insights into medication aide education, supervision, and work role. Items were derived by reviewing the literature and regulations. Data were analyzed by calculating percentages over all respondents, followed by breaking out data by type of work setting. In some cases, state regulations were incorporated to determine the percentage of responders who were performing tasks that regulations stated they should not perform. Survey responses varied by type of work setting; for instance, 6% in assisted living, 3% in nursing homes, 21% in other long-term care, and 10% in other facilities reported having no supervision. Also, 31% indicated they were allowed to administer as-needed medications without an assessment of the patient by a licensed nurse, and 5% indicated they were allowed to administer injectables, yet state regulations indicated they were not allowed to perform these tasks. Study implications are discussed.

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