Above: Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer of Western Australia, Adjunct Associate Professor Catherine Stoddart, at the launch of the Medication Administration Competency Resource Package at Crown Perth this morning
A training and assessment package to improve care workers’ safety and quality standards in administering medication has been launched in Perth today by the state’s chief nurse.
The Aged and Community Services of WA (ACSWA) training resource consists of a theory package for the carer, guidelines for the trainer, and competency assessments for all routes of medication administration.
The Care Workers’ Medication Administration Competency, officially launched by WA’s Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Adjunct Associate Professor Catherine Stoddart, will enable West Australian aged care workers to have their medication administration competencies recognised when they change employer.
The initiative will improve compliance and safety standards while ensuring quality care for older West Australians, said Stephen Kobelke, peak body ACSWA CEO.
“Organisations who sign up for this resource can have confidence staff trained and assessed in accordance with this new resource are competent in terms of medication administration,” Mr Kobelke said.
The tool is in response to industry requests, Mr Kobelke said, and aims to reduce duplication and time inefficiency in the reassessment of employees already deemed competent.
Above: Aged and Community Services WA Clinical Advisory Group
The package was developed by ACSWA’s Clinical Advisory Group in collaboration with residential and community aged care organisations.
It is available among organisations who sign the initiative’s Memorandum of Understanding.
A care worker’s competency to administer medication is assessed by a registered nurse, or other appropriate staff member, as part of the standardised training program.
When leaving employment the care worker receives a record of competency.
On commencing employment with another signatory organisation, the new employer can easily determine their competency without the need to reassess.
New initiatives are required to meet the challenges of an increasing population of elders in the evolving aged care environment, Mr Kobelke said.
In addition to improving safety and quality standards, this resource is indicative of the innovative and collaborative thinking within the industry, he said.
“These issues are particularly important to our members given they are continuing to struggle with funding and staffing constraints in what remains an expensive and challenging operating environment.”
Information about the resource is available on ACSWA’s website and members who sign up to the initiative have access to the documents.