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Michael Lawrence, RN
Member
Username: Spud

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 02:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are there any other divisional nursing officers out here???

Do members within the organization understand the role of divisional nursing officers, and is there a need in the province for a provincial forum for nurses to meet, talk, discuss issues, establish initiatives, etc???

Just curious.
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Tyler Mancuso
Senior Member
Username: Tmancuso

Post Number: 67
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We are currently working on recruiting a nursing officer for one of the divisions I am responsible for... do you have any suggestions on what roles they should be doing within the brigade??? I have the job description, but am looking for specific roles you may do for your division... as this individual would like more clerficiation on the role
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Johnson Lai
Senior Member
Username: Gundam

Post Number: 90
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 09:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We (#726 Varsity) have a Nursing officer. She's helped us in the current SARS situation and other Home Health Care teachings. She designed a simplified SARS screening tool (posted on the Toronto Brigade Adult site)

She is also integral member in running our division, as an officer.

I believe we need a more strong presence and guidance from Toronto District's Nursing Officer. I'm not sure if David B. is still holding this position or not.

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Michael Simpson
Member
Username: Mdsimpso

Post Number: 12
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Having a Nursing Officer can really help to put the boost you need in a division in regards to training and patient care
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Johnson Lai
Senior Member
Username: Gundam

Post Number: 140
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With all these recent long-term care needing illnesses or injuries: SARS, West-Nile, Mad-cow, etc...

We all need to retrain and focus on Home Health Care.

Do we all know what to do to help with a bed-ridden family member for 1 week? 1 month? Day by Day? Even something as simple as "going to the washroom" may seem really, really difficult to assist with. And you don't just dump the "goods" into the toilet without some examination of it ! :P

Div. Nursing officers are perfect for helping us train with these topics.
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Michael Lawrence, RN
Intermediate Member
Username: Spud

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 04:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

However, Nursing officers are more than just Home Health Care instructors and more than persons to teach you how to toilet a patient. Nurses have a wealth of knowledge regarding a range of health conditions, diseases, and first aid. They can provide insight into WHY we do some things in first aid and explain some of the pathophysiology behind the illnesses that you may encounter on duty.... we are not just "bedpan jockeys" (as I have been referred to in the past).
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Tyler D.A. Mancuso
New member
Username: Tmancuso

Post Number: 4
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just a point of clerification. I have heard through the grape vines that nursing officers are now wearing three star ranks. The StJCI shows that medical officers (MD's) wear 3 stars, and Nursing officers wear 2. Has this changed since StJCI came out?
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Michael Lawrence, RN
Intermediate Member
Username: Spud

Post Number: 21
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tyler,

Indeed, Divisional Nursing Officers where 3 stars. Refer to StSJCI 2-2-2a ("designation of ranks") - along with their red nursing bar as well. (You can find the manual online here at this website)
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Tyler D.A. Mancuso
New member
Username: Tmancuso

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 07:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Found it... The version at the office showed two stars... It was a previously dated version, must have been updated, and the office did not get a new copy of the instructions... We have updated that page of the regs...

Thanks
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Alex Kroeze
Intermediate Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 24
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From reading the official literature am I to understand that as an RPN I would be unable to fill the role of a Nursing Officer? If this is true I wonder if that would change now that RPN is a two year (plus a semester) course...
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Jennifer Goyer
Junior Member
Username: Army

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 01:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nursing Officers would be great and home health care is just as vital in training as first aid. I wonder though for home health care if a PSW can teach for that is they do day in and out. I also have RPN Experiance and hospital clinical experiance
Thanks
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Johnson Lai
Senior Member
Username: Gundam

Post Number: 168
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also remember that whomever becomes the Nursing Officer should also be fit for the "officer" role, and have the ability and willingness to accept on all the duties of an officer of a division.

Someone should not become a Nursing officer just by the virtue of finishing the Nursing program. Not that I'm saying any R.N. isn't professional, but as we can agree, not 100% of all members have "officer" qualities that St John Ambulance requires.

Some are great at being leaders, others are great at being part of a team in teamwork.
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Mike Rumble, RPN
Senior Member
Username: Mrumble

Post Number: 104
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I must admit that I would not support the placement of RPNs in a Nursing Officer role. Although I agree that the skill set of RPNs has increased dramatically in the past few years, the background education between the two types of nurses remains the biggest difference. In the words of the College of Nurses "RNs study in greater depth and breadth over a longer period of time and accordingly, are able to provide care in more complex situations".

