Medical Assistance in Dying Guideline

The CRNS is pleased to announce the release of an updated nursing practice guideline, Medical Assistance in Dying Guideline, 2021. The guideline has been updated to reflect current, evidence-informed best practices, legislative changes and applies to all categories of nursing practice.

Please review this document and consider how it may relate to your practice. If you have any questions, please contact a CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email practiceadvice@crns.org.

NPs Prescribing Cosmetics

Nurse Practitioners (NP) in Saskatchewan can prescribe bioactive agents and medical fillers for cosmetic purposes when:

  • the patient condition for which they are prescribing the agents fall within the individual NP common medical disorders;and,
  • the NP has the knowledge, skills and competence to safely assess, treat, prescribe and/or administer the product in accordance with bylaws, standards and competencies and federal legislation.

NPs work within a collaborative team of physicians, Registered Nurses (RN) and other health care providers to implement the nursing process including assessment, care planning, implementation and evaluation. Recognition of practice is required for NPs who practice in the most responsible practitioner role. Contact regulation@crns.ca for further information.

Providing cosmetic services and procedures has evolved over the past several years and includes unique liability risks that NPs should understand prior to engaging in this area of practice. It is strongly recommended that NPs contact the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) to discuss liability risks associated with cosmetic nursing.

This nursing practice update replaces the former CRNS October 13, 2020, nursing practice update.

Questions? Contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227, or by email at practiceadvice@crns.ca.

Joint Statement on the Section 56 Exemption for CDSA Drugs

The current Health Canada section 56 exemption for all drugs under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that was set to expire on September 30, 2021, has been extended to September 30, 2026. The purpose of the exemption was to reduce regulatory barriers to support the continuity of care for patients, and as the pandemic continues and Health Canada works toward modernizing federal regulations, the extension to September 30, 2026, meets these continued needs. The Saskatchewan Prescription Review Program partners – Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan – have considered the long-term implications of the exemption, with a focus on patient safety and access.

This exemption provides prescribers, including Nurse Practitioners, the authority to issue a verbal prescription for controlled substances drugs to extend or refill a prescription. The Saskatchewan Prescription Review Program partners have agreed to accept the new exemption with the following two provisions for Saskatchewan:

  • CDSA drugs may only be transferred once within Saskatchewan. While there remains risk of diversion of medications, the Patient ID Policy alleviates some risk and permitting one transfer may benefit the patient.
  • Verbal prescription orders should only be accepted after every effort has been made to receive a written or e-prescription from a provider. The rationale for accepting a verbal order must be documented by the pharmacist.

As previous, Health Canada can terminate this exemption depending on the current conditions if the Minister deems that such suspension is necessary to protect public health, safety or security. If necessary, the Minister may change the terms and conditions of this exemption. Should this be the case, you will be informed. Read the Full Statement

Medication Management Guideline

The CRNS is pleased to announce the release of an updated nursing practice guideline, Medication Management Guideline. The guideline has been updated to reflect current, evidence-informed best practices and applies to all categories of nursing practice.

Please review this document and consider how it may relate to your practice. If you have any questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

Joint Message about Ivermectin in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19

Ivermectin for prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19 has been promoted on social media and is not supported by scientific evidence. In humans, ivermectin is only approved for treatment of parasitic infections and rosacea.

Based on the current scientific evidence and best-practice guidelines, the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSS), the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, the Saskatchewan Medical Association, and the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan disapprove of the use of ivermectin for either treatment or prophylaxis for COVID. This opinion is further supported by the evidence from Health Canada, the World Health Organization (WHO), Alberta Health Services Covid-19 Scientific Advisory group, and the British Columbia COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee guidance document.

The joint statement is available here.

If you have any questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

Triaging in Emergency Departments

Registered nurses (RN) are responsible and accountable to provide evidence-based, safe, competent and ethical nursing care in all practice settings. In the emergency department, “the process of triage is essential for safe and appropriate care of the emergency department patient” (National Emergency Nurses Association [NENA], 2019).

In 2019, NENA revised their position statement, Role of the Triage Nurse and includes the following key points:

  • Triage is a sorting process that requires rapid assessment, critical thinking and application of a standard set of guidelines with patients that can experience instability and changes to their condition.
  • The process of triage is best carried out by RNs and Nurse Practitioners (NP) with emergency nursing expertise who have completed a triage-specific educational program.

RNs and NPs work in the emergency department as part of a multidisciplinary team, where safe and appropriate care is best achieved through collaboration and respect.

