Saskatoon – The leaders and members of SEIU-West want the public to be aware that Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) provide high quality, skilled professional care in the Saskatchewan health care system.
“We are very proud of the role that all of our members play in delivery of quality health care services,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “At SEIU-West, we recognize and value the full range of professional skills offered by our members who are an essential part of the health care team. We try to provide the same consideration to other occupations.”
Bylaw changes being proposed by the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN) have been compiled on the basis of current work of LPNs, as they are responsible for a variety of nursing care duties. For example, an LPN working as a part of the endoscopy team will be screening for colon, bladder, and stomach cancer; an LPN in a medicine unit will administer medications, take vital signs, check blood sugars, do wound care, dressing changes and perform IV insertions. Full scope LPN’s are able to assess patients, admit them and provide all of their nursing care requirements. LPNs have had expanded education that includes such things as IV therapy, operating room specialty, foot care among others and this training has been recognized by SALPN for five years.
”We have absolute confidence in the ability of our LPN members that needs to be shared with all patients, residents and clients due to the recent public comments made by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) president, Tracy Zambory, in the context of SUN’s contract negotiations. We know that specialized LPN care has been recognized and accepted in both Manitoba and Alberta. The reaction that it poses a threat to the RN profession and jobs is knee jerk at best. It is offensive to the LPNs in this province who provide competent, qualified, professional services and should be offensive to all the other members of the health care team. Regrettably, the destructive nature of these comments will undoubtedly be felt within many nursing teams across the province.”
Further, Cape adds, “We see the recent allegations of SUN as turf protection. It would seem obvious that an arbitrary number of staff classifications (i.e. RN) in a unit, department, facility or agency may not meet professional standards. There needs to be a proper analysis of the right person, the right service and the right time for all patients, clients and residents. We know that LPNs and CCAs put the heart into health care nursing teams as they provide the bulk of hands-on care. These providers go the extra mile everyday.”
SEIU-West represents more than twelve thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan in four regional health authorities. They include health care professionals like continuing care assistants, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers and administrative staff, among others. Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250
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