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RULE §557.125Requirements for Corrections Medication Aides

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide the qualifications, conduct, and practice activities of a medication aide employed in a correctional facility or employed by a medical services contractor for a correctional facility.

(b) Supervision and applicable law and rules. A medication aide must function under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse on duty or on call by the correctional facility using the medication aide. A medication aide must:

  (1) function in accordance with applicable law and rules relating to administration of medication and operation of a correctional facility; and

  (2) comply with TDCJ rules applicable to personnel used in a correctional institution.

(c) Allowable and prohibited practices of a medication aide.

  (1) A medication aide may:

    (A) observe and report to the correctional facility's charge nurse reactions and side effects to medication shown by an inmate;

    (B) take and record vital signs before the administration of medication which could affect or change the vital signs;

    (C) administer regularly prescribed medication to an inmate if the medication aide:

      (i) is trained to administer the medication;

      (ii) personally prepares the medication or sets up the medication to be administered; and

      (iii) documents the administration of the medication in the inmate's clinical record;

    (D) administer oxygen per nasal cannula or a non-sealing mask only in an emergency, after which the medication aide must verbally notify the licensed nurse on duty or on call and appropriately document the action and notification;

    (E) apply specifically ordered ophthalmic, otic, nasal, vaginal, and rectal medication;

    (F) administer previously ordered PRN medication. A medication aide must document in the inmate's records, symptoms indicating the need for the medication, and the time the symptoms occurred;

    (G) administer the initial dose of a medication;

    (H) order an inmate's medications from the correctional institution's pharmacy;

    (I) measure a prescribed amount of a liquid medication to be administered;

    (J) break a tablet for administration to an inmate if:

      (i) the licensed nurse on duty or on call has calculated the dosage; and

      (ii) the inmate's medication card or its equivalent accurately documents how the tablet must be altered before administration; and

    (K) crush medication if:

      (i) authorization is obtained from the licensed nurse on duty or on call; and

      (ii) the authorization is documented on the inmate's medication card or its equivalent.

  (2) A medication aide may not:

    (A) administer medication by the injection route including:

      (i) intramuscular;

      (ii) intravenous;

      (iii) subcutaneous;

      (iv) intradermal; and

      (v) hypodermoclysis;

    (B) administer medication used for intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments or any form of medication inhalation treatments;

    (C) calculate an inmate's medication dose for administration;

    (D) crush medication, except in accordance with paragraph (1)(K) of this subsection;

    (E) administer medications or feedings by way of a tube inserted in a cavity of the body;

    (F) receive or assume responsibility for reducing to writing a verbal or telephone order from a physician, dentist, or podiatrist;

    (G) apply topical medications that involve the treatment of skin that is broken or blistered or when a specified aseptic technique is ordered by the attending licensed practitioner;

    (H) steal, divert, or otherwise misuse medications;

    (I) violate any provision of Texas Human Resources Code §161.083, or this chapter;

    (J) fraudulently procure or attempt to procure a permit;

    (K) neglect to administer appropriate medications, as prescribed, in a responsible manner; or

    (L) administer medications if the person is unable to do so with reasonable skill and safety to residents by reason of drunkenness or excessive use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material.

(d) Background and education requirements. Before applying for a corrections medication aide permit under Texas Human Resources Code §161.083, an applicant must be:

  (1) able to read, write, speak, and understand English;

  (2) at least 18 years of age;

  (3) free of communicable diseases and in suitable physical and emotional health to safely administer medications;

  (4) a graduate of a high school or successfully passed a general educational development test; and

  (5) employed in a correctional facility or by a medical service contractor for a correctional facility on the first day of an applicant's medication aide training program.

(e) Application. An applicant for a corrections medication aide permit under Texas Human Resources Code §161.083 must submit an official Corrections Medication Aide application form to HHSC.

  (1) An applicant must submit the general statement enrollment form that contains:

    (A) specific information regarding personal data, certain misdemeanor and felony convictions, work experience, education, and training;

    (B) a statement that all the requirements in subsection (d) of this section were met before the start of the program;

    (C) a statement that the applicant understands that application fees submitted in the permit process are nonrefundable;

    (D) a statement that the applicant understands material submitted in the application process are nonreturnable;

    (E) a statement that the applicant understands that it is a misdemeanor to falsify any information submitted to HHSC; and

    (F) the applicant's dated and notarized signature.

