AB78 would allow certified staff to give medication in programs for disabled Nevadans

AB78 would allow certified staff to give medication in programs for disabled Nevadans

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For the past 20 years, at-home care for disabled Nevadans has allowed certified staff to administer medication. That means a nurse doesn’t have to give out every pill for every disabled patient.

Now, the Nevada Legislature is considering allowing the same approach for “jobs and day training” providers.

Assembly Bill 78 (AB78) would allow certified staff to administer medication rather than restricting that duty to nurses alone. The effect: It will help integrate disabled Nevadans back into the community, according to Democratic Assemblywoman Tracy Brown-May, the bill’s sponsor.

“Jobs and day training providers provide essential services to people who have profound disabilities and they assist people in accessing community. They also help to acquire meaningful skills for work and life and employment,” Brown-May said Monday in testimony supporting AB78 in Carson City. The bill was introduced in the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor.

Nurses don’t typically run jobs and day training programs — which has the effect of keeping the operation of those programs only where nurses are available to handle medication.

Brown-May said disabilities affect 25% of the nation’s population.

Jessica Adams, deputy administrator for the Division of Aging and Disability Services, said staff for the jobs and day training program are subject to the same scrutiny — including background checks — that apply to in-home care staff. The division is responsible for overseeing the programs, and Adams testified in support of AB78.

Dylan Keith, a representative of the Las Vegas Chamber, also supported the bill. He said it has the potential to increase the pipeline for health care providers.

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