hha giving medication

Home Health Aides Could Soon Be Giving Out Medications

Home health aides play a critical role in patient care by assisting with medication administration, under strict regulatory guidelines and proper training.

Learn about the specific conditions under which home health aides can administer medications, including non-hazardous oral, topical, and in some cases, rectal medications, as permitted by state regulations and healthcare agency policies.

Older adults, specifically those with disabilities, often require help with standard daily medical care, such as taking medication, receiving insulin, breathing, or using a colostomy bag. Historically, this assistance used to be provided by the nursing staff.

But, people at home or anywhere in an assisted living facility, a nurse residing on site offers routine healthcare is often too costly and can result in long waiting for assistance. This often leads states (like ) to allow home health aides (HHA) and certified nursing assistants (CNA) to perform these duties.

This change is particularly controversial among the nurses who may be upset by it. It will save resources and provide free-up RNs to give specialty care to those not so badly off, enabling many elderly patients to live at home instead of moving into a nursing home.

There’s also growing evidence that when aides receive training and supervisors that are adequate, they can improve the quality of care which their patients receive.

Why is that?

In part because nurses can only administer medication legally, many aides dispense it even off the books and without adequate training.

An RN in commonly charges anywhere from $40 to $50 per hour. There are simply too many people who can barely pay for this cost. In contrast, a home health care aide hired through an agency costs anywhere from $20 to $30 an hour.

Similarly, while there are shortages of primary care doctors in many areas of the country, physicians (as well as nurses, physician assistants and home health aides) have a lot more work than they used to have in general. Is it really the best use of their time to see someone very far away only to administer medication.

In the future of the healthcare industry, nursing aides will engage in a much larger set of responsibilities, ranging from managing patients at risk of hospitalization and administering medication.

It is inevitable that health professionals will continue carrying out sound maintenance. It’s largely beneficial to them and their patients that they adhere to these procedures properly. More states should adopt these requirements.

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