There are changes coming to Assisted Living communities in Florida, thanks to new legislation enacted by Gov. Rick Scott. The changes will take effect on July 1, 2015, and they could have an impact on training in your building. Redilearning is confident that our clients already meet the coursework requirements mandated by the new law, but an overview of the law and how it will impact training keeps you aware of your compliance in the Sunshine State.
Although the new law (CS/CS/HB 1001) contains changes to mandatory training, most Redilearning clients already have the courses needed to ensure compliance with the primary training change—a two (2) hour “preservice orientation” requirement for all new staff.
The law will, however, impact a second element of Assisted Living training: unlicensed staff who help residents with self-administered medications must now receive six (6) hours of initial training, an increase from four (4) hours. To meet this training increase, the Department of Elder Affairs suggests communities provide new medication assistance staff with four (4) hours of coursework (such as the four hours of Redilearning's Medication Management courses), and two (2) hours of hands-on training.
Actions to Take:
- Review your current course assignments to confirm that all new employees will receive at least two (2) hours of Orientation training.
- Provide new unlicensed staff who assist with self-administered medications at least six (6) hours of training, which can include the four (4) Redilearning Medication Management courses and two (2) hours of hands-on training.
As a service, an overview of the training changes can be found below, and an Info Sheet and the actual text of the signed bill are both available for download.
An Overview of the Training Changes/Additions to Chapter 429 F.S.
(CS/CS/HB 1001; eff. 7/1/15)
New Hire Orientation:
- 429.52(1) – The amended regulations establish a “preservice orientation” for all new employees. The preservice orientation must be at least two (2) hours long and must be completed before interacting with residents:
- Effective October 1, 2015, each new assisted living facility employee who has not previously completed core training must attend a preservice orientation provided by the facility before interacting with residents. The preservice orientation must be at least 2 hours in duration and cover topics that help the employee provide responsible care and respond to the needs of facility residents. Upon completion, the employee and the administrator of the facility must sign a statement that the employee completed the required preservice orientation. The facility must keep the signed statement in the employee's personnel record.
Staff assisting with medications:
- 429.52(6) – The amended regulations raise the amount of initial medication assistance training from four (4) hours to six (6) hours:
- Staff involved with the management of medications and assisting with the self-administration of medications under s. 429.256 must complete a minimum of 6 additional hours of training provided by a registered nurse, licensed pharmacist, or department staff. The department shall establish by rule the minimum requirements of this additional training.
Other changes to note:
Staff assisting with medications:
- 429.256 – The amended regulations add a number of medication categories that unlicensed staff may provide assistance with. The additions include:
- (a) Taking the medication, in its previously dispensed, properly labeled container, including an insulin syringe that is prefilled with the proper dosage by a pharmacist and an insulin pen that is prefilled by the manufacturer, from where it is stored, and bringing it to the resident.
- (g) Assisting with the use of a nebulizer, including removing the cap of a nebulizer, opening the unit dose of nebulizer solution, and pouring the prescribed premeasured dose of medication into the dispensing cup of the nebulizer.
- (h) Using a glucometer to perform blood-glucose level checks.
- (i) Assisting with putting on and taking off anti-embolism stockings.
- (j) Assisting with applying and removing an oxygen cannula but not with titrating the prescribed oxygen settings.
- (k) Assisting with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device but not with titrating the prescribed setting of the device.
- (l) Assisting with measuring vital signs.
- (m) Assisting with colostomy bags.