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By Luwana Walton, RN Gayco Nurse Consultant

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate requiring nursing homes to vaccinate their staff against COVID-19 or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding has arrived and with it, a large percentage of nursing staff stating they will not be vaccinated has left and will continue to leave facilities, short-staffed, to the point of some facilities facing potential closure without some financial relief and long-term strategy for the workforce problems.

To assist in the nursing staff shortage, Georgia Senate Bill 215 was introduced and passed in the legislature, relating to authorization of Certified Medication Aides to administer certain medications to nursing home residents under certain circumstances, awaiting the signature of the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

The Act is an amendment of current hospital and related institutions code that authorizes certified medication aides to administer medications in nursing homes as follows:

  • Provided that such medication is not Schedule II narcotic controlled substances.
  • The medication is Physician ordered oral, ophthalmic, topical, otic, nasal, vaginal, and rectal medications.
  • Administration of Insulin, epinephrine, and B12 injection is pursuant to physicians’ direction and protocol.
  • Administration of medications via a metered-dose inhaler.
  • Conduct finger stick blood glucose testing following established protocol.
  • Administration of commercially prepared disposable enema as ordered by a physician
  • Assist residents in the supervision of self-administration of medications.
  • All medication must be in unit-dose or multi-dose packaging.
  • The certified medication aide is listed in the medication aide registry, has met all requirements, and is in good standing.
  • The certified medication aide has a record of being given annually a comprehensive clinical skill competency review.

Gayco has been for years now working closely with assisted living facilities to help certify and keep Medication Aides certified. We are ready to help “Make Life Better” for our Long-Term Care partners when this legislation becomes law. Feel free to give us a call or reach out to your Gayco Representative or Consultants.