UPDATE (August 17, 2018): For current practice, see the following document
(UPDATED Aug 21/14) To clarify any confusion related to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) performing ultrasound bladder scanning, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) has released their latest Fact Sheet:
UPDATE (July 20, 2018): This document is no longer available:
FACT SHEET: Authorization for Bladder Scanning with Supervision (PDF)
For many years, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) have been applying non-ionizing radiation in the form of ultrasound imaging for the purposes of bladder scanning as defined in the CLPNA Competency Profile for LPNs (2005, 2nd Ed.) This has been supported by CLPNA and is considered part of the LPN scope of practice.
When LPNs were proclaimed under the Health Professions Act (HPA) LPN Regulation (2003), the restricted activity for application of non-ionizing radiation was not considered to be required for the LPN role specific to bladder scanning.
However, the evolution of the restricted activities has caused confusion in the healthcare system related to the LPN authority to perform this process. There are some employers that have limited the LPN role with the new interpretation of the Restricted Activity.
This new Fact Sheet is to clarify that CLPNA has always supported LPNs with Bladder Scanning. The new supervision parameter now provides for the formal authorization.
The CLPNA hopes their Fact Sheet will allay any concerns.
Questions? Contact CLPNA’s Practice Dept at firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-484-8886 or 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).