COVID-19: Information for Self-Employed LPNs
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep health-care providers and communities safe, the Province issued a directive, on March 22, 2020, that all non-essential health services should cease.
As a self-employed LPN, you may have questions about what this means for your practice.
LPNs must use good clinical judgment when assessing whether a service they provide is essential to a client. This assessment must be done on a client-by-client basis, and the decision must be made in the client’s best interest. LPNs are accountable for all decisions they make within their practice.
Services that are essential are only those that are:
- time-sensitive, and
- necessary to avert or avoid negative patient outcomes OR to avert or avoid situations that would have direct impact on patient safety.
It is recommended that you notify your clients, as soon as possible, of changes to services, cancellations, and processes to re-book services in the future.
Your clients may have questions about why services are being postponed or cancelled. You may wish to advise them of the directive from the province’s Chief Public Health Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. This directive is available here.
If you have assessed that a service you provide is essential for a client, you must take all necessary steps to protect your client and to protect against risk of community transmission. This means that, before providing service, you must:
- Assess your own risk of having been exposed to COVID-19. If you traveled outside of Manitoba within the past 14 days, are in contact with someone who recently traveled, or have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you must not interact with clients.
- Assess your client’s risk of having been exposed to COVID-19, and if you will be visiting their home, the risk of others within their household. This screening may occur over the phone when possible, and if not, may be done from an appropriate social distance (two meters) before entering the home. This conversation with the client is another opportunity to assess whether services may be safely postponed.
Please refer to Shared Health Manitoba’s guidance and screening tool for management of home visits.
(Note: this guidance document was published March, 24, 2020. Shared Health updates its resources frequently, which may result in a dead link in future. If the resource is not available through this link, please visit Shared Health’s main page of resources for health care professionals).
For essential visits that must occur in person as scheduled, LPNs must:
- use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),
- sterilize equipment by use of autoclave, and
- follow proper hand hygiene protocols.
If you are unable to meet all of these conditions under present circumstances (e.g. shortage of PPE) clients who are in need of essential services must be referred to another health care provider who is able to meet these conditions.
Contact us with questions at:
204-663-1212 (ext 322)
1-877-663-1212 toll free (ext 322)