The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN) Revised Statement of Functions and Qualifications of the Licensed Practical Nurse states that the licensed practical nurse, with additional preparation in specialized areas and under direction of autonomous health professionals, is qualified to:
(1) Supervise other nursing and health-related personnel.
(2) Coordinate and make assignments of other nursing and health-related personnel and patients.
(3) Serve as team leader.
(4) Serve as charge nurse.
b. All members on a nursing team work together under the direction of the physician to help the patient return to his optimum function as quickly as possible. The team leader's responsibilities are:
(1) To attend change of shift reports. The change of shift report may be given to the entire oncoming shift in one area or it may be given in "walking rounds." In walking rounds, the departing nurse moves from patient to patient as he or she gives the report to the oncoming staff. This enables the oncoming staff to view the patient's equipment and dressings as the departing nurse reports what has occurred during her shift.
(2) To assign personnel. Personnel assignments are made with the patient's needs and each team member's proficiency in mind. The team leader reviews the nursing care plan, provides each team member with a written assignment sheet, and discusses the assignment with each member. The team leader also assigns breaks and lunch time.
(3) To assist team members with patient care. The team leader may assist with patient care as needed, but usually supervises the care that team members provide and sees that the goals of patient care are being met. He explains procedures to team members.
(4) To coordinate staff activities. The team leader coordinates staff activities to ensure quality patient care. The team leader attends patient care conferences and provides input to the Nursing Care Plan. He keeps abreast of any changes in patient status. He ensures utilization of quality assurance and infection control policies.
(5) To motivate the team. The team leader motivates the team to give skilled nursing care. Self-esteem, status, affiliation with others, affection, giving, accomplishment, and self-assertion are regarded as secondary needs. These needs vary in intensity with various individuals. The team leader must do or say those things, which will influence the team members to act in the desired manner (give skilled nursing care).
(6) To make final rounds. About one hour before the shift ends, the team leader should begin final rounds to observe and assess patient care and patient needs, and to see that everything is in order before the staff goes off duty for that shift. In making final rounds, the team leader would include the following:
(a) Check for completion of assignments.
(b) Check input/output (I&O) sheets.
(c) Check intravenous (IV) infusions and nasogastric (NG) intubations.
(d) Review nursing documentation.
(e) Talk to the patients. Gather information for the change of shift report. Listen for compliments or complaints concerning nursing care.
(f) Thank team members and give constructive feedback to those team members who were unable to complete their assignments.
(7) To complete nursing care rounds. The team leader should visually assess individual patients following the change of shift report.