Arkansas Tech University in Ozark has announced its first group of graduates from the pilot of its new medication technician program, which was created in partnership with the Methodist Village Senior Living in Fort Smith.
The program is designed to address the growing need for medication technicians at long-term care facilities and aims to reduce medical staffing issues while promoting better patient care.
“We are honored to be the first Arkansas Tech University- Ozark satellite location for the new medication technician program,” said Melissa Curry, CEO of Methodist Village Senior Living. “The MA-C Program was a long time coming and much needed in our state. The Graduates from the program will be able to administer medications in long-term care facilities, allowing nurses to focus on the physical care of their residents. This program will definitely help the staffing challenges in healthcare today and make a difference in the lives of patients.”
As the inaugural class graduates, the MA-C Program is the first in the state, and offers certified nursing assistants 100 hours of specialized training, both clinical and in-classroom hours. Training also includes one-on-one engagement with a preceptor.
Graduates, upon completion of the program, will receive the skills and knowledge necessary in order to dispense physician- prescribed medications to patients under the supervision of registered nurses. This will alleviate the workload concerns as staffing shortages increase across the country.
“The medical industry continues to navigate through unprecedented staffing issues in almost every discipline, and we are proud to offer Arkansas a medication technician program to help alleviate the burden that nurses at long-term care facilities face,” said Justin Smith, the chief business and community outreach officer of ATU-Ozark’s campus. “We are proud of our graduating class and can’t wait to see the great work they will do throughout their careers.”
The graduating students of the inaugural class are listed below:
- Shakira Adeleke of Fort Smith
- Julie Brown of Huntington
- Madelyn Corbett of Fort Smith
- Darbi Hixon of Muldrow
- Nakiya Holcomb of Vian
- Jon Kelley of Fort Smith
“This program is not only a valuable opportunity for its participants, but also a crucial way to increase the quality of patient care we provide at our long-term care facilities,” Rachel Bunch, executive director of the Arkansas Health Care Association, said. “We are proud of the great work that these partners and others are doing to make positive, lasting, impacts on the future of long-term care in Arkansas.”
For admission into the program, applicants must be a CNA listed in good standing on Arkansas’s CNA registry continuously for one year at minimum, have one year of full-time experience as a CNA in Arkansas and currently be employed at a designated partner facility. In addition to all of these requirements, participants must have received a high school diploma or equivalent education in addition to successfully completing a literacy and reading comprehension screening process.