residential psych: fine line between staff duties?

  1. I am a current MN student in Ohio and I just finished doing my mental health clinicals at a children's facility where they have 5 inpatient units and 3 residential units. My mom, an LPN happens to work on one of the residential units at this hospital.. We were talking this morning about several issues that i'm hoping someone will be able to clairfy a bit upon.

    each inpatient unit has 1 RN and several MHS staff; the residential units have 1 RN (often the floor supervisor) on the floor, an LPN on each unit and a couple of MHSs on each unit. Recently the residential LPN's job description was modified to include that of the MHS thus decreasing the staff requirement on each unit. the LPNs didnt require additional training, etc. and were already participating in the unit functions, however, it has been stated that "LPNs need to be more visible on the unit". But the LPN is responsible for meds including PRNs and assessment, health teaching/reinformcement, testing (ECG), draw labs, diabetes management, communication with physicians, safety/first aid protocol, etc.

    the confusion is where the duties of the LPN lie. How can these things be completed "out on the unit"? (take note that several LPNs are renound for doing hair and makeup with kids and are relished by managment even though they refuse to draw labs and doent comprehend diabetes management.)

    I was really dissapointed by the lack of cohesion and am wondering if this has to do with such gray lines between expectations of the RN/LPN/MHS. we couldnt find job descriptions anywhere in the unit policy...

    Does anyone have any insight?? how does staff responsibility work on your unit?? what exactly IS the scope of practice?
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    Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 1