this is off base when it comes to LPN's


    I know I have my share of debates when it comes to scopes of practice but this article is really off base! I guess after reading this article I agree with some of the other posters who have called for LPNs to become certified in some speciality areas. I guess I saw all the bickering between levels of nursing but I never realized until reading this article how little some really don't understand what LPN's do. When I did long term care as an LPN I was often the only nurse in the building (on night shift). I think the person writing this may need to follow an LPN one day on the job. While I have argued that RN's do have a greater knowledge base (at least I learned more with my generals and nursing courses), I certainly have had a new light shed on what LPN's are up against. I had been in my own little homecare area so long that I did not realize how much the LPN practice is misunderstood to other healthcare professionals and the public. I always felt that I was very capable to care for my patients--what I thought was the biggest problem in LTC was the lack of help.

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    About GN1974

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 106; Likes: 3


  3. by   NancyJo
    Tried several times but couldn't get the link to open. I was really interested to see what was said.
  4. by   GN1974
    I just read it awhile ago. Maybe it is down right now. It was written by a doctor and it was titled "Licensed Practical Nurse or Less prepared nurse?"...from the title you can see his point of view.
    Last edit by GN1974 on Apr 29, '05
  5. by   nervousnurse
    I just tried the link and it's still down, but I look forward to reading it---by the title, I can only imagine what it will say . I went to a doctor the other day (as a patient, that is....) and he casually asked me what I "did" and I said: "I'm a nurse"....he then said "oh, a REAL nurse or one of those others ?"
    :uhoh21: (As if LPN's are SO worthless to him, he can't even remember what we're called).

    Yeaaaaaaaa, if only he could've been in the NICU with me when I took care of premies under oxyhoods with lots of apnea, bradycardia, umbilical arterial lines, OG feedings, etc---........but noooo, he's convinced I'm just one of "THOSE OTHER" worthless LPNs that doesn't have a CLUE..... :angryfire
    Last edit by nervousnurse on Apr 29, '05
  6. by   DONN
    So maybe the next time a DO. comes to the floor instead of an MD we should ask are you a real Doctor or "one of those others"? Seems fair...
  7. by   krob0729
    I just read it and i don't know where he went nursing school at, but where I went, we were taught all about that stuff, had to clinicals for quite a while with geriatric pts, and learned about assessment and pharmacology problems.
  8. by   shovelbunny
    I just read the article and I am dismayed by what this doctor had to say. Years ago I worked in a LTC setting for a short period of time after a 2 year stint in the ER. LTC is, like all of nursing, a specialized field. I attended a RN program but left d/t heart problems with only ob left to finish. I sat for my lpn boards instead. I didn't learn in depth Geriatric care, Emergency care, or Hemodialysis (which I have done for 3 years) in school. Nursing school teaches the very basics. We learn a little about a lot. Most of the knowledge comes from "on the job" training, in-services, and from those who have been in the field before us. I think so many MD's, practioners, and RN's forget this point. Our skills, knowledge, and competency comes from experience. I would bet my license that I would be better prepared to dialyize my ARF pt in the CCU than a brand new RN. However, if you follow the article's train of thought I am the "less prepared Nurse" simply because the initials after my name are LPN vs RN. Too often nurses get hung up on the titles vs the skills of a particular nurse. I work with some RN's with more experience than me that I wouldn't want dializing my cat simply because they are not competent enough. But because I am an LPN, they are seen as the more knowledgeable ones. Maybe we as nurses need to educate ourseves more and utilize those who are more comptent vs those who have a better title.
    Last edit by shovelbunny on May 9, '05
  9. by   Pertlvn03
    This doctor has good intention about his article but poor research. I never heard of a facility that don't give in service's on their staff about almost anything. We provide our state continuing education before renewal of our license. We too take boards like he does. This ignorant BASTxxx did not know what he's taking about!!! Were the one's that can smell that c-diff a mile away and remind him that maybe we need to send a stool sample etc. We call him at night to tell him that his patient is turning for the worst. If that's not assessment I don't know what is? I applaud all the LPN's out there that are taking care of elderly giving them compassion and dignity. Keep up the good work and Happy Nurse's Week Everybody.
  10. by   Pertlvn03
    "Few LPNs are formally educated about the purpose and value of the Minimum Data Set, Resident Assessment Protocols, quality indicators, and related tools. How well can this information be collected and applied if these principal care participants are not exposed to the basic tools of the trade?"

    Sounds like excerpt from your Nurse Manager job description. Are they willing to pay us more money for this added responsibility? I think not. Yet they have the nerve to call us "least prepared". In my place of work one RN does all MDS for the whole ward. Another ploy to pass on the work?
  11. by   nurse_wannabe
    An excerpt from the article:
    "So how does an LPN become adequately trained now? The answer is experience. With time, some LPNs learn about common geriatric syndromes, basic geriatric pharmacology, managing aides, planning goals of care, and so on."

    :angryfire I don't know where this jerk gets his information, but ALL LPNs learn those things in their schooling. We've had gerontology, pharmacology, leadership and management, personal and vocational, and a crapload of care plans to do.

    This guy is a complete a$$.
  12. by   no er holds
    I agree with you...we are all taught geriatric care in school.

    Sounds to me like this doc didn't listen to the LPN/LVN when his patient turned south and is looking for someone to blame. If he wants to LPNs/LVNs to have additional training, his expense. I'd be more than happy to suck up some overtime to sit in a class he's paying for to "learn" stuff I already know!
  13. by   Fiona59
    Well, my school required us to spend a semester on Geriatrics and only Geriatrics with five weeks working in LTC. My professional association also offers additional training and certification in Gerontology.

    The only training my employer offered was a one day workshop in Dementia care, which basically said keep them with you at all times and being abused by dementia patients is OK and you should be able to avoid it. One of my NA's had her arm broken by a patient with dementia who pounced from behind a door and whacked her with his cane. You can really see those incidents happening.
    But like someone else said, if he wants to pay me to go on course I will.... But will that explain why when I had to accompany one of my patients to a public health clinic, I knew more about the drugs my geriatric patient was taking than the RN in public health?
  14. by   lpn1313
    So, if this person is correct, I can collect data but not draw conclusions about it. I guess the next time I come across a resident with crappy vitals and blue hands and feet I should run to the nearest RN and tell her about it Because I don't understand the big picture. I never realized just how uneducated and dumb I really am :chuckle . He may be a medical director somewhere but I sure as heck wouldn't work with a jerk like him. And as far as not having continuing ed. about geriatrics, you can get certified in LTC. Sure hope that I never have to take care of this man's family member- talk about the family from he**! :smackingf