I have worked at my hospital for 8 yrs: 2 yrs Med-Surg, 6 yrs Surgical telemetry Step Down Unit. Over the last few years we have had tremendous nurse turn-over. I think of the original crew that opened this unit 6 yrs ago, there are only 3 RNs left. The problem is the new hires are LPNs and the hospital is doing little to educate these new nurses. Most of them are new nurses and no telemetry experience. The precepting nurse has typically 4-5 patients plus trying to teach the new nurse the ropes. What is happening in your facility? Are you having the same kinds of problems with orienation, training and staffing? I am seeing too many mistakes made with critical drips and even routine procedures. Scarry!
Sep 12, '06
Seems to me that these are concerns to be raised with the unit manager. He/she is ultimately responsible for ensuring that nurses working on the floor are adequately trained and that they receive a proper preceptorship before putting them out on the floor on their own. The Florida Nurse Practice Act requires than LPNs complete an approved IV therapy certification course before they are permitted to administer certain IV drugs to patients. In fact, even with such certification, many Florida hospitals do not permit LPNs to administer IV pushes or to administer certain IV medications at all.
If your facility is not in compliace then they are only asking for trouble. Since these new grads have no tele experience, the unit manager should have taken the initiative to send them to a basic arrythmia course before allowing them to take care of monitored patients. If a patient develops an arrythmia, how will they know to intervene if they don't even know how to interpret the strip? And, as for them making 'many mistakes with critical drips', this is dangerous and unacceptable nursing practice. These new nurses are on a path to having their licenses revoked, and quite possibly, also to facing criminal charges.