Medication Aide Certification – Overview
A medication aide certification is essential if you plan to become a certified medication aide (CMA). A CMA is similar to a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and is responsible for administering drugs and overall patient care. If you want to become a professional, then here’s how to get your medication aide certification.
What is a Certified Medication Aide (CMA)?
A certified medication aide is a type of certified nursing aide who is trained to administer medication to patients in hospitals and clinics. CMAs can also substitute for nursing assistant duties, such as complete patient care. This is an entry-level role that enables you to create a fruitful career in the healthcare industry.
What Does a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) Do?
A certified medication aide is a licensed medical professional who is trained to dispense medical drugs in all types of healthcare facilities. These professionals work in clinics, assisted living facilities, correctional homes, intermediate care institutions and hospitals.
The CMA usually works under the supervision of an RN (Registered Nurse) at a healthcare service provider. They administer medications and oral drugs to patients regularly and monitor dosage levels and the use of medication.
Below are listed some of the common responsibilities of working as a certified medication aide (CMA):
- Gather samples for laboratory analysis
- Check the quantity of medication dosage and frequency/regularity of use
- Team up with the nursing team to handle overall patient care and medication
- Dispense non-prescription and prescription medicines to patients
- Alert supervisors of any significant change in the patient’s condition from the medication
- Educate and advise patients to comply with doctor’s instructions on the correct medication
- Follow health regulations to ensure optimal patient and staff safety
How to Become a Certified Medication Aide (CMA)?
The following steps are necessary to become a certified medication aide (CMA):
1 – Complete your education
As with other medical professions, becoming a medication aide does not require you to earn a bachelor’s degree to earn certification. Instead, you can complete basic education, such as a GED or high school diploma. Besides this, you need to be over 18 years old to apply for a CMA certification.
2 – Get a CNA Certification
As stated previously, a medication aide is a certified nursing assistant who is trained to administer medication. You should, therefore, get a CNA qualification before applying for a medication aide training program. Numerous community colleges and medical schools offer courses to become a CNA, which usually takes around 6-12 weeks to complete. A CNA certification will train you in effective communication and patient care.
3 – Get a CMA Certification
It takes around 4 months to complete a CMA certification course and earn your license to practice. You will also need to show at least 140 hours of clinical practice during this training period, which is an essential requirement for the CMA certification.
In many states, those who pursue CMA certification need to pass an examination to get their license. Once you receive the license, you can find employment to administer medication at any healthcare facility. However, it is important to choose a good medication aide training program to ensure you are ready for the certification exam.
Some of the most important topics that a CMA certification course should offer are:
- Medication – Types of medications, their interactions and potential side effects
- Legal, ethical and regulatory norms relating to administering medication to patients
- Record-keeping and communication in the healthcare team
- Safe administration and control of medication
Remember, the specific details of a certification training program may vary depending on the state or region you live in.
4 – Get clinical experience
The majority of CMA training programs include significant hands-on experience. You should take every opportunity during training to gain industrial experience. Most employers need at least a year of industry experience in this field to consider candidates for a CMA job. Having sufficient industrial experience proves to employers that you have the ability and skills to handle responsibilities relating to a medication aide’s role. During the training, you should also find ways to acquire skills that are crucial for a successful career in the healthcare industry. This way, you will have noticeable experience in medical and pharmacological terminology.
5 – Apply for a medication aide’s job
Once you have acquired the relevant certification and training, you can apply for a job as a CMA at any hospital, nursing home, long-term care facility, rehabilitation facility, assisted living center, correctional facility, and medical research facility.
According to experts, you can improve your chances of a successful career as a CMA if you emphasize your skills and knowledge of patient care procedures, etc.
A medication aide certification allows you to become a certified medication aide (CMA), a type of certified nursing aide (CNA) who is trained to administer medication. You will need to earn the right certification and license to practice, along with relevant clinical experience, before applying for a job as a licensed CMA at a healthcare, correctional or rehabilitation facility.