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. These 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 licensed registered nurses or physicians, medication aides 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 some coursework can be completed online, most medication aide programs are hybrid in nature since they require a significant amount of laboratory work. An internship at a medical facility also may be needed for licensure or registration.

Requirements for Online Medication Aide Courses

Most students pursuing careers as medication aides are high school graduates who already are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and nurse assisting. Some states require six months of work experience as a nurse's aide before a student can start a medication aide program.

List of Subjects Covered in Online Medication Aide Courses

The following descriptions detail the typical topics covered in online medication aide courses.

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.

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