Scope of Practice: Concord Regional Visiting Nurses’ Linda Blackey, LNA
Underneath all the policies and politics, health care is about care – one person tending to the needs of another. Anyone who has interacted with the health care system has seen that dozens of people are involved in that care, each at a different level and performing different tasks.
Who are they, and what do their titles mean? What training does one set of letters on a name tag signify that another doesn’t?
The Monitor is answering those questions through the interactive feature “Scope of Practice,” with videos on our website, concordmonitor.com.
Up this week is Linda Blackey of Northwood, a licensed nursing assistant, or LNA, with the Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association. Nursing assistants can also work in hospitals, nursing homes and other residential settings, which Blackey did for several years before joining the visiting nurse association.
Being a visiting LNA means she gets to spend more time with her patients, she said.
The first two parts of the nursing assistant scope of practice as outlined by the board of nursing focus on the assistants’ ability to interact with and observe their patients.
They must be able to form relationships and communicate, and be able to understand emotional, mental, physical and social health needs.
Blackey said she’s known she wanted to help care for others since her grandparents gave her a doll dressed as a nurse when she was a toddler.
Her days mostly consist of driving to visit her patients and following the care plan written by a registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
That can mean anything from helping them with bathing and personal exercises, to measuring and recording vital signs and, Blackey said, just keeping the patient company awhile.
LNAs in New Hampshire can administer medication if they have an additional certificate, and if they follow the guidelines of the state Board of Nursing.