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Online Classes and Courses for a Medication Aide

Online courses for aspiring medication aides are available through the continuing education or career development departments at some community colleges and technical schools. Medication aide training programs are not common, and those that are offered typically include a mixture of online coursework and on-campus lab work.

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Essential Information

Working under the direct supervision of a licensed registered nurse or physician, medication aides, similar to medication technicians, administer drugs to patients in professional settings, like nursing homes or correctional facilities. In general, subjects covered in a medication aide program are not presented as individual courses, but as topics studied on a week-to-week basis. Completion of one of these multi-hour programs, which cover pharmaceutical and scientific topics relating to the field, is generally required to qualify for state licensure or registration as a medication aide. Although medication aide certification online courses are available, most programs are hybrid in nature since they require a significant amount of laboratory work. Most students pursuing careers as medication aides are high school graduates who already are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and nurse assisting.

Online Med Aide Classes

The following descriptions detail the common topics covered in online medication aide classes.

  • The Role of a Medication Aide: Students learn about the duties in the typical medication aide's work day, including giving patients medicine and/or treatments required by physicians' orders. In addition, students are educated about how to keep track of dosage, side effects and the time medicine was administered to the patient through detailed record keeping.
  • Identification of Drugs: Prospective medication aides become familiar with common drugs through this topic of study, which usually comes toward the beginning of a medication aide course. Students learn the uses of specific medications and the side effects they could have on patients.
  • Preparation of Medicines: Typically offered early in a medication aide curriculum, this subject prepares students in appropriate methods of administering drugs to patients. Future medication aides learn to allocate proper dosages and utilize any equipment necessary to give therapeutic substances to patients.
  • Infection Control: This topic covers proper prevention of infection before and after the administration of drugs. Distance education students receive instruction on sterilization techniques for instruments used to administer medication and for injection sites. This subject is usually studied in the middle stages of a program for aspiring medication aides.
  • Assessing Vital Signs: Typically covered toward the end of an online medication aide course, this portion of study teaches students to monitor the physical condition of a patient who has ingested medication. They learn to measure and evaluate critical statistics like blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

Online Medical Assisting Classes

Similar to medication aides, medical assistants work with physicians and their duties include administrative tasks, measuring vital signs, and helping with physical examinations. Aspiring medical assistants can also be found online. Some of the courses provided by various community colleges, vocational colleges, and universities include the following:

  • Anatomy and Physiology with Terminology and Disease Process
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Coding

For medical assistants who have not completed postsecondary education, it is possible to learn the necessary skills through on-the-job training. While most states don't require medical assistants to be certified, some employers may prefer it. Certification and licensure can be found through several organizations, including the American Association of Medical Assistants, the American Medical Technologists, and the National Center for Competency Testing.

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