Online Classes for Aspiring Medication Aides
Medication aides usually work in residential health care facilities. Explore what you'd learn in an online medication aide training class. Check the requirements for entering this career field, which vary state-by-state but typically include licensure or certification. Review the certification process for medication aides. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Are There Online Classes for Medication Aides?
Courses specifically in medication aide may be available online, on campus or a combination of both. They are typically offered as refresher or continuing education classes for individuals already working in a related position. The course itself is typically short with some as little as 75 hours of instruction, while others range up to 144 hours.
What Will I Learn?
In an online medication aide course, you'll likely spend time in both the classroom and in the field. You'll gain a basic understanding of how to classify medications, follow administration protocols and process medication orders. You'll also learn about your ethical and legal responsibilities as part of a medical team.
What Are the Requirements?
You'll have to check with your state's regulatory agencies for specific educational and training requirements for enrollment in the class. Typical prerequisites include the ability to speak English and a minimum number of work experience hours. Many states test to make sure you're free of communicable diseases and meet the physical requirements to administer medications. Programs also require proof of basic life support certification. Often, you must currently be employed by a licensed care facility to enroll in programs.
In some cases, you'll need to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) to enroll in a medication aide training program. If you've worked as an unlicensed direct care staff member in a licensed care facility the CNA requirement may be waived in lieu of work experience. Once you've received state credentials as a medication aide, you might be required to renew annually or biannually. Continuing education is sometimes necessary, too.
How Do I Become Certified?
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) offers the Medication Aide Certification Examination. This examination was first made available in January 2010. At that time, 32 states didn't have any licensing or registration programs (www.ncsbn.org). The NCSBN website provides a list of current medication aide training programs in 17 states.
The certification test is computer-based and proctored by a NCSBN-contracted testing vendor. The questions are based on the medication aide curriculum model established by NCSBN. Subject areas include medication disposal, types of medication and medication safety.
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