I am a CNA, and my employer wants me to administer medications. I am not trained to do this and am uncomfortable with the situation. What can I do?

By | 2022-02-11T11:09:20-05:00 September 9th, 2009|2 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am a CNA who works at an assisted living facility in Illinois. Management recently has decided to have the caregivers or CNAs “med remind” the residents. My employer is using the correct verbage, but we are doing far more than med reminding the patient. I have refused thus far because I was not trained to administer medications, eye/ear drops, or wound care in CNA class or clinical.

Everywhere I turn, someone is telling me that this practice is wrong and that I should not administer medications of any kind because it goes against my certification.

I am fully prepared to hand in my resignation today and find other employment. However, I will make it clear that what they are doing is wrong and that I have called the Illinois Department of Public Health to make them aware of the situation. What are your thoughts?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Sam,

I am not an expert on the laws in Illinois. However, I believe, as you indicate, that CNAs can do only medication reminders in certain facilities such as assisted living. If you are unclear about that, check with the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling 217-782-4977 and get a definitive answer. If your employer is asking you to do more than that, it would be in your best interest to state that it is not an allowable practice for a CNA in Illinois and start looking for employment elsewhere.

Best wishes,


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  1. Avatar
    Taylor October 11, 2019 at 7:05 am - Reply

    I work in an assisted living and we are as CNAs and stna’s administer the medication. I believe as long as they are pre-packaged where you can put them in a medicine cup and you are able to.

    • Avatar
      Stefanie Stewart September 6, 2020 at 9:10 am - Reply

      as long as your nurse places in medicine cup and is present, u should be fine. Take them wanting u to dispense meds as a compliment. If you were not a competent employee that they trust, u would have probably not even been asked.pursue further eduacation and u will have some experience and be one step above your future classmates. You obviously kickass at your job, and think u can handle more responsibility. Ask for a raise and eduacation grant from your employer asapqq, and ask to have nurse present when u do have to give meds.

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