Nursing assitant levels

  1. Hello everyone! I am currently in my Junior year of nursing school and I work in a hospital in GA as a patient care tech. Being a student, I want our techs to be able to do more on our unit. I work on a floor that specializes in orthopedic and Neurological surgery. Currently, the techs are allowed to give baths, do vitals signs, take out foleys, take out staples, and spike bags, that is pretty much the extent of what we are allowed to do. In our hospital, techs in ICU and CCU are trained to do more advanced things (ie: put in foleys, do accu checks) I am trying to develop a similar training program on our unit and was wondering if any of you have any ideas of tasks that techs would be able to learn and could legally do. We thought of doing levels of techs. Do any of you have similar situations in your hospitals that you could tell me about? Thanks so much for you help.
    -Susan
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   caroladybelle
    First, why is a nursing student starting this program, regarding the legalities involved?

    Second, the permitted duties vary widely from state to state, and from facility to facility. You would need to speak to risk management to determine legal issues.

    Third, what do the staff RNs think of this, as it will be THEIR license on the line if something goes wrong, not the tech or the facility?
  4. by   Chaya
    We do have levels. Our upper level CNA's (especially the nursing students) can do glucoscans, change a dry,sterile dressing and some do perform intermittent catheterization, according to training/ orientation. However, there's no increase in pay if they are already at the top of the pay scale so many of our CNA's choose not to advance to the higher level.
  5. by   woolhatsue
    I am a nursing student who happened to have a good Idea. That is why I am pursuing it. I am overseen by my unit manager and if these levels were implimented, the techs would recieve training for each new task. I'm am excited to get started. Does anyone else happen to have any ideas? Thanks so much.
    -Susan
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And I repeat:

    The permitted duties vary widely from state to state, and from facility to facility. You would need to speak to risk management to determine legal issues.

    What do the staff RNs (not the unit manager) think of this, as it will be THEIR license on the line if something goes wrong, not the tech or the facility?
    What you are discussing has many legalities and risk management of THAT FACILITY would have to outline them to you. Until that is done, there is little use to even contemplate what tasks to train for.

    And the staff nurses would have to accept responsibility for those delegated tasks by unlicensed personnel...and many staff do not feel comfortable delegating those tasks to personnel that they may not know very well. If the manager staffs thinking that the tech will do" x "duties and the staff nurse is not comfort with tech doing "x" duties, the staff nurse will be overworked doing the additional tasks, thus causing hostility with the system.

    And many of us prefer doing some of those tasks, as it is easier, more conveniant, useful as an assessment tool, or we have had people screw it up, with us having to fix it or having our license bear the brunt. We get tired of hunting the tech for vitals, finding that questionable ones have not been rechecked manually, etc. I have seen too many questionable practices by "experienced well trained" techs/Nursing Students to want to put my license on the line.

    The unit director can say what she wants...but it is the staff nurse's license that bears the brunt of problems and the staff nurse will have to clean up any difficulties that arise. And if the staff are not on board, the plan is doomed to fail.

    When things like foleys can get screwed up - tech cuts foley to deflate balloon and leaves latex in patient, breaks off IV cath in patient...recently a experienced nurse was in trouble for placing a foley and causing an injury..the family felt a urologist should have placed it (yes, like you could get one to come in to place a foley) - do we really want to add an unlicensed person in the mix?

    These are staff concerns that need to be addressed. And, no, talking to unit director is not good enough.

    Who will be training them? And it should be someone with a license and several years of experience.
  7. by   zacarias
    Quote from Chaya
    We do have levels. Our upper level CNA's (especially the nursing students) can do glucoscans, change a dry,sterile dressing and some do perform intermittent catheterization, according to training/ orientation. However, there's no increase in pay if they are already at the top of the pay scale so many of our CNA's choose not to advance to the higher level.
    At my hospital, we have CNAs but they can't do anything glucose checks, any catheterizations etc. It's primary nursing. That's why our ratios are fairly good.

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