Cypress LPN Chapter works to promote the important role of licensed practical nurses

Cypress LPN Chapter works to promote the important role of licensed practical nurses Health & Wellness SouthWest Saskatchewan  Cypress Health Region

Health-care professionals from across southwest Saskatchewan celebrated National Nurses Week (May 6 to 12) by attending an educational workshop in Swift Current.

The workshop took place on Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Day, May 9, and is an annual event organized by the Cypress LPN Chapter.
Alice Moen, who is the secretary/ treasurer of the Cypress LPN Chapter, said there were 65 people in attendance including those with various health professional backgrounds, including LPNs, registered nurses (RNs) and laboratory staff.
The presentations during the day covered a variety of topics, including the meaning of abnormal lab values (Dr. B. Ebrahim), causes, symptoms and treatments of various skin conditions (Dr. K. Wasko), facts about lupus (Dr. A. Woods) and uncommon heart conditions (Dr. Dr. T. Khonje).
Moen said ongoing education and training is an important focus for the Cypress LPN Chapter.
“We offer encouragement and support to our members and are firm believers in ongoing education to remain up to date on our skills, therefore bringing quality care to our clients,” she mentioned.
The money raised from workshop registration fees are used for donations to non-profit organizations such as Breakfast for Learning, the local safe shelter and mental health and to fund other educational activities for LPNs.
The Cypress LPN Chapter provides bursaries to graduating LPNs and funds are also used to cover registration fees and travel expenses for members who attend different educational events.
Seven chapter members attended the Geriatric Gems workshop in Regina on March 26 to learn more about providing care to older adults in acute care settings, long-term care and homes.
The Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses is the governing body for LPNs and there are independent chapters across the province.
Moen said the Cypress LPN Chapter started in 2001. Its current membership is 30 and growing.
“We really promote education amongst ourselves because our governing body is always pushing us to do more and more,” she mentioned.
LPNs are one of three categories of nurses in Saskatchewan and the different chapters also act as advocacy groups for its members.
“We send out brochures and we talk to the different health districts about utilizing us,” she said. “We’re trying to lobby to get our place in health care too.”
LPNs are represented by two unions in the province — the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West).
According to a November 2011 CUPE research report on the utilization of LPNs in the province, there were 2,925 LPNs in Saskatchewan at the end of 2010. Most of them (66.9 per cent) were working in acute care and 20.8 per cent were working in long-term care.
The CUPE report highlighted the need for health regions to utilize LPNs to the full scope of their training. Moen said it is an ongoing issue of concern for LPNs.
“Some districts are really forward thinking and they’re really good at using the LPNs,”  she noted.
“There’s lots of places that LPNs can be utilized because there’s such a nursing shortage with the RNs.”
The Cypress LPN Chapter would like to see LPNs be used to their full potential in the Cypress Health Region.
“We’re a little behind other districts as far as what they’ll hire LPNs for,” Moen said. “Our district has just been very slow to pick up on that and so we just really want to promote ourselves.”

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post

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