LPNs at Foothills (Calgary)

  1. Does anyone here work at Foothills in Calgary? LPNs ideally? I heard that LPNs can work in the ICU or ER, and I'd like to know what their scope of practice would be if this is in fact true. Any insider info would be great. If you work here, how do you find it?

    Thanks!
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    About CanuckStudent

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 103; Likes: 88
    Care Aide/Unlicensed LPN (I give meds and perform basic nursing tasks and assessments)

    13 Comments

  3. by   RGN1
    I didn't think they worked in ICU but possible (??) in ER altohugh I haven't seen anything but RN jobs advertised there recently. Personally I think your scope of practice is better served on the acute units.
  4. by   CanuckStudent
    Thanks for your reply. I suppose you are correct. I am looking for something a little more challenging. I get bored easily! Hence why I am inquiring about the scope of practice in critical care.

    I am a bit of a non-trad on here. I chose to undertake an LPN diploma so I could work PT/summers while working on my BSc (Non-nursing). In my case, my LPN diploma is a terminal degree. I am trying to find my 'fit' with it so to speak.

    Thanks for your input, and hopefully someone else on here can comment further.

    I'd prefer to work in acute care, ideally emerge if in fact possible. Another area of interest outside of acute would be palliative, although I have yet to solidify the options for that route yet.
  5. by   RGN1
    There are some very acute units at Foothills - I can guarantee you will not get bored!

    Watch for LPN postings for units 102, 37, 36, 71, 112, 111 for starters!
  6. by   Fiona59
    I've met LPNs in Calgary who work in the ICUs in that city. This was at the PN conventions over the last couple of years. I seem to remember they even did a presentation on it.
  7. by   lpn2009
    Hi there,
    As an LPN who did my final placement in the ER at the FMC, you most definately can work there.
    It is an advanced scope there over some units. You can do all you are trained for, as well as blood draws.
    It is mainly in the minor emergency area, but it is fast paced, ever changing, and alot of fun.

    I have read articles about LPN's in the ICU in Calgary - possibly Rockeyview. Not all of them employ LPN's though.Good Luck!
  8. by   CanuckStudent
    Quote from calgarylpn12
    Hi there,
    As an LPN who did my final placement in the ER at the FMC, you most definately can work there.
    It is an advanced scope there over some units. You can do all you are trained for, as well as blood draws.
    It is mainly in the minor emergency area, but it is fast paced, ever changing, and alot of fun.

    I have read articles about LPN's in the ICU in Calgary - possibly Rockeyview. Not all of them employ LPN's though.Good Luck!
    Awesome! Thanks so much! You sound like a wealth of knowledge as an LPN from Calgary with ER experience! I may just be PM-ing you with questions, so be prepared. This is great! I like that Calgary uses LPNs full scope, and in acute care (as more than just bed pan pushers).

    LPN diploma programs nowadays cover a large range of clinical skills and critical thinking/health assessment skills. In fact, with the exception of advanced skills, LPNs can do most clinical nursing skills, as you know. Also, many older LPNs have years of experience. It's nice to see these skills being utilized.

    I have also heard that some employers will allow LPNs to do IV starts (peripheral). Is this true? Also, I always thought that IV push meds were restricted to RNs, but something tells me that at least one Health Region allows LPNs to admin. them. Is this Calgary? It's not critical (did I make an ER nursing joke? :wink2, but it is a skill that I would like to have.

    Thanks for all of the answers.
    Last edit by CanuckStudent on Jul 17, '09
  9. by   Fiona59
    Seeing as we all fall under Alberta Health Services now, I think advanced skills will become more prevalent in the active treatment centres.

    LPNs up in Edmonton at the RAH, Sturgeon, NECHC, and most of the old Capital Health hospitals all are inserviced for IV starts. Three witnessed starts and they obtain a certificate. Depending on which unit is worked this may never happen. I've had the training but have never had the opportunity to start an IV.

    IV push meds are not done on the floors at my hospital by RNs. Pushs are done in the ER, ICU, CCU and the RNs there have extra training to do so.

    The thing that new LPNs need to remember is our skills have advanced and the skill set between RN and LPN is closing. However, there is still that niggly little $10/hour starting wage rate discrepency. As an LPN with nearly a decade of experience a new grad RN still makes more than me, even though I am considered one of her mentors on the floor.

    We need to unite in urging AUPE to bargain harder and faster for our benefit. Don't even consider trying to talk the older LPNs into joining UNA because we have lived through their negative ad campaigns promoting the concept that the only safe nursing care is care delivered by an RN. We don't need people bargaining for us that openly talk down to us.
  10. by   lpn2009
    In Calgary hospitals lots of LPN's do IV starts, but some units definately aren't utilizing our skills that is forsure. Always a good idea in interviews to ask what ''full scope'' means to that unit. The CLPNA has changed their standards that every school must offer IV starts within their cirriculum by 2010.

    Also, the CLPNA has recently approved IV Push meds to our scope, but the chances of using it is probably fairly slim I would assume. With talking to an LPN I know that it would be highly usable in the Cath Lab and if I understood correctly, they may have been a pushing unit to get it approved.

    I agree that our union must do more for us! When comparing our skills/abilities there is a huge pay despairity between LPNs/RNs. There was a discussion board on some website that offers news and someone posted that the AHS was in distress with finances becuase of the AUPE bargaining us an unreal deal.. I almost lost it!!!!!

