I noticed in an assisted living facility while the RN is doing things like colostomy care and wound care, the medication aide is administering really important medications.
I’m not clear on the RN role. Is the use of medication aides taking jobs away from nurses?
Wondering About Assisted Living Nursing
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wondering About Assisted Living Nursing,
Many states have long allowed medication aides or techs, with proper training, to distribute oral medications primarily in the long-term care or chronic care environment including assisted living. They are not taking jobs away from nurses. In fact in this type of environment they are freeing up the few nurses present to provide more skilled care such as the examples you give above. Also, the RN creates plans of care and manages care along with the healthcare team in this setting. The role of the nurse may vary somewhat in each facility but it is a different role from the one an RN plays in a hospital setting.
You can learn more about this specialty through the American Assisted Living Nurses Association (http://www.alnursing.org/).