Certified Medication Aides (CMA) – also known as Certified Medication Technicians, MedTechs, and MedAides, play an important role in patient care. Below we share an overview of what a Certified Medication Aide does and what the different qualifications are to become a Certified Medication Aide in specific states in the U.S.
What is a Certified Medication Aide?
Certified Medication Aides, Certified Medication Technicians, MedTechs, and MedAides are Certified Nursing Assistants who have completed additional training that allows them to give medications to patients, or to support patient self-administration of medication.
Certified Medication Aides work in hospitals and health facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. In some states CMAs perform the same patient care duties as CNAs as well as give medications.
What do Certified Medication Aides do*?
Certified Medication Aides are responsible for providing patients with their medications, ensuring that the correct medications are given at the right time, and making sure that the correct dosage of each medication is given. They also must make sure that medications are delivered the correct way – for example, with food or with water.
CMAs, Certified Medication Technicians, MedTechs, and MedAides must document each of the medications they administer (recording both dosages and times given), guide patients on how to take medications properly, and report any patient changes or adverse reactions to the supervising RN or physician.
Outside of administering medications, CMAs also play a vital role in medication management by collaborating with the pharmacy to ensure medication availability and by performing medication cart audits. CMAs also monitor patients and communicate with providers, nurses, and leadership regarding any changes observed in patient condition. They may also gather patient samples for analysis.
As frontline team members, CMAs may be invited to care plan and interdisciplinary meetings. Lastly, CMAs may respond to patient incidents and (with proper certification) administer CPR and first aid if needed.
Extreme attention to detail, timeliness, communication, and astute observation skills are necessary to be a CMA. Like every nursing professional, excellent interpersonal skills and a desire to help people are essential skills for success as a CMA.
*The job actions above are examples. Be sure to check with your state board of nursing/regulatory body for the full scope of practice for medication aides in your state. As always, be sure to check the specific job description in the location you plan to work for more details.
How can you become a Certified Medication Aide in your state?
Every state in the U.S. has their own specific requirements for how to become a Certified Medication Aide. In many states, you must be a Certified or State Tested Nursing Assistant (CNA/STNA) first, with a required number of months or years of CNA/STNA experience stipulated by the respective state board of nursing.
Usually, states also require that candidates have a high school diploma or GED and that they are at least 18 years old to become a Certified Medication Aide, Certified Medication Technician, MedTech, or MedAide.
“MedTech” or “MedAide” certification, as it is commonly referred to, is needed to become a CMA, after training and working as a CNA/STNA. Each state has slightly different requirements to become a Certified Medication Aide. Generally speaking, you must have completed a minimum number of hours working as a CNA, complete a CMA certification course, and pass a state board exam. In most states the board of nursing oversees the CMA licensure/certification process.
Not every state utilizes the CMA option in skilled nursing facilities. If your state is not listed below, the option for working as a CMA may not be utilized at this time.
State-by-State Requirements to Become a Certified Medication Aide**
**Note: The links here are for convenience, however for the most accurate and current information, please contact your state board of nursing.
How to become a Medication Assistant, Certified: https://www.abn.alabama.gov/mac/
How to become a Medication Assistant: https://www.azbn.gov/education/licensed-health-aide-medication-and-nursing-assistant-programs
How to become a Caregiver: https://www.intelycare.com/locations/az/phoenix/nursing/cna/caregiver-certification-training/
- IntelyCare has partnered with the Arizona Medical Training Institute (AZMTI), which provides a discounted Caregiver Certification that is available exclusively to IntelyPros. Caregivers and Medication Techs at Assisted Living Facilities can do everything hospital CNAs can, as well as administer scheduled medications and perform some treatments.
How to become a Medication Assistant, Certified: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/asbn-medication-assistants-certified
How to become a Medication Aide: https://dpo.colorado.gov/Nursing/CNAApplications
How to become a Limited Lay Administrator of Medications: https://dhss.delaware.gov/ddds/files/llammanual3.pdf
How to become a Certified Medication Aide: https://www.mmis.georgia.gov/portal/ResourceProxy.aspx?iCProxyTo=MS1BdHRhY2htZW50cy9DTUFGQVFzL0NNQSUyMEZBUSUyMFJldmlzZWQlMjBKYW4lMjAyMDIyLnBkZg==
How to become a Medication Assistant, Certified: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title54/t54ch14/sect54-1406a/
How to become a Medication Aide: https://idfpr.illinois.gov/Renewals/apply/forms/Medi%20Aide.pdf
How to become a Qualified Medication Aide: https://www.in.gov/health/long-term-carenursing-homes/qualified-medication-aide/how-do-i-become-a-qma/
How to become a Kentucky Medication Aide: https://nurseaide.kctcs.edu/kma/index.aspx
How to become a Medication Aide, Certified: https://ldh.la.gov/page/3794
How to become a Certified Residential Medication Aide: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/dlc/cna-registry/frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=Maine’s%20approved%20training%20program%20requires,%2Dof%2Dstate%20CNA%20training
How to become a Certified Medicine Aide: https://mbon.maryland.gov/Pages/medaide-factsheet-1.aspx
How to become a Certified Medication Technician: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/become-map-certified
***This certification is for behavioral health and developmental delay inpatient/intermediate care facilities, not long-term care facilities.
How to become a Medication Admin: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/4658.1360/
How to become a Certified Medication Technician: https://health.mo.gov/safety/cnaregistry/cmt.php#:~:text=An%20individual%20must%20successfully%20compete,Medication%20Technician%20(CMT)%20Registry
How to become a Medication Aide: https://boards.bsd.dli.mt.gov/nursing/license-information/medication-aide-I
How to become a Medication Aide: https://dhhs.ne.gov/licensure/Pages/medication-aide.aspx
How to become a Medication Aide – Certified: https://casetext.com/statute/nevada-revised-statutes/title-54-professions-occupations-and-businesses/chapter-632-nursing/medication-aides-certified/section-632292-qualifications-of-applicant-for-certificate-certification-by-endorsement-issuance-of-certificate
How to become a Medication Nursing Assistant: https://www.oplc.nh.gov/medication-nursing-assistant-programs
How to become a Certified Medication Aide: https://www.nj.gov/health/healthfacilities/certification-licensing/certified-medication-aide/
How to become a Medication Aide: https://nmbon.sks.com/certified-medication-aide-programs.aspx
How to become a Medication Assistant: https://services.ndnar.org/lic/ma/apply/
How to become a Certified Medication Aide: https://nursing.ohio.gov/licensing-certification-ce/medication-aides/#:~:text=To%20become%20certified%20in%20Ohio,requirements%20to%20obtain%20a%20certificate
How to become a Certified Medication Technician: https://web.uri.edu/osi/programs/state-approved-training-program-in-drug-administration-med-tech-pad002/
How to become a Medication Aide: https://doh.sd.gov/boards/nursing/UMAregistration.aspx
How to become a Medication Aide: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/healthprofboards/nursing/applications/Medication%20Aide%20Certification%20Application.pdf
How to become a Medication Aide: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/808341.pdf
How to become a Medication Aide: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Boards/Nursing/EducationPrograms/ProspectiveStudents/MedicationAideTrainingPrograms/
How to become a Medication Assistant: https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=18.88A.082
How to become an Approved Medication Assistive Personnel: https://ohflac.wvdhhr.org/Programs/AM.html
How to become a Medication Aide: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/regulations/nh/medaides-requirements.htm