LVN scope of practice question

  1. Hoping someone will help us settle a debate.....

    Say an LVN is working in a GI lab which is lately understaffed. She has been asked, in addition to her regular duties, to recover patients after their procedures.

    She thinks she probably shouldn't be doing that, even if she is close to graduating from an LVN-RN bridge program.

    The lab is offering her a really nice position once she is graduated, which will be in the next several months. She'd rather not upset anybody, but she doesn't want to put patients at risk, nor does she want to put herself in a position of liability.

    So, is this beyond the LVN scope of practice? What should she do?

    I say ideally, she should refuse to perform duties she isn't specifically trained or legally competent to do. But this is the real world.

    From a practical perspective, I think she should explain her dilemma to her supervisor, ask for something in writing protecting her and stating that it is the RN's opinion that what she is being asked to do is OK, then continue working and doing as she is asked.

    Looking for input.... Thanks in advance.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    I Hope You Find Yourself Out Of This But You Are Between A Rock And A Hard Place......your Supervisor Is Pressed To Take Care Of Pts W/o Sufficient Help And So She Turns To First Available Warm Body With A License

    Being Almost An Rn Is Like Being Almost Pregnant...if You Have Help Available When You Feel Someone Is At Risk You Are Probably Going To Learn A Lot That Will Help You Later 6 Of One And Half-dozen Of The Other
  4. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from chris_at_lucas
    Hoping someone will help us settle a debate.....

    Say an LVN is working in a GI lab which is lately understaffed. She has been asked, in addition to her regular duties, to recover patients after their procedures.

    She thinks she probably shouldn't be doing that, even if she is close to graduating from an LVN-RN bridge program.

    The lab is offering her a really nice position once she is graduated, which will be in the next several months. She'd rather not upset anybody, but she doesn't want to put patients at risk, nor does she want to put herself in a position of liability.

    So, is this beyond the LVN scope of practice? What should she do?

    I say ideally, she should refuse to perform duties she isn't specifically trained or legally competent to do. But this is the real world.

    From a practical perspective, I think she should explain her dilemma to her supervisor, ask for something in writing protecting her and stating that it is the RN's opinion that what she is being asked to do is OK, then continue working and doing as she is asked.

    Looking for input.... Thanks in advance.
    Scope of practice varies greatly from state to state and in each setting.If this is some kind of free standing clinic the scope of practice can be amazingly broad-we all know that they are utilizing UAP's way more then they should but it is legal.She should check with her BON-
  5. by   Jolie
    This sounds like a question for the BON. To practice out of one's legal scope (if that is what is happening here) is a great way to jeopardize that future RN license. I don't think it's worth it. If your employer is so understaffed as to put you in this position, I doubt that it is such a great plact to work.
  6. by   SCRN1
    Personally, I don't think it's wise to practice outside of my scope of practice...no matter who's doing the asking. I can always find another place to work if I lose my job for not doing something I'm asked outside that scope if I protect my liscense. But, I won't be able to work as a nurse...there or anywhere else for that matter...at all if I lose my liscense.

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