The Georgia Certified Medication Aide program is in its seventh year, and I am still seeing many assisted living communities that do not have the required paperwork to utilize the Georgia CMA for medication administration. The program is fairly simple to administer; however, you must keep on top of the skills checks and required paperwork.

New Certified Medication Aide candidates must enroll in a 16-hour education class before being skills-checked by a registered instructor annually.  That original skills checklist should be maintained by the community. Every other year, the skills checklist, CMA renewal form and a $25 registry fee must be sent to the state for the CMA to be recertified.

Next, a small card that verifies the CMA is current and active must be printed from the CMA registry website. This should be kept in the CMA file. Since the Certified Medication Aide must be an active certified nursing assistant, the CNA card must be printed from the website as well. The CNA must be renewed every two years. Please note that if the CMA does not keep up with his or her Certified Nursing Assistant status, they will not be considered an active CMA and should not be administering medications in your building.

After being skills-checked, the CMA candidate must be tested in order to become a Georgia Certified Medication Aide. As soon as the CMA passes the test, the $25 registry fee must be paid in order for the information to show up on the website. The community should maintain the original skills checklist and a copy of the certificate that shows the test was passed. While this certificate is not required, it is good to have if you are providing this training and certification for an employee. Once they are on the registry as current, remember to print the small card for their file.

If you hire a Georgia Certified Medication Aide, you should skills-check them as soon as they are trained in your community, using the official skills checklist. This can be done by a nurse in the community, or by an RN or RPh. A registered instructor is not required. Put the original skills checklist in their file. Again, remember to print both the CMA and the CNA cards that show the CMA to be active.

Finally, there should be an RN or pharmacist in your building once a quarter who should be doing random skills checks to ensure your CMA staff remain competent. Keep record of these random skills checks in your CMA file.

Administering the Georiga Certified Medication Aide program is not difficult, but requires constant attention to the details and state requirements. The website www.mmis.georgia.gov  has all the information you need to administer a successful program. Guardian Pharmacy Atlanta has a consulting team of Pharmacists and Registered Nurses who are all registered instuctors. They can help answer the questions you have, train your staff and ensure that your CMA program is current and compliant. If you would like to know more about our pharmacy services, please call the pharmacy at (770) 635-3301.