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Hearing on How Meds Will be Administered in MA

Local nurses plan to testify Tuesday against a proposal that could allow unlicensed to administer medications in Massachusetts. (Aleksahgabrielle/Wikimedia)
Local nurses plan to testify Tuesday against a proposal that could allow unlicensed to administer medications in Massachusetts. (Aleksahgabrielle/Wikimedia)
October 3, 2016

BOSTON – A controversial proposal comes up for public debate Tuesday about whether someone needs a license to administer medication in the Bay State.

The state maintains it could see some health-care savings by allowing people who aren't necessarily doctors or nurses to give medications.

But Donna Kelly-Williams, a registered nurse and president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, says her organization has already gathered 10,000 signatures on a petition opposing the proposed regulations.

"The regulations as they have been proposed, opens the door for interpretation that could allow for unlicensed people to be able to administer any medications at any time and in any settings,” she states.

Kelly-Williams says she's among those planning to testify Tuesday before Gov. Charlie Baker's Board of Registration in Nursing.

Baker came into office promising to overhaul state regulations, but opponents of this change warn it could severely impact public safety.

Kelly-Williams says she is particularly concerned because the proposal applies to many different types of facilities, including intensive care units, acute care hospitals and long term care facilities.

She says it's crucial that people being cared for in these facilities have someone who is properly licensed and trained.

"Because of the complexity of medications – not only in the administration of the medication, but also to be able to assess the patient for any complications, such as an allergic reaction or any other reaction between medications," she stresses.

Kelly-Williams adds medical errors are already the third-leading cause of death in hospitals across the nation.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA