QUESTION: Is it within the Scope of Practice for the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to change a low profile gastrostomy tube or other type of gastrostomy feeding tube?
ANSWER: It is within the Scope of Practice for the LPN to replace gastrostomy tubes, under the direction of an RN, if the following parameters are met: The stoma must be completely healed (i.e. complete epithelialization of the stoma has occurred, there are no signs of infection, and the healing ridge is well defined), and a new tube/device must be inserted. (Do not re-use old device). The LPN also has received training specific to the type of device being used.
If the tube was recently inserted, the stoma has not completely healed and/or there are signs of infection that would require an RN assessment, an LPN may not change the tube.
RATIONALE: Licensed Practical nursing includes performing additional acts that require education and training as prescribed by the Board and that are recognized by the nursing profession as proper to be performed by the LPN, under the supervision of the physician or Registered Nurse.
LPN’s must adhere to their employers/agency’s written policy and procedures.
Article 1. Board of Nursing; 32-1601. Definition16(g)
Trexler, R.A., (2011) Assessment of surgical wounds in the Home Health patient: Definitions and accuracy with OASIS-C. Home Health Nurse 29;9. October 2011. 550-559.