In the CT ICU where I used to work, the UAP's didn't do personal care. They were a wonderful support by restocking each bedside with needed supplies, "running" labs, blood, for supplies, and they assisted
with weights, bedbaths, turning, etc...Call me old school, but i PREFER TO DO MY OWN BATHS IN CRITICAL CARE, IT ALLOWS ME TO MAKE A THOROUGH SKIN ASSESSMENT(sorry about the caps.) And definitely my own dressing changes.
Frankly, I think a dressing change is inappropriate for a UAP to do in this setting. If they are changing a groin drsg, this must be assessed not only by sight, but by palpation. Wounds must also be carefully assessed, and in our unit, some surgeons will keep CT's for 48 hours, period, no matter how little drainage, so re-dressing around CT's takes further nursing
I think if you want to involve UAP's in direct pt care, several things must be done.
First and foremost, find out what can and cannot be delegated in your state. In NJ, there is an on-line chart that is decent. Can give you a link to the site, but I don't have the exact page bookmarked. Not sure how helpful it will be, since I am not sure you are in NJ...NJ BON
Second, make a job description, with the qualifications you are looking for. If you think they will hire all nursing students, great, in my experience, it would be naive to assume this will always be the case. So, get it in writing. Include a statement such as "second-year or greater enrollment in a school for registered nursing" under minimum qualifications for the job. Accept nothing less than what you
have determined as safe. I am only giving a hypothetical example.
Third, you must not allow TPTB to substitue a UAP for a RN. I can see this easily happening. You have to get ratios in writing, or in a policy somewhere to prevent this "loophole" in staffing crunches.
I hope that is a start. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
PS Totally jealous of your name...CABG Patch RN. Wish I had been so clever. Cute!!
(Edited to correct web address)