No More Fingersticks for Techs!!

  1. Is this happening where you all are? I live/work in New York City and work in a city hospital, and in the past few months, the BON sent a mandate stating that techs, CNAs, PCAs, etc...can no longer do fingersticks...this is designated only to licensed personnel; LPNs and RNs. Now, I am hearing from other RNs working in private industry that they are still allowing their techs to do this. Last year, they just upgraded many of our CNAs to Patient Care Associates, which was supposed to include this skill, but, now, they are not allowed to.

    In addition, it causes more stress to the nurses, especially in our prenatal diabetic clinic, diabetes, endocrine and medical clinics because there are more PCAs than there are nurses. Now, I can be backed up with 8 charts, trying to push them out, and then, here comes the page: "Fingerstick in room 10" and this can go on for awhile! I emailed the BON and straight from the horse's mouth, it was told that we can no longer allow them to do so. I suspect that a mistake was made, or something was probably not reported to the nurses which had determental affects on the continuity of care. I was just curious to know if any of you are confronted with this as well.
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    About pagandeva2000

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 9,302; Likes: 8,221
    Licensed Practical Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health


  3. by   herring_RN
    It has not been OK in my state for a decade.

    I was one of thousands who worked for this law.
    Once before rations I had eight patients on telemetry. Six were diabetic. The CNA gave me a list of room numbers and accucheck numbers.
    One was listed as 47 so per parameters he told me.
    I went into the room with D 50, a standard protocol on that unit unless the MD orders otherwise.
    The room mate of the patient who supposedly had the low BS was seizing.
    I called the resident, did another accucheck, and when it was 39 gave the dextrose to the patient with the actual low glucose.

    Nursing is a process, not just a series of tasks. The licensed person who does the fingerstick (or any bedside lab testing) must be the person to respond to the result.

    I think you need more nurses.
    Good for the BON!
  4. by   LHH1996
    i don't know what the laws are in ohio..but i was suprised to see that the PCA was doing fingersticks to my roomate when i was in the hospital this past weekend. (i work in long term care and only nurses do it).
    i am actually suprised it is allowed. i too, am interested in what other nurses think about this and what their experiences are.
  5. by   Neveranurseagain
    "Nursing is a process, not just a series of tasks." per Herring....

    Great statement!!! Thanks for working for this law...
  6. by   chicookie
    That sounds horrible to me! It does sound logical though. I guess I am spoiled. Usually while I am doing my assessments the CNA comes in and does it, then lets me read it right there and then. But my floor has really awesome CNAs' that are on top of everything. It makes it easier for me because its one less thing for me to be running around for.
    Herring did make an excellent point though........
    I am ambivalent........
  7. by   shugrr22107NA
    I'm a CNA and we do the accuchecks for AC&HS pts. My usual Pt load is 8-11 pts and if there are alot who require it can be pretty daunting to get the numbers to the responsible RN. If I have alot to do, I begin a little earlier but then I can chart it in the system (HED) in case my RN is tied up passing meds, etc.

    It's my responsibility to get that to the RN ASAP for a blood draw if there is a noteable High or low reading.

    I am happy to have good relationships with my RNs. We work as a team and good communication is a key element.

    Edit: I report ALL readings to the RN, then chart them per protocol
  8. by   pink2blue1
    Techs have never done fingersticks where I work. Always been the LVN/RN responsibility.
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    My techs have never done this and I'm in NYS. Only nurses.
  10. by   regularRN
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I think blood sugars are an RN's responsibility
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Lotte
    I think blood sugars are an RN's responsibility
    I sure did them as an LPN.
  12. by   catshowlady
    Ohio here - I did them as a PCT for my nurses, and my techs do them for me now that I am an RN. I am OK with this. I can repeat the test or ask the tech to repeat it in my presence if I need to. I see little difference between an accucheck & VS as far as that goes - the tech does them and reports to the nurse.
  13. by   ChristineN
    The hospital I work at now (level one pediatric trauma center) allows PCT's to do fingersticks. All the other hospitals in the area that I did clinical at when I was in nursing school also allowed PCT's to do it. As a nurse working on an endocrinology floor, I am very comfortable with letting PCT's do blood sugars. They know the protocals, if it's high/low recheck immediately, if low let nurse know, and treat with 4oz of juice. We check blood sugars every 3 hours on my floor, so having PCT's to help is a Godsend.
  14. by   wooh
    We can't even let techs do our first set of vital signs, because our facility decided that we have to do a set before we delegate them according to a pump and pearl's interpretation of the practice act. It's getting to where the techs can't do anything. If the armband is scanned, then you can check who the blood sugar "really" belongs to. I can come up with a worst case scenario for anything that we delegate. That doesn't mean that we have to start acting like techs are incapable of doing things. And taking tasks away from the techs will NOT get us more nurses, it will just give more work to the nurses already there. Believe me, I watch it everyday at my hospital as we take away things the techs are allowed to do, but the ratios keep going up even as the workload goes up.

    ETA: Agree with above, it's just like VS. If the number doesn't make sense for the patient, I can redo it myself. What's next, I can't trust the lab with my CBC? Do I need to go to the lab and run the bloodwork myself? Nurses CANNOT do it all! We have to trust other people to help out in caring for our patients.