Medication Aide

How to Become a Certified Medication Aide

Venice Nuyda
Aug 8, 2023
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Do you want to the healthcare field but do not want to spend several years studying? If so, then being a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) might be the path for you! CMAs are professionals that completed training so they can give medications to patients.

Medication Aides play an important role in checking patient health. They do this by giving medications to several patients on time. Doing these tasks frees up duties for other staff–making them the key to efficiency! If this sounds promising to you, learn about getting certified through this article.

The role of a certified medication aide

Their ultimate role is to assist the licensed nurses (RN or LPN/LVN) in delivering safe care for patients. That is through administering prescribed drugs and doing other nursing tasks. Their duties may vary depending on the healthcare setting and state regulations. These are some common duties they need to fulfill:

  • Medication Administration. They give medications to patients based on the advised dosage and schedule. They give them through the appropriate routes (oral, topical, or inhalation).
  • Medication Documentation. They document medication administration. This includes the time, dosage, and any relevant observations or side effects.
  • Medication Management. They assist in the management of medication supplies. Such as ordering medicines, storing them, and disposing of expired ones. They may also track medication inventory and report any shortages.
  • Observing and Reporting. Medication Aides observe patients for any adverse reactions to medications. They report any concerns to the supervising healthcare professional.
  • Patient Education and Support. They provide information and guidance about medication use and the importance of adherence. They may answer questions and promote patient understanding.
  • Collaboration with Healthcare Team. They collaborate in the development and implementation of medication plans with other professionals.

CMAs work in different healthcare facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. They may also work in a clinic setting, where they work with other medical practitioners.

In some states, they perform the same duties as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). The metros that hire the most CMAs are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston.

The criterion for becoming a certified medication aide

In some states, a CMA is also known as a QMAP (Qualified Medication and Administration Person). Your state may have a specific amount of experience needed to be a CMA. Check this on your state board of nursing.

To receive a medication aide certification, you possibly must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete a medication aide training accredited by your state
  • Complete a minimum number of hours working as a CNA/STNA

Usually, your state board of nursing oversees the certification and licensure process. Each state has slightly different requirements to become a CMA. Not every state utilizes the CMA option (as some states refer to a similar role as QMAP).

Background checks are an essential component of the certification process. By doing so, facilities and regulatory bodies can verify the character of applicants. This includes screening for criminal records and confirming the absence of any criminal history.

You won’t get certified unless you pass the state board exam for medication aides. This exam is crucial in the certification process. The exam is designed to assess the candidate's competency in medication administration. 

How to prepare for the state certification exam

Obtaining certification requires the development and practice of essential skills. These skills will cut you above the other applicants when you are already looking for employment. Here are some important skills to focus on when preparing for certification:

  • Medication Administration. This equips you with the necessary knowledge to ensure the safe administration of medications.
  • Communication. This is the key to transferring accurate medication-related information.
  • Pharmacology. Guarantees you have comprehensive knowledge in understanding medications and their components.
  • Observation and Assessment. It enables you to detect changes in patient conditions promptly.
  • Professionalism. Shows that you can deliver ethical care while upholding your company values.

Now you need to study and practice the practical skills to ace your state exam.  By dedicating time and effort to practice and study, you’ll refine your knowledge. This prepares you for the most crucial step in this process. You can watch YouTube videos about the skills and use practice tests online. 

Final Thoughts

Even if your state might not need you to, employers generally prefer applicants with certifications. Obtaining that certification opens a whole lot of career opportunities under your name. Here at Dreambound, we offer amazing classes that route you to certification afterward. We value your long-term career advancement, and we are confident in your capabilities!

Written by
Venice Nuyda

Venice Nuyda is a student-support representative at Dreambound. She is responsible for helping students through their training journey in the allied health space. She is passionate about helping others and writing informative articles to aid candidates in advancing their vocational careers.

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