This educational requirement is especially important when referring to St. John as our mandate is to treat the "suddenly ill and/or injured". Although RPNs can care for these patients, their preferred role is in the treatment of stable patients. I understand that one of the roles of the RN is to teach home health care, which a RPN could perform wonderfully. It is the unstable patient that does not exactly fall within the RPN scope of practice I am concerned about.

I also agree that while all Nursing Officers must be RNs, all RNs do not need to be Nursing Officers. Some people need more work at leadership.

Mind you, these opinions are by no way set in stone. Just for discussion. Any other thoughts?

Respectfully submitted,

Mike
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 84
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm trying to find the job description for the NO... can't find one. I know it's around somewhere I just don't know where.

I need that in order to formulate a proper response to the recent comments.

[edit]
Ok, found it on the intranet... I'll quote parts and then add my own commentary as needed to try to analyse if it fits the role of the RPN. This is only the functions as the first part deals with the qualifications required which is what's in dispute:


"4. All Nursing Officers are subject to the same rules and regulations as all other members of the Brigade, as set out in StJCI: Part 2."

I see nothing wrong here, pretty straight forward


"5. Nursing Officers are directly responsible to the Commissioner/Superintendent at their appointed level for the development, organization, administration and execution of the policies and programs required by them. Nursing Officers areresponsible to and entitled to communicate directly with their next senior Nursing Officer on professional and first aid policies and programs that influence their roles and responsibilities."

Again, no real issues...


"6. The primary role of the Nursing Officer is the promotion of health of Brigade members, and is achieved independently or in collaboration with others by:

a. providing an environment that supports health;
b. encouraging behaviours that support health; and
c. providing professional services that support health."


A bit different wording but this reminds me of the definition of Nursing care in general so no real problems.


"7. The secondary role of the Nursing Officer is to ensure that the delivery of patient care services by Brigade members is of the highest possible standard. This is achieved independently or in collaboration with others by:

a. acting as a professional resource for instructional sessions of the Brigade Training System;"


I think this fits. Some may say it is our of the scope for RPN but it says a resource... that could simply be for the home health care component of it only in which case an RPN is appropriate.


"b. reviewing Patient Care Records to provide remedial support and enhanced learning opportunities for Brigade members;"

Reviewing charting would be within the scope.



"c. acting as a professional resource for Brigade Patient Care Competitions; and"

Same as the BTS I think.



"d. monitoring the quality of patient care services provided by attending public duties."

There could be some debate on this one. Some may say this is out of the scope for an RPN. I can see that arguement however I could counter that and say it should be a requirement to have an Emerg trained RN to fill this role properly if you want to argue that way.


"8. The Nursing Officer, either independently or in collaboration with others, develops policies and programs that are aimed at improving the quality of health of Brigade members by dealing with management, social, behavioural and environmental issues. As a minimum, the Nursing Officer develops policies and programs that:

a. ensure a safe working environment for Brigade membersproviding education on workplace hazardous materials and by setting policies with
respect to safety clothing, barrier devices, etc.;
b. foster a strong and supportive sense of family and belonging;
c. provide education on the health risks of tobacco, alcohol and other substances;
d. provide education on general wellness topics including nutrition, physical activity, and communicable diseases including sexually transmitted diseases and immunization;
e. provide support systems and networks to deal with critical incident stress; and
f. encourage Brigade members to use the professional expertise of a Nursing Officer as a resource for dealing with Brigade, personal, or family concerns."


Fine with the possible exception of "e."

So, in conclusion from my 10min analysis of the job description I don't see much conflict at all with the current scope of practice of the RPN. It is my opinion that the job description should be changed to read simply "Nurse" instead of the current "Registered Nurse."

I am open to and welcome all comments on my analysis.
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Michael Simpson
Intermediate Member
Username: Mdsimpso

Post Number: 22
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnson touched on a very important point that we must not forget. I agree that the right nursing officer would be a great asset to the division and the St. John organization but we need to ensure a couple of things. We should interview, review and hire the nursing officer as we would for any officer position within St. John Ambulance. This ensuring that the nursing officer has the nursing qualities but also leadership qualities.

Thanks,

Mike
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Johnson Lai
Senior Member
Username: Gundam

Post Number: 170
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 09:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks MS.

Something at work that relates very well here is, at work, we treat "supervisors" vs. "technical experts/consultants" as two separate positions.

