RPN/LPN role during Intubation

Specialties Operating Room


Specializes in operating room.

Hello all..

I have been checking the standards but cant seem to find anything specific, are there any scope restrictions for RPNs/LPNs assisting with intubation at your hospital? There is always an RN in the room if things were to go sideways.

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, CCT,Emergency, Flight, OR Nursing.

In terms of AORN standards, it is an expectation that the perioperative RN has knowledge of and experience with assisting the anesthesia provider with induction and assisting with securing the airway. It may involve, holding the mask in place during pre-oxygenation, bagging with the anesthesia bag, applying "Sellicks maneuver" , inflating the the ET tube cuff and attaching the circuit. Generally just being a 2nd pair of hands to the CRNA/ anesthesiologist and a knowledgeable one at that. OR RN's don't typically intubate patients as that is not usual in ones scope of practice. Many of us do assist with placing IV lines and assisting with placement of Central lines and arterial lines. When things go wrong, our duty is to call for help while assisting the emergency situation at hand.

Specializes in Neurovascular Surgery.

Keep in mind that the AORN standards/guidelines or whatever term you wish to use are just that. They really are not binding rules and are interpreted differently depending on where you work. 

With that said, anyone can stand there during intubation and help out as long as they've been shown prior what to do. It's not that difficult to hold cricoid pressure, if it's a rapid sequence induction, and pull out the stylet. A lot of times you don't have to do anything as intubation is with an LMA. 

 I've seen Surgical Techs, Anesthesia Techs, LPN, RN, RNFA, NP, PA, MD, MDA, etc, help out. Pretty sure there is no rule. 

Hope this helps. 

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