Better use of licensed practical nurses

Mieux utiliser les infirmières auxiliaires

The Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec (OIIAQ) believes that its 28 000 members are not used to their full potential. A better recognition of their skills would help, however, to relieve the network of health advocates there.

The OIIAQ is currently on tour in all regions of Québec to exchange with the different actors of the network on the critical role of licensed practical nurses in multidisciplinary teams.

These professional, recalls the Order, provide a wide range of care to patients in many sectors and settings of care (hospitals, family medicine groups [GMF], CHSLD, CLSC, home care and palliative care, for example). In particular, they may contribute to the assessment of the patient, administer medications, perform blood collection, the provision of care related to wounds and installing intravenous catheters .

Unfortunately, the skills of nursing assistants are too often under-used, ” observes the president of the OIIAQ, Carole Grant, in an interview to the Sun. Particularly in certain regions, where the nursing assistants sometimes have to do the work of orderlies because of the shortage. “They want to do the work for which they were trained,” said Mrs. Grant.

According to her, there seems to be a “misunderstanding” of the scope of practice of nursing assistants, which has been expanded in 2003 with the act 90. “Wound care, for example, is a field that we share with the nurses [bachelors of arts and technicians]. But this, it must be remembered, both for the institutions as to health care teams. It is education that it should do”, she believes.

Extra time

According to Carole Grant, the full recognition of the scope of practice of nursing assistants could also help to solve the problem of mandatory overtime. She reminds us that only 41% of the nursing assistants occupy a full-time position in the network, a proportion that the ex-minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, has promised to increase 50 % by 2020. “Yes, for some, it is a choice to work part-time, but not for others, who would like to work more than two days a week,” said Ms. Grant.

For the president of the OIIAQ, try a nursing assistant, it is to adopt. It cites the example of the GMF, which had only 14 licensed practical nurses in their teams in 2014. Today, they are 600 GMF, the doctors who understood that they had any advantage to integrate these professional. “They receive patients, take their vital signs, their list of medications…” recalls Carole Grant.

Mrs. Grant wishes now that nursing assistants are more numerous in other care settings, including in the operating theatres and endoscopy.

During the election campaign, the president of the OIIAQ has met the two elected caquistes be asked to lead the ministry of Health and social Services, Danielle McCann and Lionel Carmant, who have said they want to promote the profession of licensed practical nurse. “I look forward to see what they will do, in practice…”

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