Dear LPN…

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2011 by talesfromtheniteshift

I know what our limitations are. Really I do. I know that sometimes we are given pts that really should have gone to an RN. A pt who has a central line and is getting potassium riders shouldn’t be assigned to one of us. It really defeats the purpose if the RN has to do everything anyway.

See, here is how I view our job. We can take care of pts within our scope so that it lessens the burden of the RN’s. We should be given pts who have peripheral sites where we can hang any IV meds that are due. Hopefully they are on PO pain meds or at least are getting a shot only every four to six hours. We should be assigned the somewhat less complex pts so that the RN’s can spend their time with the higher acuity pts. Yes some have to be done only by the RN covering us on that pt. It is our job to help them remember those things while making sure we are doing the things that we can do. I also know this doesn’t always happen, but we do what we can right?

Let me also say that I know it gets crazy busy on day shift. I have worked a small amount of them and everytime I do, it reinforces to me why I choose to work nights.

However, this still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your job. When you are providing care for that pt in a nurse capacity you should try to stay on top of what is going on. This means that if orders are written before two on a patient you maybe should have glanced at them before seven. Yes, I know that we can’t sign them off. The RN is responsible for that. (and this is where that part about helping them remember this comes in, reminding them about orders to be signed can never hurt really) However, we can be aware of those orders and be ready to carry them out. Or at least pass them on to the next shift.

I felt like an idiot when the nursing home called to ask if we were sending the pt back tonight. I told her that I had just finished report and that I hadn’t looked at charts yet, but that I wasn’t aware of any discharge orders. I was slightly embarrassed when she mentioned that the family had been at my facility early that afternoon and was told by doctor that the pt would be returning home that day. Imagine my chagrin when I looked at the chart and read the orders from TWO O’CLOCK allowing us to send the patient home. I realize that some of that must be done by the RN. But you could have at least helped that process along. Or at least informed me that the order was there. What if the nursing home had not called me? What if I hadn’t looked for that chart until much later? That pt may have had to stay an extra night in our facility that was completely unnecessary.

This is just one if the things that you forgot to mention. But it is also the one item that put two of us a little behind before we even were able to start. Thank you for that.


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