Ohio Medication Aide Certification Program

At LeaderStat, we have the privilege of working closely with long-term care staff and senior living organizations every day. Over the past few years, we’ve had an inside view of the different challenges that face both healthcare employees and organizations as they manage hefty workloads all while staying passionately dedicated to the well-being of their senior residents. Through this vantage point, we’ve discovered a way that we can help.

In order to further serve as a workforce solutions partner, LeaderStat is now offering a Medication Aide Certification Program (MAC-P). This program will bring several key benefits to your team and organization, and we’re excited to partner with you to solve some of your most pressing issues. In order to determine if this program is right for you and your team, we’ve gathered all of the information you need to know.

What Is The Medication Aide Certification (MA-C) Program And Who Qualifies To Become A Med Aide?
The Medication Aide Certification Program, approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing, allows current Ohio STNAs to obtain their certification to administer medications in nursing centers in Ohio. The course will be taught by an RN Clinical Instructor and allows students to have extensive course and clinical work to prepare them to step into their role right away upon certification.

In order for an STNA to qualify for the program, they must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass an approved training program
  • Have passed both the written and skills portions of State Testing
  • Have their application approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing 

Additional requirements based on facility type:

Nursing Home

  • Must first be an STNA

Residential Care Facility (RCF) or Assisted Living

  • Must have at least one year of direct care experience in an RCF, no STNA certification required

What Job Duties Can a Medication Aide Perform?
A Certified Med Aide will have their tasks delegated by their supervising LPN or RN. This allows both roles to act together to provide care but reduces the individual workload, helping to ensure high-quality care. In addition to passing medication, Med Aides will also monitor resident conditions, document and report any condition changes, monitor for any drug reactions, assist in providing daily care needs, gather specimen samples when needed, and work collaboratively with their supervising nurse to provide care safely. At the direction of an LPN or RN, Med Aides can administer the following:

  • Oral medications
  • Topical medications
  • Nasal sprays, drops, or ointment to a resident's eye, ear, or nose
  • Rectal and vaginal medications
  • Inhalants dispensed by inhalers, nebulizers, or aerosols that allow for a single dose of a fixed, pre-measured amount of medication

What are the Benefits of having Certified Medication Aides on staff?
Administering medication to senior residents is one of the most important pieces of care in a nursing home, and the process is time-consuming. Med Aides can focus on this task, which frees up nurses to do the most important parts of their job and allows for better quality care all-around. Here are some of the ways that Medication Aides bring huge benefits to your team:

  • Staff Retention and Morale
    One of the best ways to encourage employee retention is for employers to show their staff that they are valued. This means investing in your team in ways that provide them with professional and personal opportunities. It also means providing relief from heavy workloads. Medication Aide certification programs offer STNAs an opportunity to further their skills, which could mean higher earning potential and better opportunities in their future. Without a Med Aide certification, STNAs don’t have a lot of opportunity for career development without going to school to become a nurse, and many STNAs either can’t afford the cost of schooling or want to stay in their role where they feel they are able to excel. The LeaderStat Medication Aide Certification Program offers STNAs and direct care staff a career path where there may not be one otherwise.

    Offering MA-C to STNAs can also have a profound impact on nurses. Once an STNA has been certified, nurses can then delegate medication distribution to the Med Aide, which frees up their time to focus on nursing and care for their residents. This allows nurses to get back to the most important parts of their job, alleviating the stresses of being pulled in different directions. It is no secret that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have experienced extreme
    cases of burnout which affects not only their professional life, but their personal life. Investing in your direct care staff with an MA-C is a big step forward in helping nurses recover from or avoid burnout altogether.

    Having Med Aides on staff encourages the direct care team to work collaboratively, which is a great way to improve employee morale. As both groups (Med Aides and nurses) work to achieve the same goals, communication becomes part of the routine. This creates an atmosphere of teamwork, whereas nurses and STNAs may not have to work together so closely when functioning without Med Aides. Having a close-knit team creates more avenues for support and learning, better team structures, and a positive work environment.
  • Decreased Error Rates
    Staffing Medication Aides that are solely focused on passing meds to senior residents has shown to be an extremely effective way to decrease medication error rates. Since Med Aides can stay focused on the task at hand without being pulled away to take care of nursing duties, medications can be administered more quickly and much more accurately.
  • Better Job Performance
    Having Med Aides take care of distributing medications, while floor nurses focus on nursing, creates multiple avenues to improve overall quality of care. Studies show that organizations who have implemented Med Aides have:

                      - improved nursing assessments
                      - decreased return to hospital rates
                      - improved admission and discharge processes
                      - better survey outcomes.

    Additionally, Med Aides can help with staffing coverage which ensures that processes don’t come to a halt when a team member can’t make their shift. At the forefront, the results paint a clear picture of the benefits that organizations reap from having Med-Aides, but ultimately, it shows that senior residents are receiving higher quality care as well.

  • Financial Relief
    Long-Term Care (LTC) organizations have shown that having Medication Aides on staff alleviates financial burdens in several areas. Since nurses can focus on their primary duties with Med Aides on staff, there is often a decrease in nurse overtime hours. Med Aides have versatile skills that enable them to cover staffing shortages, which helps to eliminate the need for agency staff. Further, hiring more MA-Cs than nurses ensures that your organization isn’t paying a nurse salary solely for medication passes.
  • Higher Resident and Family Satisfaction
    With all of the ways that Med Aides bring benefits to your organization, it’s easy to see how this can impact senior residents in positive ways. Resident health outcomes benefit from having nurses that are focused on the care of their patients. Nurses have more time to stay in close communication with family members, keeping them informed of changes and important information. Nurses are also better able to spend the time with each resident that is necessary to form more personal relationships, establish trust, and create a personal, individualized care plan. The benefits come full circle as your team receives the support they need, which in turn makes residents and families happier, and finally improves your organization’s profitability and ratings.

If you’re ready to have your STNA staff certified as Medication Aides, LeaderStat is here to help! Our knowledgeable Consulting team is now offering a Medication Aide Certification Program and will be happy to work alongside you to prepare your team for the future.

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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.