Person A may have amazing knowledge of a topic, but could be a "unqualified" or "bad" supervisor. Vice versa.

So I'm thinking of the same for Nursing Officers. Make sure they are good experts plus good leaders & officers.
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Dave Wakely
Advanced Member
Username: Harrypotter

Post Number: 40
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Alex,
I respect your analysis and thank you for spending the time on it. I see two sides to the argument.

SIDE ONE : RN as a DNO
Mike Lawrence is my DNO and his near endless knowledge and leadership abilities are of the highest caliber. He truely embodies the role of the nursing officer and frequently falls back on his RN back ground to educate, debate and contradict the seemingly endless line of health care professionals in Mississauga. Having a well educated well spoken DNO is essential when a division has multiple health care professionals. In mississauga Mike is where the buck stops, the division has several paramedics, paramedic students and RPN students all of whom bring thier unique experiences to the table. But in training when there is a disagreement we all know Mike has the final word(if he doesn't know he gets back to us) Personally as a health care paraprofessional I'm glad to have a highly experienced highly educated person to turn to with the more advanced questions.

Side 2: DNO as a role
Your analysis proved that a non RN could perform the role however so could any educated, experienced individual. RPN's, PSW's, Health and safety officers, Instructors and Paramedics could all theoretically fill the demands of the role.

In theory if you can't find a RN willing to do it someone needs to fill the DNO shoes... but I would caution anyone that they are BIG shoes to fill.

Thank to all the DNO's out there who give up thier time to educate brigade members
Dave Wakely
Patient Care provider
D0504
(Mike you know I'm only kidding when I call you a bed pan jockey)
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 89
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dave,

Your post wasn't exactly clear. Do you have a stance on RPNs as DNO?

As far as PSWs etc taking on the role, I would say that one key difference is that Nurses (RN and RPN) are educated in management and leadership. We are trained to be a team leader as is the case for many RPNs in Nursing/Retirement homes and even on the Continuing Care floor at a local hospital where it is 100% RPN.
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Jennifer Goyer
Junior Member
Username: Army

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually Psw's do are capable of making discisions but they are not allowed to voice them. We have to take leadership at times depending on the situation. But i can see mikes statment that any medical personal like RN, Rpn and PSW and Others that follow that can do the position. There are people who make great nurses but crappy officers or leaders.
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 92
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I intended to disrespect to the position of a PSW and their role.

I bring it down to the scope of practice. Is it within the scope of practice of a profession to be a Nursing Officer? As PSWs are unregulated it is very difficult to say because there are no set out standards of care for them. However Nurses do have standards of care and scopes of practice. This is what I looked at previously and came to the conclusion that RPNs could fill the DNO role. If you feel PSWs could also feel the role then I have no issue with that.
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Jennifer Goyer
Member
Username: Army

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Psw's are now regulated. They cannot hire anybody off the street with out the certificate. Thats why they are having bridging programs to take the ones that were hired with out home care and they have to do the program in order to keep their jobs. It is regulated and even though we don't need a licence but we do have our bounderys, i have also done half of the RPN course and the care is similar depsite meds and dressings but the rest is all the same. positioning and turning and movement and etc. Actually we get lots of pracice everyday in what we do depite community and nursing homes. I think it is with in the scope of the Nursing officer because in all the categories of home health care we cover all that. I am just asking whether we could or not thats all i hope i am not causing waves. I just know that some nurses look down upon us like we are the weakest link in the chain which i have seen some nurses don't even know how to do the basics not saying all i am saying some.
thanks
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Jennifer Goyer
Member
Username: Army

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

besides why did u intend to disrespect the postion and role of the PSW. It makes it sound like we are the weakest link in the chain. i have great respect for nurses as for my sister is a rn in the states and is incharge of the emerg department, but i wasn't the one that said RPN couldn't fill the role either. i am sure they could fill a DNO postion as i am sure a PSW Could since now we can take pharmacology and other little courses.
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 93
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

sorry, that was COMPLETELY a typo. I'm very tired today. I completely apologize for that. I forgot a never! And now I can't edit the post cuz it's too old. Read that as "I never intended to." Sorry again.

Having said that, I agree with you! The role of the PSW is definitely changing and I was unaware that they are now regulated as all documents I've read in my course put them in the class of "Unregulated Care Provider."

