Originally posted by colleen10
A-Men to that!
Forgive me for not being terribly knowledgable on this topic as I am just starting out in nursing school, but I thought I had read on a couple threads in the past that LPN's, CNA's, Care Tech's, etc. have steadily been gaining more RN related responsibilities because of the "shortage". If this is true, that tells me right there that hospitals are just tring to get away with pushing more responsibility on employees that they pay a lot less than RN's.
And this is one way of them "testing the waters", right? By using more and more UAPs, they can get a feel for how well they will do.
(And yes, they CAN be trained to do quite a bit ! I had excellent skills in numerous areas of the healthcare field for the past 30 years.. but they were simply that.. skills. Now as an RN, I understand the why's and wherefores, the whens and when nots, and all that is entailed in making critical nursing judgements. I did not have this as a tech, medic, etc.)
But it appears that the "skill" is all they're looking for. Because it's sooooooo much cheaper to use a trained person over an educated person. (not meaning all UAPs are uneducated, by any means.. just not properly educated in the HEALTHCARE field.)
I remember about one year ago, our company .. a MAJOR nat'l corporation who nearly monopolizes the ESRD dialysis clinics in this country and abroad attempted to do the same. Our LPNs were informed (without any prior warning) that they no longer had jobs. They were being replaced by PCTs. The ONLY way they would be able to continue to work was by taking a paycut and staying on as PCT and putting their licences in their pocket... AND/OR enrolling in school to persue their RN before the summer was up.
After 10+ years of dedication, knowledge, experience and practicing as LPNs at these clinics, they recieved THIS as their thanx... some were on the verge of retiring.. had no INTEREST in going back to school.. were ready to retire, others had kids at home and couldn't manage school, work, kids.... can you imagine???
Needless to say, all the clinincs this company owns/operates across the country went bonkers !!!
They all raised such a united stink, and all the clinic MDs came to the nurses' defense. Being the clinic medical directors, these docs were not obligated to the "company" in any way, and they raised such cain about this, that in the end, the company had to back down.
But it was three months of pure hell for these nurses.. uncertainty, .. "job or no job.. what about my retiremnet, hell no I'm not putting my licence in my pocket.. what do you mean I can't even give a stinking tylenol now..." etc., etc.
It was horrible. A nightmare for ALL of us... our DON wept for days for these girls, and we all joined her.
I still think the co. should have been sued for emotional trauma.
So yes.. they wanted to keep one RN per shift, and cover everything else with PCTs. Meaning that the one RN would have had full responsibilty over all the patients, as well as the supervision of the PCTs, would have had to draw and administer ALL the meds ..plus weekly med changes as needed by lab results..by HERSELF (difficult enough with several nurses, never mind just one). On top of that, do all the other things that PCTs can't or aren't allowed to do.. again by herself... PLUS her own full patient load ! No way, Jack ! No freakin' WAY !!!
SO. There it is in all its shining glory.. Corporate Greed.