  (2) An applicant must submit a certified copy or a photocopy that has been notarized as a true and exact copy of an unaltered original of the applicant's high school graduation diploma or transcript, or the written results of a general educational development (GED) test.

  (3) HHSC verifies the accreditation of the high school that issued the diploma or transcript, or the testing service or program that certified the GED test required by paragraph (2) of this subsection. If HHSC is unable to verify the accreditation status of the school, testing service, or program, and HHSC requests additional documentation from the applicant to verify the accreditation status, the applicant must provide the documentation to HHSC.

  (4) HHSC considers a corrections medication aide permit application as officially submitted when HHSC receives the permit application.

  (5) HHSC sends a notice listing the additional materials required to an applicant who does not complete the application. An application not completed by the day of the TDCJ final exam is void.

  (6) HHSC sends notice of application approval or deficiency in accordance with §557.127 of this chapter (relating to Application Processing).

(f) Fees. An applicant must pay application and permit renewal fees for a corrections medication aide permit by cashier's check or money order made payable to the Health and Human Services Commission. All fees are nonrefundable, except as provided by Texas Government Code, Chapter 2005. The fee schedule is as follows:

  (1) permit application fee--$15;

  (2) renewal fee--$15;

  (3) late renewal fees for permit renewals made after the permit expires:

    (A) $22.50 for an expired permit renewed from one to 90 days after expiration;

    (B) $30 for an expired permit renewed from 91 days to one year after expiration; and

  (4) permit replacement fee--$5.

(g) Examination procedures. TDCJ gives a written examination to each applicant at a site determined by TDCJ. An applicant with a disability, including an applicant with dyslexia as defined in Texas Education Code §51.970 (relating to Instructional Material for Blind and Visually Impaired Students and Students with Dyslexia), may request a reasonable accommodation for the examination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  (1) The applicant must meet the requirements of the TDCJ training program described in §557.119(d) of this chapter (relating to Training Program Requirements) before taking the written examination.

  (2) The applicant must be tested on the subjects taught in the TDCJ training program curriculum and correctional facility clinical experience. The examination must test an applicant's knowledge of accurate and safe drug therapy administered to a correctional facility inmate.

  (3) TDCJ administers the examination and determines the passing grade.

  (4) TDCJ must inform HHSC, on the HHSC class roster form, of the final exam results for each applicant within 15 days after completion of the exam.

  (5) An applicant who is unable to attend the applicant's scheduled examination due to unforeseen circumstances must contact TDCJ to reschedule.

  (6) If an applicant fails the examination, TDCJ notifies HHSC and the applicant in writing of the failure to pass the examination. The applicant may take one subsequent examination without having to re-enroll in the training program described in §557.119 of this chapter.

  (7) An applicant whose application for a permit is denied under §557.113 of this chapter (relating to Determination of Eligibility) is ineligible to take the examination.

(h) Determination of eligibility. HHSC determines eligibility for a corrections medication aide permit applicant according to §557.113 of this chapter and subsections (d) - (g) of this section.

(i) Renewal. A permit must be renewed in accordance with §557.115 of this chapter (relating to Permit Renewal).

(j) Changes. Medication aides must report changes in accordance with §557.117 of this chapter (relating to Changes).

(k) Violations, complaints, and disciplinary actions.

  (1) Complaints. Any person may complain to HHSC alleging that a person or program has violated Texas Human Resources Code §161.083, or this chapter. HHSC handles complaints in the manner set forth in §557.123 of this chapter (relating to Violations, Complaints, and Disciplinary Actions).

  (2) Investigations of abuse and neglect complaints. Allegations of abuse and neglect of inmates by corrections medication aides are investigated by the TDCJ Office of Inspector General. After an investigation, the TDCJ Office of Inspector General issues a report to HHSC with findings of abuse or neglect against the corrections medication aide. After reviewing the report and findings, HHSC determines whether to initiate a formal proceeding to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a corrections medication aide permit. If HHSC determines a formal proceeding to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a corrections medication aide permit should be initiated, §557.123(c) and (d) of this chapter apply. If HHSC determines that no formal proceeding to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a corrections medication aide permit should be initiated, HHSC dismisses the complaint against the corrections medication aide and gives written notice of the dismissal to the corrections medication aide.

(l) Section 557.121 of this chapter (relating to Permitting of Persons with Criminal Backgrounds) applies to corrections medication aides under this chapter.

Source Note: The provisions of this §557.125 adopted to be effective September 24, 2018, 43 TexReg 6328

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