CNA's and Tube Feeding: What's Your Facility's Policy?

  1. I'm just curious whether the CNA's where you work are allowed to administer tube feedings, or if it is only done by the nurses. At my LTC/SNF, an advanced CNA is allowed to hang the tube feeding for the residents.

    One CNA--who primarily does treatments like non-sterile dressing changes, ointments, etc.--is responsible for giving all the tube feedings in the facility. I'd like to know whether other facilities have a similar policy.
    All feedback would be appreciated!
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  3. by   GuatericanNurse
    i work as a cna at a childrens hospital, and we are definately not allowed to do any feedings via tube. just the RNs... we can bottle feed them but thats about it..
  4. by   Woodenpug
    I had believed that tube feedings were among the things which could not be delegated. I guess, like everything else, it varies state to state. Given all the things that can happen, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable delegating tube feedings, even if it were legal.
  5. by   Nurse!Nurse!Hello?
    Quote from Woodenpug
    I had believed that tube feedings were among the things which could not be delegated. I guess, like everything else, it varies state to state. Given all the things that can happen, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable delegating tube feedings, even if it were legal.
    Yeah, I was surprised, too, but apparently it's not uncommon in Hawaii....
  6. by   snuffyRN
    UHM, no cna's can't even touch the machine to silence the alarm at my facility complete hands off for cna's. Before this new policy too many times cna's would shut off the machine when transfering, bathing or alarming and not restart the machine or report it the their nurse!
  7. by   Elizabeth K.
    Not sure about facility policies but I'm taking a CNA II course (Patient Care Technician) and will be learning to do internal tube feedings (continuous and intermittent). I'm assuming that, if hired as a PCT/Advanced CNA somewhere, it's something I might be expected to do.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    No. Nurses only. Aides can feed a patient by mouth, but not in any other way.
  9. by   NewBeee
    i am temporarily living in ca while in rn school. we are doing our clinicals at a large and well known hospital which is also a level 3 trauma center. i was wondering this same question yesterday. a cna had seen me walk by and asked me to come into a room and help her change the diaper on an 82 year old patient. i agreed as we are allowed to help them if we have extra time.

    i saw the cna press the “hold” button on the patient’s tube feeding (ng tube feeding). she then lowered the head of the bed to a flat position. once the diaper was changed she asked me to hand her oral care tools. i handed her the tools and walked out while she started to give oral care. i came back about 15 minutes later with another nursing student to do an accucheck on the patient. the poor patient was lying there with the head of the bed completely flat and the tube feeding running!! the cna never elevated the hob back to a 30 degree angle before hitting “run”. the 82 year old patient was aspirating something awful! we quickly assessed her lung sounds and heard crackles. i ran and got the rn and told her of what the cna did. she ran back to the room with me and she said we potentially saved the patient’s life. she was so grateful.

    moral of the story: being that cna's are not trained in tube feedings, they should not be touching the equipment. i don't know what this hospitals policy is, but the cna almost killed the patient doing this. we had to meet for post conference immediately after this happened, so i don't even know what the repercussions were or if the patient is even ok. i go back to the hospital next monday and will try and find out more info.
  10. by   Lovely_RN
    The facility that I did my clinical rotation at allowed CNAs with additional training to do simple wound care and hang tube feedings. The place where I currently work does not. It really annoys me when CNAs give care and leave the bed flat when they're done. I came in for a 7-3pm shift and found a trach patient lying flat with the feed running. It was almost as if she was waiting for me to enter the room because as soon as I crossed the threshold she immediately began to aspirate.
  11. by   NewBeee
    How sad! The poor patient. Good thing you came in when you did. I agree, it is frustrating. I feel the CNA's should not go outside of their scope of practice. They are highly valued in what they do, but should not try to do more.
  12. by   NewBeee
    p.s. - and yes...leaving the bed flat when they are done can cause all SORTS of problems. The HOB is at the current angle for a specified reason! Are there consequences for those who leave the bed flat? Or perhaps I am a naive nursing student who is learning the frustrations of nursing?
  13. by   mcubed45
    at Kuakini they help w/ the tube feedings. they're the ones we've been instructed to go to if we need help w/ a clogged tube b/c they know it better than anyone else. might just be the floor we're on though. the staff (especially the CNA's) have been awesome so far. idk what we'd do without them. they've got so much knowledge to share.
  14. by   LittleoneofGod
    Hi everyone! I'm a CNA in a nursing home and an assisted living facility and I sometimes do Accuchecks on residents but the NURSES to the tube feeding. I love helping out, but if I don't know what to do, I do not do it or if I'm not allowed, I do not do it. If any CNA or even anyone who does not know what to do or know what they are doing, should/needs to ask or have someone who does know what to do take over.

    P.S. I'm in Nursing school now but just because I am, doesn't mean I can do stuff the nurses can do. It is frusrating to see patiants/residents get hurt because of someone not knowing what they are doing I just pray and hope that CNA's and others ask someone who know what to do if they don't. Well, good luck and God bless to all the CNA's and Nurses!

    ~ I-helpforGodsglory