A medication aide career is often treated as a stepping stone to a more advanced nursing career. Medication aides work under the supervision of doctors and nurses who will be ultimately responsible should any adverse patient reactions occur.
Medication aide programs teach how to give medicine to patients, observe and record their reactions, and perform emergency duties. In addition to studying anatomy and physiology, students practice taking blood pressure and other vital signs. After passing the course, medication aides must pass the state test and are then placed on the Medication Aide Registry.
The medication aide certificate is valid for two years from the date issued. To maintain a valid certificate, you must complete, at any time during those two years, a program of 10 hours of continuing education approved by the certifying agency. The continuing education programs are sponsored by community colleges, vocational technical schools, adult care homes, and associations.
If your certificate has been expired for more than three years, you are required to retake the 75-hour medication aide course.
Since medication aides can be employed at health facilities with many patients who require constant care, they can gain basic nursing experience. Medication aides help nurses have more time to devote to more advanced medical duties, such as working directly with doctors, monitoring medical machines, and performing minor medical tests.