Please help me with this because I think it is a bit hinky

  1. I am currently working in a facility as a HUC and was recently told by my clinical leader that in the future I will be expected to do accu-checks, baths, etc. as if I were an aide. I am not real happy about this because I already have a full schedule with all the paperwork that has to be done. But, to keep the boss happy, I will comply. Now don't get me wrong-I do not mind doing the accu-checks themselves. It is the method with which I will be obtaining the blood sample. You see, in the future, if a patient has an arterial line, central line, etc, instead of sticking their finger I will be getting the sample from the line. Now I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb, but isn't that kind of a nursing function??? I have always thought (and had been taught at one time) that IV lines are WAY OUT of my scope of practice as a HUC. Any body have any comments????
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    What's a HUC? And as far as obtaining a sample from a central line, then yes, it should be out of your scope-if you aren't a nurse. Besides, that's a lot of blood to waste just for a drop. With an A-line, you can at least give the waste back...
  4. by   nytelytespn
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    What's a HUC? And as far as obtaining a sample from a central line, then yes, it should be out of your scope-if you aren't a nurse. Besides, that's a lot of blood to waste just for a drop. With an A-line, you can at least give the waste back...
    Thanks for replying. A HUC is what used to be called a ward clerk, unit clerk, unit secretary, etc. HUC is just a fancy name for the desk jockey who makes sure that the orders are entered and the phones answered, and charts stuffed, etc. And for your answer-I am a little bit hesitant to even go back to work, now that I have this new dubious task. I have been in healthcare for the last 11 yrs. and picked up a little knowledge. So when this clinical leader said that the other tech (which is what they call us-that or HUC) had been trained and that she had been doing them for a while, I wanted to tell her that that was fine, but I'm not going to. I have searched high and low on our state website for a copy of the scope of practice for nurses, nurses aides, et al. and I have yet to figure out where to look. Thanks again for replying. Anyone else have any comments???
  5. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from nytelytespn
    I am currently working in a facility as a HUC and was recently told by my clinical leader that in the future I will be expected to do accu-checks, baths, etc. as if I were an aide. I am not real happy about this because I already have a full schedule with all the paperwork that has to be done. But, to keep the boss happy, I will comply. Now don't get me wrong-I do not mind doing the accu-checks themselves. It is the method with which I will be obtaining the blood sample. You see, in the future, if a patient has an arterial line, central line, etc, instead of sticking their finger I will be getting the sample from the line. Now I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb, but isn't that kind of a nursing function??? I have always thought (and had been taught at one time) that IV lines are WAY OUT of my scope of practice as a HUC. Any body have any comments????
    Check/write your state BON, I agree with cardiacRN, drawing blood samples from an arterial or central line does not sound like something you should be doing. Now I've had the NA check the blood glucose from a central line AFTER I've drawn the blood, but I don't think this is what your talking about.
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Sep 15, '05
  6. by   Daytonite
    Hinky isn't the word for it. HUC, Health Unit Coordinator, is what you are, right? For you other old-timers out there like me, that's what we used to call a unit secretary. It's the new hospital-speak. I can see where a desparate hospital might want you to do some basic nursing care, but take blood out of a central or IV line? No way! That doesn't sound right at all. Also, as a HUC I'm wondering why they would even want you to do any nursing care at all. You ought to double check that and check with the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (http://www.nahuc.org). They don't mention anything about HUC's doing any kind of clinical procedures on patients.
  7. by   webbiedebbie
    I'm seeing it in the hospitals where I work. The HUC's are also being trained as nursing assistants as a cost-saving method. Less people to pay and more work for everyone.

    I was a health unit coordinator for many years in L&D and ER before becoming a registered nurse. I used to help the nurses with making beds, getting patients into the rooms and orienting to the unit. But that was all. I was busy enough at the desk with paperwork, greeting visitors, answering phones, etc. Now as a nurse, I am doing it all. I miss having one person at the desk handling everything so I can take care of my patient's needs.

