My facility is fairly small, as assisted living facilities go. We've got just under 70 residents, and usually have 1 charge nurse on shift supervising 6 caregivers/aides who take care of approximately 10 residents per shift. During regular working hours we also have the Director of Nursing and a med-tech.
All told, we've got maybe 2-3 different charge nurses for each shift, and they just take turns, and have 2 med techs. One does M-F, one does Sat-Sunday.
That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for call-outs, so sometimes our charge nurses end up having to work a double, and this last weekend our Director of Nursing (DON) had to come in and work a med tech shift, which she didn't like doing since she also had to come be the charge nurse simultaneously. Oops! That means she had to do all the routine med passes, PLUS all the treatements and assessments PLUS all the charting by herself. Ouch.
Med techs/med aides are a fairly new position that mainly work just in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They can hand out routine meds to people who are able to actually take them independently - meaning that I could hand them a little med cup, say "here's your medicine" and they could then take those pills. If they had to have them crushed and in applesauce, or they weren't able to comprehend that they're taking medication, the nurse has to administer it to them.
Med techs have to be trained, need to have a basic understanding of pharmacology (how drugs interact, what they do, when to give them vs. when to hold them) and be responsible enough to handle narcotics honestly and chart appropriately.
Our DON decided we need another med tech because right now there is no backup if one of our two gets sick or goes on vacation.
Normally she would advertise within the facility to see who might like to apply for it, but this time, at our meeting, she apologized for not doing so but said that she had one person in mind for the job for a while now and was glad that this person accepted the position. She'll be training the new med tech starting this week. The new med tech is ... ME!
That's right, guys, Polly is going to learn a lot of new skills, be paid a little more, get to wear cute scrubs for the first time, and get more responsibility!
This is huge for me. I'm really excited, proud, and nervous.
Med Tech Polly, coming soon!