    I am working in an area that totally underutilizes LPNs, but I love the area so I just suck it up. They seriously just let us start hanging premixed IV meds, although as a student I could push morphine into a mini bag and hang it.. hmmmm
  11. by   Fiona59
    CLPNA is felt by many of my workmates to be a big part of the problem. They are all for advancing our skills and responsibilities, yet they have enver once asked us if WE WANT them.

    When it comes to money, CLPNA just goes "not our job, use your union".

    One of my coworkers has even gone as far as to say that Stanger who is an RN should never have been hired for her job. Ultimately, with her in position, we have an RN overseeing our regulatory body.
  12. by   CanuckStudent
    Quote from Fiona59
    Seeing as we all fall under Alberta Health Services now, I think advanced skills will become more prevalent in the active treatment centres.

    LPNs up in Edmonton at the RAH, Sturgeon, NECHC, and most of the old Capital Health hospitals all are inserviced for IV starts. Three witnessed starts and they obtain a certificate. Depending on which unit is worked this may never happen. I've had the training but have never had the opportunity to start an IV.

    IV push meds are not done on the floors at my hospital by RNs. Pushs are done in the ER, ICU, CCU and the RNs there have extra training to do so.

    The thing that new LPNs need to remember is our skills have advanced and the skill set between RN and LPN is closing. However, there is still that niggly little $10/hour starting wage rate discrepency. As an LPN with nearly a decade of experience a new grad RN still makes more than me, even though I am considered one of her mentors on the floor.

    We need to unite in urging AUPE to bargain harder and faster for our benefit. Don't even consider trying to talk the older LPNs into joining UNA because we have lived through their negative ad campaigns promoting the concept that the only safe nursing care is care delivered by an RN. We don't need people bargaining for us that openly talk down to us.

    While I didn't mention this, good point at the end. I definitely agree with the latter part of your post. True, I can't stand it when people class LPNs in with toilet cleaners and dietary aides (no offense to support staff, they work hard too and I greatly respect them), or even nursing/care aides. LPNs are professional nurses. Period. However, when you get unions that think RNs are the be all and end all of nursing, that is just as upsetting. That RN promotion campaign is disgusting and unprofessional. I can see why many LPNs would never want to join UNA. Assuming they have the same mindset and people at the top, that only makes sense. BC also seems to have a big split in this issue with their LPNs and their current union vs. merging.

    It's truly sad, as I can't see why we can't all respect each other for our scopes and be paid accordingly. While I don't want to price myself out of a job (like many RNs are figuring out since they can now be replaced in some cases with LPNs), I agree that LPNs need fair pay for the new skill set and education. I find it interesting that an older RN with a diploma could be making more than twice as much as me and yet have a smaller skill set. All of this said, in some cases a unified union (is that redundant? ) can work great for LPNs. MNU in Manitoba is an example. The question is, does everyone think AUPE will deliver for LPNs? What is the future for LPNs in AB with the 'new' standard?
  13. by   CanuckStudent
    Quote from Fiona59
    CLPNA is felt by many of my workmates to be a big part of the problem. They are all for advancing our skills and responsibilities, yet they have enver once asked us if WE WANT them.

    When it comes to money, CLPNA just goes "not our job, use your union".

    One of my coworkers has even gone as far as to say that Stanger who is an RN should never have been hired for her job. Ultimately, with her in position, we have an RN overseeing our regulatory body.
    What do you think of CLPNAs new advertising campaign to (supposedly) attract (younger) people to practical nursing? They're trying to promote PN as a preferred career choice with benefits. To give them credit, they don't put down RNs while doing it (), but it doesn't seem right to attract more people to the profession until they sort some of the alleged issues either. Public education regarding LPNs as professional nurses and wages are more important at this time I would think. I agree that LPNs should not be cheap labour in place of RNs. It's fine to promote LPNs, but if your goal is attracting more LPNs, be sure that the dues you collect from them is money that they can afford to give.

    Also, if there are still issues with LPNs finding FT or even PT positions, I would think that this is a nonsensical move.

    All of that said, I will freely admit that I know very little and am simply wanting to open the dialogue to hear opinions from you, the people who really know what's going on because you have been through it all. I do think with my limited speculation that it's silly if CLNPA keeps passing the buck. I didn't realize that Stanger was an RN...interesting. Why are they not utilizing an LPN in that role?
  14. by   CanuckStudent
    That is a situation that has 'no good' written all over it. Are you saying that they are asking you to put in central venous catheters?! First of all, I definitely would refuse to perform all skills that I felt I wasn't properly trained for or wasn't comfortable with. While I'd like to gain as much hands on experience as possible, I know my limits and where I'd draw the line with my current training. Compensation, a whole other *important* issue. But I would not actually do something that I felt would be unsafe or outside my scope. It's not worth it for 'less than $22/hr'. Speak out. This is not fair. And most importantly, potentially not safe. There is a huge amount of risk here. Like you said, it's not worth stressing over, killing yourself, or killing someone else over for 22 bucks an hour. I have to thank you though for being so honest. As much as I hate to hear your working conditions, at least you are speaking out.

    I unfortunately am in the same boat as you (not sure what to make of this), and don't have any direct advice other than to refuse and speak with your supervisor. If what you are being asked to perform is restricted for the LPN scope of practice (and I was sure it was?), then that is a whole other ballgame...I would assume the union would be involved, among others. Hopefully Fiona59 can be of more help.

    I'm thinking of you.
    Last edit by dianah on Jul 17, '09 : Reason: deleted quoted post

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