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The Latest Column
Questions are from the latest Standards Q&A column, posted in August 2016.
Is CPR Training Continuing Education?
My question is about the continuing education that is required for nurses in the correctional setting. The Professional Development standard requires 12 hours of continuing education each year. Does CPR training count toward those hours?
Standard C-03 requires that qualified health care professionals participate annually in continuing education appropriate for their positions. Full-time qualified health care professionals need to obtain 12 hours of continuing education per year, and those who have patient contact must be current in cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique. Continuing education may be obtained in a variety of ways, such as staff development experiences, instruction given on-site by a member of the health staff or by guest lecturers and attendance at programs offered in the community. Attendance at a CPR training course is considered continuing education and may be counted toward the 12 hours that are required annually.
Which Standards Manual to Use?
I work in behavioral health for a state juvenile justice department. Historically, we have used the Juvenile Health Standards book, but we see that there is also a Mental Health Standards book that does not specify adult or juvenile population. Which would be appropriate for us to use?
NCCHC publishes five sets of standards, three of which are specific for health services (2014 manuals for jails and prisons and a 2015 manual for juvenile detention and confinement facilities), one for mental health services (2015) and one for opioid treatment programs (2016). Each set of standards may be used alone or in conjunction with another set of standards. When a jail, prison or juvenile facility is accredited using the Standards for Health Services, mental health is included in the overall accreditation. However, if a facility, including jails, prisons and juvenile facilities, is only interested in accreditation for its mental health program, then the Standards for Mental Health Services in Correctional Facilities manual is used. A dual accreditation may also be achieved by following both the health services standards and the mental health standards or opioid treatment program standards.
Can an LPN Serve as HSA?
Can a licensed practical nurse serve as a facility’s health services administrator? Or would the LPN be working beyond his or her scope of practice, for example, by performing health assessments? In this facility, the LPN is the only health worker.
Standard A-02 Responsible Health Authority defines a health administrator as a person who by virtue of education, experience or certification is capable of assuming responsibility for arranging all levels of health care and ensuring quality and accessible health services for inmates. While an LPN may serve as the health services administrator, final clinical judgments must rest with a single, designated, licensed responsible physician.
Your second question refers to Standard E-04 Initial Health Assessment. While states vary in the scope of practice for LPNs, NCCHC standards are clear. An LPN may collect additional data to complete the medical, dental and mental health histories, and may take and record vital signs, but the hands-on physical must be performed by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or trained RN.