Nurse tech working as RN - page 3

So at my facility, a short-term rehabilitation center with a few long-term care patients, nurse techs can cover RN shifts, only if the shift is a NOC shift. Is this legal? Just want to make sure this... Read More

  1. by   Kooky Korky
    OP, how did you get your certification to pass meds?

    How did you get your certification as a nurse's aide?

    Particularly on nights, when there are no doctors, NP's, PA's, supervisors or anyone else to back you up in an emergency, you must not perform duties that only a licensed RN is legally able to do.

    It sounds like you must immediately inform your boss that you can no longer do the things only an RN is supposed to do - like assessments, contact doctors, take verbal or phone orders, give meds other than orally - and then only if you are really certified as a med tech. And make sure the Night RN knows that you are not legally able to do the things she's gotten used to you doing.

    You might want to think about reporting this employer to the people who give him money - Medicare, Medicaid. And those who accredit his place.
  2. by   audreysmagic
    Wow, and I thought my facility cut corners sometimes. When we're short a nurse, they give us an extra tech so we'll be at the proper staffing ratio, but they never expect the tech to do nursing work. It just means the nurses have to do more with less - though there is at least that extra tech to cover when the nurse can't help them with their duties. (The techs on my unit, at least, are pretty awesome, and they frequently ask how they can help me when we're in this situation...even though they can't because I delegate all non-RN tasks when I'm the only nurse for 17 adolescent psych patients, the thought is appreciated.) Medication certification is done for techs in some states, so I can't speak to that, but assessments and orders and all that are DEFINITELY not in a tech's scope of practice. Yikes. I have put up with some questionable things in some shady facilities before in the interest of having a new job before I jumped ship, but I'd moonwalk right out of this job in a heartbeat.
    Last edit by audreysmagic on Jul 24 : Reason: addition
  3. by   CrunchRN
    When I was in school I changed my position at the hospital I worked at to "nurse extern". I was allowed to take an assignment and administer medications under the RN. This was an actual approved position. I could not however give IV meds and do some other things and the nurses on the floor I worked with had to do those for me. This was in Wa. State so not sure if it is allowed everywhere.
  4. by   MassNurse24
    That does not sound safe at all. You do not have the training, education, or experience in the event that one of the patients has an emergency. Lawsuits happen ALL the time in nursing. Imagine your family member being taken care of by someone who isn't a nurse and dying under their watch. That sounds like a huge lawsuit waiting to happen. I would not take that job if I were you. I have heard of facilities using their CNAs as med techs and I don't even agree with that, it's too unsafe. This is even worse and definitely doesn't sound legal. Good luck!
  5. by   msufan3710
    This has disaster written all over it.
  6. by   hherrn
    Quote from esrun77
    Okay. Well there is another RN in the facility. I take back my question, I'm sorry, I think this would qualify as somewhat of an internship type position. I'm working as an RN, but only during NOC shift and never without an RN nearby
    Just to reiterate: Of course not.

    From your description it sounds like a money maker for the facility. I am going to guess, that in reality folks in your position exceed their scope of practice to avoid hammering the actual nurse who should be working with a peer.

    I would recommend that you get a written copy of the policies around this practice. I bet htey don't exist, and if they do, are incredibly vague.

    Good luck.
  7. by   OB.1.K.NO.B
    My advice after working as an NT at my facility; pull up your state's legislature on NT licensing and regulations and then pull up your facility's policy on your scope of practice (and remember that state legislature will trump whatever your facility policy says). If you're having doubts, be on the safe side. It could be the difference between getting licensed down the road or not.
  8. by   CRGRN
    Absolutely not. You either are a licensed professional nurse or a licensed practical nurse or you are not.
    It doesn't matter who is telling you what to do or how to do it if it breaches your scope. Med admin and verbal orders most certainly do. Regardless of the legal implications and the potential pt health and safety compromise, please trust that you can actually seriously harm a person because of what you don't know. You should not be put in that position.
  9. by   DeborahBuie
    No. You will NEVER be a nurse if you are found to be "doing RN duties under her guidance". It is illegal for you to do RN duties if you do not have an RN license. There is NO "internship" in a facility to become an RN. You go to an Accredited Nursing Program at a College!!! And I _guarantee_ that she will lose her nursing license _when_ the State Board is notified. You need to call out sick & find another job that pays "green money", no matter where it is. So let me ask you: how many years in prison & how many $$$$$ in fines do you want to pay, for this facility setting you up?!?!?! As a veteran nurse of 40 years: RUN!!! This facility is setting you up!!! Call out sick on Monday & call the State Board of Nursing anonymously & ask these questions. & then never go back to that facility!!! They don't care about their patients, or they wouldn't be doing this. & they sure as $#!+ don't care about you!!!
  10. by   DeborahBuie
    This is EXCELLENT information. WHEN something bad happens, this facility will throw you under the bus, I repeat: WHEN something happens. WHEN a family sues this facility, you will not have a leg to stand on. You will not have the money to hire your own lawyer. Whatever money you might have made throughout the rest of your life, will be paid to the family of that patient. Does it make you nervous that you could actually kill someone who you are representing yourself to as an RN? If it doesn't, it had better!!! If someone dies "on your watch" you will go to prison. Your boss will say "I never said that!!!" You are being SET UP!!! Trust me!!! Quit now, before something happens. Because it WILL happen!!!
  11. by   RNikkiF
    No. You can not function in the capacity of a Registered Nurse unless you HAVE an RN license. You are flirting with serious legal trouble. You should know your scope of practice. Have you reached the point in your education where you've covered that? If not, you really need to wait to work until you FULLY understand your scope. You aren't a nurse yet. If you're not careful, you'll end up putting your career in serious legal jeopardy before it even starts (not to mention the danger you would be putting patients in!!). There's no way around needing a license. If the facility is pushing you to practice without a license, RUN away and report them to your BON as soon as possible.
  12. by   MdavisRN1
    Read the nurse practice act. It is very clear on what is legal amd not. It is your responsibility as a future nurse to know the law. If u dont know it...how will u know if u are breaking it? I know you would like to think that someone will tell u and be honest but the truth is that many nurses do not know or misunderstand as they have gained their knowledge through heresay. Please empower yourself with this knowledge. You must be proactive in protecting your own license!!!! I say this with all the kindness and compassion in the world. Don't lose your license before u even get it! This is very serious! The court will not have mercy on you when u say "I didnt know" or "but they told me I could!" The court will only have mercy toward the patient and their family....because it was your responsibility to give them good care as a tech and a nurse to act prudently is always the best option to follow. You can read the nurse practice act at: Ohio Board of Nursing / Law and Rules
  13. by   MdavisRN1
    Go read nurse practice act at: Ohio Board of Nursing / Law and Rules

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