Registered Nurses Should be Doing Assessments Not LPNs.
As an attorney that handles abuse and neglect cases in nursing homes and other types of elder care housing with services, the type of staff member monitoring a resident is crucial. I have seen many examples of where a unskilled lower level nurse (such as an LPN) or a nursing aide, did not respond to symptoms of a change in condition that required immediate medical attention, that a licensed registered nurse would most likely have caught. Often staffing with the much more affordable LPN staff nurse rather than paying for a skilled registered nurse, lead to a preventable death or injury.
Many times the LPNs are also either working as the only nurse on duty or may even be the supervising nurse. Presently, a LPN should not be doing assessments but rather only taking vital signs and making observations to be interpreted by a more skilled RN, Nurse Practitioner or Doctor. The LPN nurse does not have the authority to change Care Plans for residents and is not trained to identify warning signs registered nurses are familiar with.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ONLY RNs be ALLOWED To Make Assessments, the most vulnerable population of citizens will be affected by a change that allows LPNs to make assessments in an attempt to control costs. It is not a bargain if the underskilled LPN costs the life of a resident, through improper training and being placed into a position which requires qualifications they do not possess.
There is a Star and Tribune article on this topic with addresses the concerns over the proposed changes in the scope of practice allowed by a LPN. Seeking RN Expertise at LPN Prices.
This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com, or call Ken at 612-743-9048.