VIHA “Replacing” LPNs with Care Aides?

What is everyone’s thoughts on this? I remember preceptoring and having my practicums in a VIHA hospital and the nurses were already understaffed and overwhelmed with work load. A lot of the work entailed RCA work, however, a lot of it also entailed head-to-toe assessments that were ongoing; Urinary catheters, dressing changes, medication administration, monitoring patients for reactions to said medications, IV maintenance, hanging fluids, pulling drains (if so delegated and trained), communicating with the doctors, transcribing orders, picking up blood for transfusions… All things that care aides do not have within their scope, nor are they licensed to do so.

The biggest difference between LPNs and Care Aides is that one pays for yearly licensing and undergoes continual education in order to keep their license. LPNs take a national exam then apply for licensing through a regulated body. In BC, this regulated body is the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia.  Care aides take a course and apply for registration through a non-regulated body.

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