Policy: 325

Medication Technician Certification Training


  1. MDCBDSN will train employees with the SCDDSN approved medication assistance curriculum, One Little Pill, One Big Responsibility: Medication Administration for Unlicensed Personnel by Lynn and James Stilwell.

  2. The Medication Technician Certification Training will be a 16-hour course of study to include classroom instruction, practicum experience, and supervised medication passes.

  3. Two hours of refresher training will be required annually. Failure to attend the refresher training will result in revocation of certification and the privileges of providing medication assistance.

  4. The instructor of the course must be a Registered Nurse. Licensed Practical Nurses, under the direction of the Registered Nurse Instructor, will be authorized to oversee the supervised medication passes, and provide on going supervision for appropriate medication administration practices.

  5. Students will complete the classroom and on site training and pass the test at the end of the course with 85% accuracy. Students may repeat each test one time after additional tutoring has occurred.

  6. At the conclusion of the course, each candidate for the Medication Technician Certification will be required to demonstrate their competency by participating in three supervised medication passes, as demonstrated on three separate occasions. The initial supervised pass will occur immediately after the course and the other two will be during quarterly oversight. Follow-up supervised medication passes will occur on an annual basis. The nurse will assess medication setup, delivery and documentation.

  7. Students successfully completing all the components of the course will receive recognition in the form of a certificate.

  8. A roster of all Medication Technicians employed with MDCBDSN will be kept. This roster will include the date of the award, record of quarterly oversight sessions, record of annual refresher class attendance, record of any medication errors committed, and corrective action taken. These records will be available for review during DDSN's annual licensing and contractual compliance review processes.

  9. Medication Technicians who commit medication errors will be tracked and follow-up may include closer nursing supervision, re-training, progressive discipline, or the removal of medication administration privileges. Medication errors are looked at in categories of True Medication Errors, Documentation Errors and Red Flag Events and will be weighed as follows:
    1. True medication errors will follow the progressive disciplinary action as outlined in policy #360.
    2. Documentation errors follow up will include three one-to-one training sessions with the nurse as the error occur. If there are further documentation errors after the three training sessions, then progressive disciplinary actions will be implemented as outlined in policy #360.
    3. Red Flag Events which includes consumers refusing medication will be addressed through the support team process.

  10. Only employees passing the course will be allowed to assist with medications for consumers within the MDCBDSN services.

  11. All full time employees are required to pass competency based testing for the initial 16-hour Med. Tech. Certification Training as well as the 2 - hour annual refresher training. If an employee fails to pass the first competency based testing, then they will be given one more chance to take a re-test. Failure to successfully complete and pass the training a second time will result in employee demotion to a temp employee. A full time employee who is demoted to a temp employee for failure to pass competency based testing will be allowed to re-take the initial 16-hour training one more time to become recertified to pass medication and possibly become a full time employee again based on the agency needs of position availability. Failure to pass the training a second time will result in the full time employee remaining a temp employee. In the event that the employee chooses not to accept a demotion the employee can resign their position with the agency or employment will be terminated.

  12. A temporary employee can be given the opportunity to take the Medication Technician Certification Training. Temporary employees that complete and pass the competency based testing will be considered first for a full time position. Any temporary employee who fails to pass the competency based testing for Medication Technician Certification two times will remain a temporary employee.

  13. MDCBDSN will provide rigorous monitoring for any medication errors, track trends, and provide remediation for any staff indicated to need further instruction. The medication error event follow-up form will be completed by the nurse. This form will indicate the actions taken and kept on file for review upon request. (Attached)

  14. Employees who continuously demonstrate inability to safely assist with medications which causes a consumer serious or permanent medical treatment or death may be terminated based on investigation results.


Medication Event Follow-up Form


To provide MDCBDSN unlicensed employees with medication Technician Certification Training that has been approved by SCDDSN and ensure that they have been properly trained and evaluated as competent to assist consumers with medication.

Effective Date:
June 1, 2005

November 19, 2009
June 23, 2011