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TAKE ACTION! Stop the Assault on Your Scope of Practice!

Blog, 12/19/11

Just think how drastically your nursing practice would change for the worse if your patients’ caregivers or family members were allowed to give them medications in the hospital? That is just one of many recent changes proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as conditions of participation.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed changes to the conditions of participation that hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet in the Medicare and Medicaid Programs.

Billed as changes to “lift burdensome and duplicative regulations”, many of these changes represent a real threat to the autonomous practice and patient advocacy role of Registered Nurses.

National Nurses United is very concerned about this potential assault on our practice and has written a full response to these proposed changes which can be accessed here. Please read it here.

Below is an example of one of the proposed changes and an extract from NNUs response that you can craft your own response from:

The Deadline for comments is: 5 pm EST, December 23, 2011

URGENT ACTION NEEDED:

Submit your own comments on these egregious proposed changes

medicare

CMS PROPOSED CHANGE:

Proposed Nursing Services §482.23(c) (6) that would allow hospitals the flexibility to develop and implement policies and procedures for a patient and his or her caregivers/support persons to administer specific medications (non-controlled drugs and biologicals).

NNU RECOMMENDATION:

Disallow hospitals the flexibility to develop and implement policies and procedures for a patient and his or her caregivers/support persons to administer specific medications (non-controlled drugs and biologicals). Continue existing standard of practice. Clarify and define “biological”.

RATIONALE:

Unlicensed care givers, family members and friends do not have the education, training, and sophistication to monitor and treat the complications of illness/injury or its treatment. All safety and outcome data in published, peer reviewed studies argues against the industry assertion that medication administration, treatment or monitoring of patients admitted to acute care and critical access hospitals can be safely done by unlicensed caregivers or volunteers.

It would be incredibly difficult and burdensome to keep accurate records if patients were taking their own medications. RNs are only supposed to chart what they have directly observed and what has actually occurred. When a patient has their own medications in their room, and takes those medications when they usually do but without a nurse present, is it assumed that they took all the necessary medications? Assessing the capacity of the patient or the patient’s caregiver/support person adds to already extensive duties of nurses. The proposed regulations do not suggest additional staff to perform this function.

TAKE ACTION HERE:

Submit your own comments on these egregious proposed changes

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