This is just personal opinion and observation but I feel that slowly the PSW will take on the role that was traditionally one of the RPN. It is already starting to happen that RPNs are filling roles that were RN only. RNs are moving up, RPNs are moving up so PSWs will have to move up to fill in the gap. It then follows that yet another new profession will be created to fill the role that the PSW currently fills. One day we may have 10 different classes of "nursing type" professionals. ;)
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Mike Rumble, RPN
Senior Member
Username: Mrumble

Post Number: 105
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When Alex is referring to "regulated" he is most likely referring to a regulated health profession as identified in Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. Which, as of 2 minutes ago when I just checked the most current version of online, PSWs do not fall under. Don't worry, Paramedics aren't regulated health professionals either (but there's a whole different can of worms).
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Jennifer Goyer
Member
Username: Army

Post Number: 13
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry mike i didn't realize, but was just making sure that people understood that PSW's werent just no body but he corrected himself in the last message i persumed it was a typeo but wasn't sure. there are some nurses that think we are nothing in the health care field. i am guessing regulated means a license am i right?
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 94
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 06:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Regulated means you are registered with the college of your profession. All of the RHPA professions are self-regulated (the profession decides what they are able to do... within reason). Nurses have the College of Nurses of Ontario. The college sets out our minimum standards of care and is responsible for protecting the public.

The key difference is that PSWs do not have a college or a clearly defined standard of care. There may be industry accepted standards but there is no official standards and no accountability.
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Mike Rumble, RPN
Senior Member
Username: Mrumble

Post Number: 106
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 09:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just for the record. I know some PSWs that put some nurses I know to shame. And, Alex, I know some RPNs that would put some RNs to shame. AND I know some RNs that would put MDs to shame. Your professional designation does not dictate your ability. I have a few cadets right now who I would choose to treat me over ANY paramedic (they're good kids).
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Johnson Lai
Senior Member
Username: Gundam

Post Number: 171
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well said Mike R !!

I think someone in SJA realizes these "qualifications" to be in Nursing Officer positions must be out of date. But are too busy or something to update them.

Its hard to list out a qualification of a good leader. If it is that easy, the SJA wouldn't be in debt, and won't need to revamp new strategies year after year.

Heck, I hear another big change is coming in Jan 2004. OUR WAY AHEAD....... to where?
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 95
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So maybe things will be changed when the first
Brigade requests an RPN/PSW/etc as their Nursing Officer?
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Michael Lawrence, RN
Advanced Member
Username: Spud

Post Number: 33
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 04:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unfortunately if other health care workers (especially PSW's and paramedics) were to apply for the "Nursing Officer" position, it would no longer exist. In Ontario (and in all provinces and states) in order to use the title of "Nurse" you must be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) in one of three classes: Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse, or Registered Nurse - Extended Class (otherwise known as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner). Some other provinces have LPN's (licensed practical nurses) instead of RPN's, because that designation is reserved for "Registered Psychiatric Nurses".

Historically, "Nursing Officers" had to be RN's because that was the only other regulated health professional in addition to physicians and surgeons. The last 20-30 years has seen the proliferation of other necessary health care workers such as Psychologists, chiropracters, denstists and oral surgeons, respiratory therapists, dental hygeinists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists (to name a few of the many regulated health professionals in Ontario). There also emerged other unlicensed workers such as Paramedics and recently Health Care Aides/PSW's - please note that I in no way mean to infer that those doing the job of either a paramedic or PSW/HCA are not credentialed or have completed education, it simply means that they do not have a professional college to whom they are accountable to (ie. CNO, college of physicians and surgeons, etc.)

I am very biased (obviously) in regards to who and what qualifies for a nursing officer position. However, I still think that the requirment be that the individual is a Registered Nurse. That does not preclude divisions without a registered nurse as a member from having others assist them with teaching home health care (such as PSW's and Paramedics). I would also like to echo the statement made earlier that just because you are a nurse automatically makes you the nursing officer. You, like all other officer positions, must meet the qualifications necessary to be named an "officer."

If we were to "get with the times" then we should also include an "ambulance officer" who would be working as a paramedic for an accredited emergency medical service (not a patient transfer company). Their role might be there like a nursing officer to assist Div. Training Officer's with certain aspects of the BTS (like oxygen administration, boarding and collaring, trauma, and multiple casualty management as these are area's of their expertise). The same rules would apply though... just because you are a paramedic does not make you either a good teacher or a good leader (as we all well know!).

Just food for thought and my two cents!

