How to Become a Certified Med Tech

As a med tech, you're in charge of handing out the daily dose of medicine.
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When you hear the term “med tech” or medication aide, it usually refers to the certified medication technician who typically works in nursing homes and intermediate or long-term care facilities, assisting nurses by handing out medications. It’s a low-level, but important job. A med tech is a solid entry-level position that could help you earn a little cash while you continue your education in nursing or if you’re going on to medical school. At the same time, certifications like the med tech credential give you hands-on experience you often need to get into med school and to land the better certified nursing aide, or CNA, jobs.

Step 1

Finish high school or get your G.E.D., or general education diploma. Then, complete a course to become a certified nursing assistant, more commonly called a CNA. It’s usually a six-week course that you can take through your local community college or other medical training facility. After passing the CNA state exam, then you need to get your name on the unlicensed health-care workers registry in your state.

Step 2

Work in a nursing home, for a home health care agency, hospital or doctor’s office as a CNA for six months and then enroll in the med tech class at your local college. In some states, it’s a 60 hour course followed by another state exam; it may only take 16 hours in other states. Check with your local nursing board to learn about your state's exact med tech training requirements. In some states, like Maryland, you don’t even have to be a CNA to become a med tech.

Step 3

Skip the entire CMT, or certified med tech, course work and take the exam if you’ve been working in the health-care field for some time as a registered nurse or LPN. In many states, you can even skip the classwork and go straight to the exam if you’re enrolled in nursing school because you’ve pretty much covered all the information you’ll learn in the med tech class.

Step 4

Renew your credentials every two years with your state’s registry and do all the necessary hours they require. In some states, you might have to work as a CNA for only eight hours in the two-year period to stay current on the registry, while other states may require you to work up to 100 hours in that same time period. To renew, you just need a signed form from a supervisor stating you worked the necessary number of hours.

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