    Seems to me hospitals are cutting corners in areas where they will end up hurting themselves and patients as well as staff.
  8. by   jmgrn65
    I think to do simple finger sticks if trained properly would be fine, but I think it is way out of your scope to draw from any kind of line, I agree with the other posters on this, in our facility student nurses aren't allowed to draw from a line let alone unliscensed (sp?). julie
  9. by   NoCrumping
    Quote from nytelytespn
    I am currently working in a facility as a HUC and was recently told by my clinical leader that in the future I will be expected to do accu-checks, baths, etc. as if I were an aide. I am not real happy about this because I already have a full schedule with all the paperwork that has to be done. But, to keep the boss happy, I will comply. Now don't get me wrong-I do not mind doing the accu-checks themselves. It is the method with which I will be obtaining the blood sample. You see, in the future, if a patient has an arterial line, central line, etc, instead of sticking their finger I will be getting the sample from the line. Now I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb, but isn't that kind of a nursing function??? I have always thought (and had been taught at one time) that IV lines are WAY OUT of my scope of practice as a HUC. Any body have any comments????
    No way... dont even go near those atr or central lines, heck, dont even go near a peripheral IV!!!!! What state is this? refuse to do it, it seems to me if you do, you could be sued for " nursing without a license"..
  10. by   suzanne4
    Finger stick with proper training is fine, under no circumstances should you touch an IV, central line, or arterial line. If the nurse gives you the specimen to run, that is fine and acceptable, but for you to obtain the specimen on your own, is against any Board of Nrusing in the US.

    Please take a look at the BON website for your state and you can get the documentation to give to your manager.
  11. by   Nickle
    In our facility, the CNAs who work in the ICU (with special training, they're referred to as techs) are allowed to access and flush art lines for blood glucose checks. I'm a float LPN and float to the ICU as a tech (CNA role, no nursing duties while I'm there) but I'm not allowed to draw from the central lines - and don't want to, either!

    You are absolutely right to question and feel uncomfortable with this! Don't do it! Contact the board of nursing, and stand your ground with your employer. Good luck!
  12. by   gr8rnpjt
    Quote from nytelytespn
    Thanks for replying. A HUC is what used to be called a ward . Anyone else have any comments???
    From what I understand, you applied for and were working and functioning as a unit clerk, doing paperwork and such. And now your facility expects you to function as an aide. You did not apply for a job doing this type of direct patient care but your job description has now suddenly changed. It sounds to me like they are short staffed and are utilizing everyone they can get their hands on to do the jobs nobody wants to do.
    If I were you I would look for a new job asap. What is next, janitors doing bedpan duty?
  13. by   needs help
    nytelytespn, What type of facility are you working in? Not that the type matters at all. They are sooooo totally far out of line. A HUC or Unit Secretary as we call them are leagally, in SC anyway, are not allowed to do ANY direct patient care. The only way that is possible is IF they have been crossed-trained as a CNA. The only duties a Unit Secretary is allowed to do, other than her clerk duties (and by no means am I putting unit secretaries down, they are most definatly life savers). back to duties regarding patients. Unit secretaries are allowed to bring H2O to patients, bring blankets, bring snacks to patients if nutritionaly checked by the nurses, and other such requests such as these that do not require direct patient care of nursing staff. If you were properly cross-trained to 'run' the glucose meter, then that duty would be OK. A unit secretary doing baths and drawing blood is a definate no no!! Drawing blo9od form a line (central venous, picc, art,) are nursing duties. At my hospital the lab staff (trained in blood collection) are not even allowed to even TOUCH the lines let alone draw from them. and I will go one step further and say that is an RN only duty. Please LPN's don't get mad I love LPN's and have learned a lot from some. Ionly mean to say that according to my hospitals reading of the Nurse Practice Act this duty is for RN's only. If I were you I would not draw any blood from any lines and only do finger sticks AFTER they have trained you for this duty. As for "bathing ect.." from your original post I would also not do this UNTIL properly cross-trained. Although you have been in health care for many years and I am sure you know a lot, legally you are not qualified unless you have been cross-trained. You can print this and show it to your "clinical leader" and or director of nursing if you want to. Sorry if some of this has been on other peoples posts I have to admit I did not read all of the replys, your post just incensed me that a facility would want you to do such things. PM or E-mail me if you have any questions. Hope this helps you. Rhonda RN
  14. by   Nickle
    Needs Help, I agree. I'm the LPN who posted that at my facility, the ICU CNAs check blood sugars from art lines. That just totally freaks me out and if they asked me to do it, I would flat refuse. I personally don't think any CNA or LPN should touch a central line. But perhaps they do it other places as well. We just passed our JCAHO survey, so apparently somehow it's allowed.

    OP, are you also a CNA as well as clerk? Do the CNAs in the ICU there normally do these glucose checks from art lines? And are they doing it only after special training, or just informal, on the job "let me show you how" demos?

    Anything you are uncomfortable with, REFUSE on the grounds that it's not in your job description, not within your scope of practice (you don't even have a scope of practice if you're not licensed!), and you haven't been trained.

    If you aren't a CNA, they shouldn't be asking you to lay hands on patients as for bed baths. That said, here they required all the unit clerks to go through CNA training in order to keep their jobs. Have your employers asked you to do the same? Even so, our clerks are never asked to provide direct patient care.

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