Submitted respectfully,
Michael Lawrence, RN, ENC(C)
Divisional Nursing Officer
Mississauga 504 Adult Patient Care
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Alex Kroeze
Senior Member
Username: Akroeze

Post Number: 97
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 05:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michael,

Do you feel that an RPN could fill the role of the DNO?
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Michael Lawrence, RN
Advanced Member
Username: Spud

Post Number: 34
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is not an easy question for me to answer... but you have asked it.

I do not feel that the role should go to an RPN. If you examine the requirements for the role as outlined in the St. John Instructions (found in a different area of this website) then it clearly lays out the roles and responsibilities that go with the job.

Many people have posted here a similar message that we all agree upon - just being an RN does not an officer make. I feel that although an RPN, or any other member with enough experience, can deliver training that is normally done by the nursing officer, it is more important that the nursing officer be able to provide support to divisional members (as outlined in the national guidelines) in the form of mentoring, education on various health concerns, and be able to counsel members as needed.

Since the role is multifaceted, I believe that the educational preparation and professional practice of the RN is better suited and fulfills the role better.

Once again, submitted respectfully,
Michael Lawrence
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Roger Scott
New member
Username: Pcab

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello everyone,

I have to say that I enjoy reading the posts on this website and commend the Brigade in Ontario for providing such a great online tool!

I also thought I might chime in on the Nursing Officer thread as the discussion has been interesting to follow.

As it stands currently, the answer to who can be a Nursing Officer in the Brigade is a simple matter of policy and the answer is: Registered Nurses. StJCI 2-11-2 refers (the policy hasn't changed since the days of Brigade General Regulations for those of you who remember them).

Now as to who can do the job. Much of the discussion here has centred on technical skill sets. To pick up on Michael Lawrence's humorous label of "bed pan jockey", there many technical patient care skills provided by various health care providers and professionals (I separate provider and professional based on commonly accepted characteristics of a profession, but that is a whole other discussion). When considering who is qualified to do the job of a Nursing Officer, one has to consider more than technical skills, and should also consider cognitive and affective domain aspects of the role. In addition to the difference in some of the more complex technical skills, there is a difference in the required cognitive abilities of health care providers/professionals.

In Alberta, we have a published document that is intended to help determine when to employ a Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN is a whole different thing here than in ON) or Registered Nurse. The College of Nurses of Ontario has a similar document titled Practice Expectations: A guide for the utilization or RNs and RPNs (http://www.cno.org/docs/standards/41062_PracExpectations.pdf). In the end, the deciding factors tend to come down to increasing complexity and risks.

One unique job we give our Nursing Officers in Alberta is the responsibility for our Hep B vaccination program. It is run entirely by our Nurses.

I agree with Michael Lawrence that the RN is best suited to be a Nursing Officer based on the role assigned. That is not to say that any other health care provider/professional should not be used to contribute to the effectiveness of the Brigade. Further, it is important to remember that wearing red, green, or blue bars should be separate and distinct from wearing officer insignia. The two don't go hand-in-hand. For example, you can have a nurse who wears red bars, but is not appointed to a Nursing Officer position and does not wear officer insignia.

And as an interesting sidenote: In Alberta Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Emergency Medical Responders are a self-regulated and licensed/registered via the Alberta College of Paramedics just like MD, RN, LPN and others.

Roger Scott, EMT-P, RN, CEN
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Simon Martin
New member
Username: Als_medic

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 02:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with Michael Lawrence about getting with the times. As St. John is doing more and more in the pre-hospital care arena, rather than home care, a position that recognizes that would be appropriate. While Registered Nurses are highly educated and skilled professionals in their field, they are not trained in pre-hospital care. I think a Divisional "Ambulance Officer" or the like would be a good step forward. Working Paramedics would have a great deal to contribute within the organization, but are not currently recognized.
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Blair Schwartz
Advanced Member
Username: Medicator007

Post Number: 35
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a current working paramedic, I would disagree that we are not currently recognized. Paramedics with valid certification wear the blue bar on their uniforms. Recognition does not require an officer position set aside for it. What additional tasks would a Divisional Ambulance Officer perform over and above that which are already performed by DNO, DTO, DMO? I definitely agree that paramedics have TONS to contribute to this organization, but so do other professions:

Why not have:
- Divisional Legal Officer
- Divisional Respiratory Therapy Officer
- Divisional Physical Therapy Officer
- Division Social Work Officer
...etc...etc...

Just my two cents.
Blair Schwartz

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