I've looked around and didn't see a thread discussing this problem so I started my own. Excuse me if it's been done to death. I just need to vent. :stone My anger is directed at the hospital not LPN's...so please read this with that thought in mind.
I work in a medium sized CCU in a community hospital. We have RN's and LPN's working in the unit. I'm about to lose my cotton picking mind. We had a rough night last night...scratch that...every night is rough. I've never worked with LPN's before. I had no clue what their scope of practice was. I've come to the conclusion that LPN's in a unit creates incredible stress for the RN's. Their limited scope of practice leaves the RN's with ALL the admissions, ALL the sickest pts, ALL the codes, ALL the PCI's, plus covering the desk which monitors tele's from the tele floor.....AAAARGH! Last night there were 2 RN's and 3 LPN's. One RN had the desk and I was the only RN actually working in the unit. I had the 2 sickest pts plus admitted a code from the tele floor, plus covered the LPN's iv meds, (all ICU pts are on IV drugs...what the heck is up with having nurses on board who cant give iv drugs??) transfusions...then a PCI was called. Give me a freaking break!
OK, vent over. :uhoh21:
My unit currently has 2 LPNs. I think they are wonderful. Yes, they are limited in what they can do, but that doesn't not have to stress you. Generally, if there is a drip to be tirated, before each titration, the LPN and I discuss the goal to be achieved with the titration. They know the patient better than I do as they are the one doing the on-going assessments and cares. It is rare that I need to redirect their thinking/rational about what needs to be done. And then I make the needed adjustments and the LPN knows what to expect from the titration. Questions/concerns are addressed immediately when they arise. Ultimely, my decisons are the ones acted on.
Last edit by RoxanRN on Mar 26, '05
: Reason: Forgot to say I'm in a neuro unit
Quote from RoxanRN2003
My unit currently has 2 LPNs. I think they are wonderful. Yes, they are limited in what they can do, but that doesn't not have to stress you.
Well, covering all the iv meds/transfusions of the 6 pts cared for by the LPN's and
covering the codes, PCI's, my own 2 pts...trust me I am stressed!
PS The shift I described had a RN/LPN ratio of 1:3. The work load was certainly overburdening my shoulders. Now...if the ratio was 3 RN's to one LPN...It wouldn't have been a big deal. It isn't a matter of not being able to handle the stress. Having 2 LPN's in an entire unit wouldn't be such a tremendous stressor...it's a matter of percentage I guess.
Last edit by NYERNURSE on Mar 26, '05
Thanks for the various opinions. I think I am going to look for other employment since the answer I always get is "This is how it's always been". There seems to be no plans to rectify this dangerous situation. The patients are not getting the care they deserve if their nurse is unable to titrate their meds in a timely fashion among other things. The RN can only be at one place at one time. :uhoh21: It's just crazy.
Last edit by NYERNURSE on Mar 27, '05