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How Do I Become a Medication Aide?

A medication aide dispenses medication to patients.
Article Details
  • Written By: A. Rohlandt
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you want to become a medication aide you should have at least a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma (GED). You may be required to become a Certified Nurse's Assistant (CNA) and to have related work experience in order to register for medication aide training. The length of study varies depending on the number of study hours required. Once you have completed the medication aide training course you will be required to pass a written exam, and in some states, a practical exam may be required as well. You will be able to work as a medication aide once you receive your license.

To become a medication aide, experts recommend taking high school subjects like math, science, and biology. These subjects are not essential but should give you a good foundation for a career in this field. Good grades are a plus, but also are not essential.

You may need to be a CNA and already working in the field to register for the training course to become a medication aide. This requirement will vary depending on your location, but in the US, for example, some states require you to not only be a CNA but to also have work related experience. The work experience requirements range from six months to two years.

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Once you qualify for training, you should register with a training institution to begin your studies. Community colleges and Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) offer programs that train you to work as a medication aide. It is best to look for a training course that is approved by a local governing body, such as the state nursing board.

The length of time required for study varies greatly from one training course to the next. Some courses require as little as 24 study hours, while others require up to 120 study hours. Most of these courses can be taken part-time, which is ideal if you are already working as a CNA. A course that includes 120 study hours takes about four months to complete, so you should check before enrolling. You may also be required to complete clinical rotation programs, but if you study part-time or online you may have to organize this yourself.

Once you have finished the training to become a medication aide, you should register for the competency exam. You will need to pass in order to become licensed and be able to work as a medication aide. The institution you trained with should be able to give you information on where and how to register for the test. It is usually given in written form, but you may be expected to pass a practical test as well, depending on your location.

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