Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Resources for DADS service providers

Medication Aide Program FAQs

Q: What is a medication aide?
A:
A person permitted by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to administer medications to residents in:

  • nursing facilities,
  • intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions (ICF/IID),
  • correctional institutions, and
  • assisted living (personal care) facilities.

Q: What are the requirements to be a medication aide in Texas?
A:
To be a medication aide in a licensed Texas facility, you must:

  • read, write, speak and understand English;
  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be free of communicable diseases, and in suitable physical and emotional health to safely administer medications;
  • be a high school graduate or have a GED;
  • work in a facility as a certified nurse aide or unlicensed direct care staff person on the first official day of your medication aide training program; and
  • have been employed in a facility for 90 days as an unlicensed direct care staff person.

Your employment must have been completed within the 12-month period preceding the first official day of your medication aide training program. An applicant who worked as a nurse aide in a Medicare skilled nursing facility or a Medicaid nursing facility is exempt from the 90-day requirement.

Q: How do I become a medication aide?
A:
First, you must successfully complete the medication aide training program, which includes:

  • 100 hours of classroom instruction and training;
  • 20 hours of returned skills demonstration laboratory; and
  • 10 hours of clinical experience, including clinical observation and skills demonstration under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse in a facility, and 10 more hours in a return skills demonstration laboratory.

You must also take the medication aide examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover your knowledge of accurate and safe drug therapy.

Q:How many times can I take the test?
A:
Applicants who fail the exam may retake it once; there's no charge for the second test. A request to retake the test must be submitted in writing to DADS, and the second exam must be completed within 45 days from the date of the failure notification.

If you fail the second exam, a third is only allowed if you enroll in and successfully complete another training program.

Q:What costs are associated with receiving a Medication Aide Permit?
A:
The fee schedule is as follows:

  • First Renewal Fee — $15, no CE hours required
  • Late Renewal (less than 90 Days) — $22.50
  • Late Renewal (91-365 Days) — $30
  • Late Renewal (more than one year) — Must retrain and retest
  • Second Renewal and thereafter — $15 after seven CE hours completed
  • Late Renewal (less than 90 Days) — $22.50
  • Late Renewal (91-365 Days) — $30
  • Late Renewal (more than 1 year) — Must retrain and retest

A renewal notice will be mailed to your last reported mailing address. After your first renewal period, a renewal notice will not be sent to you until you have completed the required seven CE hours. To avoid incurring late fees, you must complete your continuing education hours and return the completed renewal notice along with the applicable fees before your permit expires, allowing time for mail processing.

Q: Once I have received my permit, how often do I have to renew it?
A:
The permit must be renewed once a year.

Q: Do I need continuing education hours to renew my permit?
A:
Continuing education hours aren't required for your first permit renewal; however, after that you must complete a seven-clock-hour continuing education program that's been approved by DADS.

Q: How can I check on the status of my certification?
A:
Call 1-800-452-3934 and follow the prompts. You will be required to enter your Social Security number.

Q: Where can I get a list of approved medication aide training programs?
A:
You can view a list online or you can download a copy from our Training Programs web page.

Q:If I'm a nursing student or graduate, can I take the medication aide examination without completing the 140-hour course?
A:
Yes, under certain circumstances. People who are attending or have attended an accredited school of nursing and who aren't licensed to practice professional or vocational nursing meet the training requirement if they:

  • attended the nursing school no earlier than January 1 of the year immediately preceding the year of application for a permit;
  • successfully completed courses at the nursing school that cover the DADS curriculum for a medication aide training program;
  • the nursing school's administrator or other authorized individual certifies in writing that the courses have been completed. The administrator is responsible for determining that the courses cover DADS' curriculum.

Graduates of accredited schools of nursing who aren't licensed to practice professional or vocational nursing meet the training requirement for a permit if their date of graduation from nursing school was no earlier than January 1 of the year immediately preceding the year of application for a permit.

You can download an application for nursing students and graduates from the Forms page. Email questions to: credential@DADS.state.tx.us

Q: What happens when a complaint is made against a medication aide?
A:
DADS investigates complaints; alleged violations of medication aide rule; and reports of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of resident/client property at facilities and agencies regulated by the department. If there are sufficient grounds to support the complaint or violation, DADS may propose to deny, suspend, emergency suspend, revoke or not renew a permit.

Q: Does a medication aide (permit holder) have the right to appeal a proposed action?
A:
Yes, prior to institution of formal proceedings, DADS gives written notice to the permit holder of the facts or conduct alleged to warrant action, and the permit holder is given an opportunity to show compliance with all requirements of the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 242, Subchapter N and the Licensing Standards for Medication Aides at 40 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 95.

If denial, revocation, or suspension of a permit is proposed, DADS gives written notice that the permit holder must request, in writing, a formal hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice.

Q: Can person reapply if his/her permit has been revoked?
A:
Yes, a person may reapply for a permit by complying with the requirements and procedures in the Licensing Standards for Medication Aides at the time of reapplication. DADS may refuse to issue a permit if the reason for revocation or nonrenewal continues to exist.

Q: Can a person work as a medication aide if they have a criminal conviction?
A:
Certain convictions bar employment in facilities and agencies regulated by DADS. A list of these offenses can be found at Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 250.006.

Q: How do I contact the Medication Aide Program?
A: If you need information regarding applying, renewing, testing, requesting a duplicate permit, or a change of name or address, you may contact us at:

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Medication Aide Program
Mail Code E-416,
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Phone: 512-438-2025
Fax: 512-438-2052

Q: How do I contact the Medication Aide Enforcement Unit?
A:
If you need information regarding a referral that has been made against your medication aide permit or if your medication aide permit has been revoked, you may contact us at:

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Professional Credentialing Enforcement
Mail Code E-302,
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Phone: 512-438-5495
Fax: 512-438-4285

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Updated: July 19, 2013