ADVICE, P.R.N.: Taking on a new task

February 2005 
Volume 35  Number 2
Pages 14 - 14
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(2)             February 2005             p 14 Taking on a new task [ADVICE, P.R.N.: CHANGING GASTRIC TUBES]

I oversee the care of mentally challenged patients who live in group homes. Many of them are fed through gastric tubes. Recently, my employer asked me to start changing the tubes myself, rather than sending the patients to the hospital. As an RN, can I perform this procedure ?—D.P., OHIO

That depends. First, check with your state's board of nursing to find out if this procedure is within an RN's scope of practice. If so, check your employer's policy and procedure manuals to make sure RNs have been authorized to perform this procedure in the employer's facilities. If you have your own nursing malpractice insurance, you should also check with your insurance carrier.

Even if you're legally permitted to change ...

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