Flightmed archive for April-2002
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Flightmed archive for April-2002



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Ongoing debate



In Virginia, the State Regulations speak to Nurses being responsible for delegating tasks and supervising unlicensed personnel, who are performing nursing care. These rules and regs came about as a means of protecting the in-hospital patient from the cutbacks of HMO's and Hospitals saving money. And yes, many hospitals employ aides, techs and paramedics for patient care, but remember they are hired usually by the Nursing Division and hence fall under these rules because In-patient Nursing Services are generally not familiar with the scope of care a paramedic can provide, and yes they want control of this arena. However if the medics were to be hired under the physician side, they would be performing more to their usual scope of care, as you see with many inpatient transport teams made up of paramedics.

It further defines "Unlicensed person" as an appropriately trained individual, regardless of title, who receives compensation, who functions in a complementary or assistive role to the registered nurse in providing direct patient care or carrying out common nursing tasks and procedures......this shall not include anyone licensed or certified by a health regulatory board who is practicing within his recognized scope of practice"- so as a Nurse I am equal to the paramedic in regards to our team!

I don't believe we can look at Flight Teams as the same model as floor nursing models. How many RN/EMT-P's out there have watched helplessly when the MD couldn't get a tube in the ED or ICU and they were not permitted to do it because it was not in the hospital's scope of practice for nurses? Both RN's and Paramedics bring important skills and scopes of care that allow us to safely transport these critically ill patients in a safe manner.

Let's drop this, get a drink at the up coming Conference in Vegas, and make some new friends! Any one going to Vegas?

David Trueman, RN
Chief Flight Nurse
VCU LifeEvac

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