This nursing practice update replaces the former Triaging in Emergency Departments CRNS and SALPN Joint Statement, 2013.

If you have questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4200 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

 

Reference:

National Emergency Nurses Association. 2019. Role of the Triage Nurse. Retrieved from https://nena.ca/w/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Role-of-the-Triage-Nurse-2.pdf

Physician to RN Delegation

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS), through The Medical Professions Act, 1981 and their bylaws provide the opportunity for physicians to delegate certain activities to Registered Nurses (RN). The current CPSS Bylaw 23.3 permits delegation from a physician to an RN.

RNs who are considering accepting a delegation from a physician must understand the conditions for this to occur. RNs accepting a delegation from a physician should ensure that they:

  • are certain that the practice is in the best interest of the client in their surrounding environment, including assessment of the risks and all possible outcomes;
  • are willing to only accept a delegation from a physician if the activity is specified in the current CPSS Bylaw 23.3 and for which they are competent;
  • confirm appropriate education, supervision, support and communication avenues are in place with the delegating physician before performing a delegated medical activity;
  • possess the competencies required to manage any outcomes of that activity, including intended and unintended consequences;
  • do not delegate any activity delegated by a physician, to another RN or any other health care provider;
  • are practicing within the legislated scope of registered nursing practice and are upholding the current standards, competencies and code of ethics;
  • have a written agreement with the physician who is delegating to the RN;
  • verify that employer policies and processes are in place to enable acceptance of a delegation from a physician; and,
  • adhere to the employer policy and procedure for a delegated medical activity. That said, no employer policy can relieve RNs of their professional accountability and responsibility. The RN must ensure that:
    • roles, responsibilities and authority, specific for the physician and RN, are clearly outlined in the policies and procedures, including clear lines of reporting and communication;
    • a collaborative process with representation from appropriate professionals, guides the development of these policies and procedures, to ensure professional roles are accurate, professional accountabilities and standards can be met, and that the documents are based upon evidence-informed best practice; and that
    • there is ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the physician to RN delegation process.

The information contained within this nursing practice update replaces the former CRNS document, Guidelines for Physician to RN Delegation.

If you have questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

External Consultation MAiD Guideline

Following feedback from Canadians, experts, practitioners, stakeholders, Indigenous groups, provinces and territories, changes were made to Medical Assistance in Dying legislation which took effect on March 17, 2021.

In response, the CRNS has revised and updated the Guidelines for RN Involvement in Medical Assistance in Dying and the Guidelines for NP Involvement in Medical Assistance in Dying.

The new document Medical Assistance in Dying identifies the changes to the legislation as well as combines the two previous documents into one document. The CRNS is seeking feedback from members, stakeholders and the public related to the new document. Please access the document here. Please access the survey questions here. The CRNS would appreciate any feedback by July 13, 2021, at 4:30 pm.

Final approval of the document is through the CRNS Executive Director and CRNS Council. The document will take effect on the day of CRNS Council approval.

Questions or comments are welcome and can be directed to creece@crns.ca.

Changes to The Coroners Amendment Act, 2019

On June 1, 2021, The Coroners Amendment Act, 2019 and The Coroners Amendment Regulations, 2021 came into force making several changes to The Coroners Act, 1999 and The Coroners Regulations, 2000. There are a couple of changes that may be important for Nurse Practitioners (NP) to be aware of with respect to the reporting of deaths resulting from medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The changes include:

1. The definition of “medical assistance in dying” as defined in section 241.1 of the Criminal Code has been moved from The Coroners Regulations, 2000 to Section 2 of The Coroners Act, 1999.

2. Subsection 7(4) has been added to The Coroners Act, 1999 which clarifies that the reporting requirements under section 7 do not apply with respect to a person who died as a result of medical assistance in dying where the underlying cause leading to death is natural, i.e. from a natural disease process.

3. Subsection 7(5) has been added which requires an NP to report a death resulting from medical assistance in dying to a coroner if the underlying cause leading to the death is unnatural, i.e. from injury rather than disease.

If you have questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4200 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

Drug Recall and Pharmacist Approved Substitutes

As per the safety alert from Health Canada, there is a significant recall of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) including irbesartan, losartan and valsartan due to an azido impurity. To ensure the continuity of care for patients using ARBs, the Registrar for the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) has passed emergency exemptions that allow pharmacists to prescribe therapeutic substitutions, in collaboration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Health. See the joint recall notification

If you have questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4200 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

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