Assisted Living Neglect Attorney: Are the Caregivers Administering Medications and Providing Rounds in Assisted Living Facilities Licensed Nurses?

May 23, 2024

No, they are not licensed nurses. Instead, they are caregivers and medication technicians whose classroom training is extremely limited. This difference in training and qualification is critical to understand to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care. When placing a loved one in an assisted living facility, ensuring they receive the highest quality of care is paramount. A common concern among families is the qualifications of the individual’s administering medications and providing daily care. Dudensing Law’s assisted living abuse lawyer provides valuable insight on who is actually administering medications and rounding on your loved ones. Stay strong; Dudensing Law is your trusted partner, here to answer any of your questions and provide valuable legal insight.

Who Are Caregivers?

Caregivers in assisted living facilities are often minimally trained laypeople who assist residents with a variety of daily tasks and activities. Caregivers undergo only 40 hours of classroom training. This training covers the basics of caregiving, such as personal hygiene, basic first aid, and safety protocols. However, it lacks the depth required for handling more complex medical situations.

Responsibilities of Caregivers

Caregivers in assisted living facilities are supposed to perform a wide range of duties. Their responsibilities can be broadly categorized into personal care, health monitoring, and emotional support.

Caregivers are supposed to help residents with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include:

  • Bathing and grooming: Ensuring residents maintain good personal hygiene.
  • Dressing: Assisting residents with choosing appropriate clothing and getting dressed.
  • Mobility: Helping residents move around the facility, whether through walking, wheelchair assistance, or the use of mobility aids.
  • Feeding: Assisting residents who have difficulty eating independently.
  • Toileting: Providing support with bathroom needs, including incontinence care.

Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer Discusses the Training and Qualifications of Caregivers

Caregivers undergo an extremely limited amount of formal training compared to licensed medical professionals. Unlike Licensed Vocational Nurses, who typically must go through 18 months of classroom training and Registered Nurses, who typically must go through 24 months of classroom training, caregivers need only be in the classroom for 40 hours. This limited training only covers fundamental caregiving skills, including:

  • Personal hygiene assistance
  • Basic first aid
  • Safety protocols
  • Effective communication techniques
  • Managing mobility aids

While this training is supposed to equip caregivers with essential skills for daily care, it does not encompass advanced medical knowledge or procedures.

Who Are Medical Technicians?

Medical technicians in assisted living facilities are staff members who are minimally trained to handle and administer medications to residents. They serve as a bridge between the healthcare professionals and the residents, and are supposed to ensure that medication management is executed efficiently and safely. However, given their limited education and training this often does not occur.

Responsibilities of Medical Technicians

Medical technicians have a range of duties centered around medication management and resident care. Their responsibilities can be categorized into medication administration, monitoring, and documentation.

Medication Administration

Medical technicians are primarily responsible for dispensing medications to residents according to the prescribed schedules. This is supposed to involve:

  • Ensuring the correct dosage
  • Administering medications at the appropriate times
  • Preparing medications for administration, which may include measuring liquid doses or cutting tablets
  • Proper documentation

Following Safety protocols and adhering to the “five rights” of medication administration:

  • The right patient
  • The right medication
  • The right dose
  • The right time
  • The right route

Assisted Living Neglect Lawyer Discusses Training and Qualifications for Medication Technicians

The training for medication technicians is significantly more limited, requiring only 8 hours of formal classroom instruction, unlike Licensed Vocational Nurses, who generally undergo 18 months of classroom training, and Registered Nurses, who typically complete 24 months of classroom training. The training for medication technicians includes basic knowledge about medications, proper administration techniques, understanding common side effects and proper documentation and record-keeping. This training is designed to equip them with the foundational knowledge needed to handle medications safely, however it does not provide the comprehensive medical education needed to fully understand the potential complexities involved in medication management.

Why Training Matters

Training is crucial in an assisted living facility as it directly impacts the quality of care and well-being of residents. The stark contrast in training hours highlights the significant differences in the qualifications and capabilities of caregivers, medication technicians, and licensed nurses. Medical doctors receive even more extensive training than nurses, further emphasizing the gap in expertise. Understanding the differences in training and qualifications among caregivers, medication technicians, and licensed nurses is vital for ensuring the best care for your loved one in an assisted living facility.

Assisted Living Abuse Attorney Discusses the Importance of Vigilance in Assisted Living Facilities

Given the limited training of caregivers and medication technicians, it is imperative for families to be vigilant about the care their loved ones receive in assisted living facilities. Understanding the qualifications and training of the individuals providing care can help you make informed decisions and advocate effectively for your loved one’s well-being. Here are some actionable steps that our assisted living neglect lawyer recommends:

Regular Communication

Maintain open lines of communication with the facility staff. Regularly check in with caregivers and medication technicians to discuss your loved one’s care and any concerns you may have.

Frequent Visits

Visit your loved one frequently to observe the care firsthand. Pay attention to their physical and emotional well-being and take note of any changes or issues.

Advocate for Higher Standards

Advocate for higher training standards for caregivers and medication technicians. Engage with facility management and express your concerns about the training and qualifications of the staff.

Recognize Signs of Neglect and Abuse

Understanding the qualifications of caregivers is just the first step. It is equally important to recognize the signs of potential neglect or abuse in assisted living facilities. Some key indicators of neglect are bed sores, weight loss, dehydration and falls, amongst others. Indicators of abuse can include unexplained injuries and fear of caregivers.

Seek Legal Advice from an Assisted Living Abuse Attorney

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse, consider seeking legal assistance from our assisted living abuse attorney. Our assisted living neglect lawyer and nursing home abuse lawyer is dedicated to the rights of residents in assisted living facilities and can help you take appropriate action.

Contact Dudensing Law Today for a Free Consultation

Navigating your loved one’s care in an assisted living facility can be complex. By understanding the role and limited training that caregivers and medication technicians undergo, you should be extremely focused on the care that your loved one receives. Be vigilant and take the steps necessary to ensure that your loved ones are cared for properly. Visit regularly, establish open lines of communication, advocate for higher standards, recognize signs of neglect and abuse and seek legal assistance from a assisted living neglect attorney when needed. You can make an impact on your loved one’s well-being during their time in an assisted living facility. Contact Dudensing Law for additional information or to talk to one of our experienced assisted living neglect attorneys!

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