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Working As a Medication Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Medication Aide Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

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How To Become A Medication Aide

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

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Medication Aide Career Paths

Medication Aide
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Care Coordinator Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nurses' Aide Registered Nurse Team Leader
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Nurses' Aide Staff Nurse Clinical Coordinator
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Patient Care Coordinator Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurses' Aide Senior Technician Specialist Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Clinical Research Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Med Technician Senior Technician Specialist Nursing Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Residence Coordinator Administrator Business Office Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Adjunct Professor Superintendent
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Mental Health Worker Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Clinician House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse MDS Coordinator Licensed Practical Nurse/Supervisor
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Charge Aide 3.8 years
Psychiatric Aide 3.5 years
Restorative Aide 3.3 years
Nurses' Aide 2.5 years
Health Aide 2.5 years
Hospice Aide 2.4 years
Med Technician 2.3 years
Resident Care Aide 2.0 years
Medication Aide 2.0 years
Emeritus 1.8 years
Resident Aide 1.6 years
Hospitality Aide 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Medication Aide
Cashier 12.1%
Internship 2.3%
Server 2.3%
Aide 1.9%
Volunteer 1.8%
Top Careers After Medication Aide
Cashier 6.1%
Internship 2.1%
Aide 1.9%

Do you work as a Medication Aide?

Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
Show Salaries
$24,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Lake Hospital System
Highest Paying City
Rochester, NY
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Medication Aide make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Medication Aide in the United States is $29,179 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $35,000.

Top Skills for A Medication Aide

  1. ADL
  2. Medication Pass
  3. Medication Administration
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Position: Residential Aide Responsibilities included assisting with ADL's, taking vital signs, and acting as lead medication aide.
  • Prepared, distributed, and assisted residents with taking medication during medication pass.
  • Completed appropriate documentation for medication administration.
  • Administered medication, vital signs and basic first-aid according to documentation.
  • Conducted daily health tasks for residents that included personal care, housekeeping and assisting with medications delivery.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Medication Aides

  1. North Dakota
  2. Maine
  3. New York
  4. Hawaii
  5. Michigan
  6. Idaho
  7. Minnesota
  8. Montana
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Wyoming
  • (23 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (122 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)

Medication Aide Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 6,860 Medication Aide resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Medication Aide Resume

View Resume Examples

Medication Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

68.2%

Male

18.4%

Unknown

13.4%
Ethnicity

White

65.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

10.1%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.4%

Hindi

3.8%

French

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Vietnamese

2.9%

Tagalog

2.9%

German

2.9%

Italian

1.9%

Carrier

1.9%

Urdu

1.9%

Swahili

1.0%

Somali

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Hmong

1.0%

Sindhi

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Russian

1.0%

Samoan

1.0%

Croatian

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%
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Medication Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.3%

Kaplan University

10.7%

Southeast Community College Area

7.5%

Everest Institute

6.3%

Bellevue University

6.1%

Metropolitan Community College

4.9%

Chemeketa Community College

4.9%

ECPI University

4.5%

Portland Community College

4.5%

Pioneer Pacific College

4.3%

Houston Community College

4.2%

Lane Community College

3.8%

Central Community College

3.8%

Portland State University

3.6%

Northeast Community College

3.6%

Tyler Junior College

3.2%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.2%

The Academy

3.0%

Tidewater Community College

3.0%

Mt. Hood Community College

2.8%
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Majors

Nursing

30.1%

Medical Assisting Services

15.9%

Business

7.5%

Health Care Administration

7.5%

Nursing Assistants

5.9%

Teaching Assistants/Aides

4.4%

Psychology

3.7%

General Studies

3.1%

Pharmacy

3.1%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.3%

Human Services

2.0%

Education

1.6%

Social Work

1.4%

Biology

1.4%

Management

1.4%

Accounting

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Health Sciences And Services

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

41.6%

Associate

17.6%

Bachelors

17.6%

Certificate

9.2%

Diploma

5.8%

Masters

4.5%

License

3.0%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Updated May 19, 2020