What is a Certified Medication Aide?

Those who are already Home Health Aide might be interested in becoming a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) so as to advance in their career.

A CMA is a person who has passed the Medication Aide Certification Examination (MACE).

This means that they are well educated and trained to provide medication assistance to patients who are disabled.

They can be found working in a hospital, home, or long-term care facility.

The main duties of a CMA are to help manage patients’ supplies of medications and monitor patients for signs of any unfavorable reactions to medicine.

Certified Medication Aide Description

We consider it important to mention that becoming a CMA can only bring benefits to a Home Health Aide’s (HHA) career.

If you get this certification, you will be legally allowed to handle a patient’s medications and give them to the patient.

Patients who are at home frequently have difficulties in caring for themselves, and having the right to handle someone else’s drugs will open you a number of new job opportunities.

You will not only get more work but once you belong to those with a CMA certification you can earn more money per year and per hour than other HHAs or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who do not possess additional certification.

Prerequisites for CMAs

The prerequisites for CMA would highly depend on the state where you plan to work.

In the majority of states, a person must first become a CNA or certified HHA and only then will be allowed to attend an endorsed CMA training course as well as take the MACE.

However, there are states where only a high school diploma or GED is necessary before becoming a CMA.

The MACE is managed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which means that the exam is the same across the United States.

The MACE tests will examine the applicant’s basic pharmaceutical knowledge, bedside manner, and methods for handling drugs and monitoring patients for reactions.

When prerequisite experience and education needed before taking the MACE are in question, it differs by state and the state’s nursing board determines the requirements.

We would like to mention the state of Texas, where  100 hours of classroom education, 20 hours of simulated clinical experience and other lab training, and 10 hours of real clinical experience under the supervision of an instructor are obligatory so as to be allowed to sit for the MACE.

Oregon demands a similar set of skills, but only 84 hours of training.

Checking the requirements for taking the MACE for your state is important before starting to prepare for the test.

The NCSBN provides a list of training programs on their official website.

Job Outlook

The increasing number of older people who need personal care causes that the job outlook for home health aides, particularly CMAs is strong.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected that this field grows by over 20 percent by 2020.

Salaries may differ depending on the region, experience, responsibilities, and the patients, but the average salary of a Certified Medication Aide is between $21,000 and $30,000 per year.


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