Nursing Assistant Scope of Practice

Adhering to the scope of practice is very important especially when you are working in the healthcare field.

There are certain procedures that one has to follow and certain processes that need to be handled by a licensed individual.

Since healthcare professionals such as nursing assistants need to be licensed before they can apply for a job, there are certain set of rules that they need to follow.

Basically, a “nursing assistant scope of practice” includes what a nursing assistant can and cannot do. It charts out specifications concerning what requirements and limitations prevail for people working at this position.

There are many instances that decide what remains within a nursing assistant’s scope of practice. They may be forced to ask themselves questions before attempting to perform a certain duty. These may include:

• Does the State that I work for allow me to perform this task?
• Am I well equipped / trained to handle the task?
• Have I had any experience handling something similar?
• Does my job description specifically mention this task?
• Do I have the ability to perform this task in a safe manner
• Am I confident enough to be able to carry out this task properly?
• Are there any reservations on my part in doing this task?
• Did the nurse / nurse manager provide clear instructions?

This self questioning exercise provides nursing assistants with insight into what their scope of practice is during any given circumstances. It is important to note that any interventions that you were taught during training is all that you need to perform. Anything beyond that may not be in your scope of practice and should be left to people who are actually trained for it.

Some activities that are not usually found within the scope of practice of a nursing assistant include:

• Inserting G tubes or feeding tubes
• Inserting intravenous catheters
• Managing C section scrub
• Sign or co-sign narcotic orders
• Administering laser treatments
• Administering botox

Activities that are usually considered within the scope of practice of a nursing assistant include:

• Inserting straight urinary catheters
• Handling foley irrigations
• Performing Doppler and bladder scans
• Administering fleets enema
• Assisting with oxygen therapies
• Handling EKGs
• Monitoring blood glucose

The activities (within and out of scope of practice of a nursing assistant) are not all inclusive and may vary from state to state.

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