How Long Does It Take To Become a Medication Aide

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If becoming a Medication Aide has captured your interest, it's natural to wonder about the time commitment involved. Worry not! Our blog post is here to guide you, shedding light on the duration required to step into this vital role. Buckle up as we explore the path together!

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What is a Medication Aide?

Before we dive into the timeframe, let's briefly discuss what a Medication Aide (MA) does. MAs are also known as Medication Technicians or Medication Assistants. They assist registered nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in administering patient medications. They are crucial in healthcare settings, ensuring patients receive their medications accurately and safely.

To learn more about the responsibilities and duties of a MA, feel free to check out our blog post: What is a Medication Aide?

How long is the course?

‍The duration of the MA training course can vary depending on the program and the state where you live. On average, the training can range from six to twelve weeks. A training program typically includes the following:

  • 100 hours of classroom instruction and training;

  • 20 hours of returned skills demonstration laboratory;

  • 10 hours of clinical experience, and

  • 10 hours in a return skills demonstration laboratory.

The clinical experience involves observation and skills demonstration. MAs do these under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse in a facility. The course provides aspiring MAs with the knowledge and skills to carry out their responsibilities effectively. The training covers medication administration, dosage calculations, documentation, and patient safety.

Certain states may have different training guidelines to complete, and not all states require a course or certification to work. Some courses may be shorter if being a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a prerequisite. Check your state requirements to ensure you are taking the appropriate steps to become an MA.

Where can I find classes?

If you're ready to become an MA, you must find a reputable training program. Dreambound offers a comprehensive directory of medication aide certification classes. Finding a program that suits your needs is more accessible. You can also explore available career options and sign up for your best interest.

Depending on your preference and availability, you can choose between in-person and hybrid (online and in-person) classes. Many training providers offer flexible schedules, including morning and evening classes. This is to accommodate individuals with different commitments.

When enrolling in a MA training program, meeting specific requirements is essential. Typically, you must have the following:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent,

  • Be at least 18 years old,

  • And pass a background check.

Obtaining a CNA certification is often a prerequisite for aspiring MAs in most states, along with working experience. Typically, you can pursue MA certification approximately six months into your CNA career. Some programs may also need CPR certification, so be sure to check the specific requirements of your chosen program.

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Timeframe for the exams

Once you have completed your MA training, you may take a certification exam to get your license. The timeframe for the exams can vary, but on average, you can expect the following:

  1. Registration: Upon registration, you must apply and pay the required fees. You can complete the registration process within a week or two.

  2. Exam Results: The exam usually consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. It covers your knowledge of accurate and safe drug therapy.  Depending on the state, you may receive your results immediately or up to two weeks after completing the test. 

  3. Certification: Upon passing the exam, you will receive your Medication Aide certification. This certification demonstrates your competency and allows you to work as a MA legally.

Various certifying organizations conduct the MA certification exams. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) are common. These organizations ensure that MAs meet the necessary standards and possess the knowledge and skills to become effective MAs.

Final Thoughts

Becoming an MA is an admirable career choice, offering the opportunity to impact patients' lives positively. While the duration of the training and certification process may vary, the fulfillment and rewarding nature of the profession makes the journey worthwhile.

The time it takes to become a Medication Aide can vary depending on state requirements and the individual's circumstances. Generally, Medication Aide training programs can range from a few weeks to a few months.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the timeframe of becoming an MA. Remember to choose a reputable training program, stay committed to your studies, and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Best of luck on your path to becoming a Medication Aide!

Fel Gonzaga
Written by
Fel Gonzaga

Fel is a student support representative who guides enrollees to the right program and answers their queries. She's committed to helping students and takes pride in her work. In her free time, she enjoys sightseeing and hanging out with loved ones.

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