I’m an LPN and I was a Telemetry Nurse - so yes you can be a telemetry nurse as an LPN, but each state has limits on an LPN’s scope of practice, so some states allow it and others don’t.
In my case, my state did, and I worked the Telemetry desk in a Cardiac Critical Care Unit. I had to certify in reading telemetry of course, and then in the CCU, I was able to monitored the tele correctly. It does take time to learn to listen and hear the alarms in their various ringtones and be attuned to them at all times. You wouldn’t think that could be tricky, but it can!
I had to especially learn that trick, because I also was required to help any RN that needed a quick hand to do something with a patient, as the rooms were all open and surrounded the tele desk, which also served as the station. (So you see, you were always in hearing distance of the tele alert alarms and knowing which alarm was ringing which notification and what was critically important to check immediately, just in case.)
I also was responsible for double checking charts and entering med orders. The RNs pushed all IV meds/blood/etc. I was allowed by law to administer orals/IM meds/insulins, and also flush heparin locks and other things that an RN may ask me to do for them if they were busy doing something else. And that usually entailed talking to family on the phones, for sure!
So as you can see, I stayed busy, to say the least. I was also encouraged to reinforce patient education and especially run interference with visitors during visiting hours. Since I was working in a sensitive area, I was also required to certify in venipuncture and not only BCLS, but also ACLS.
Personally, I don’t understand why all states do not allow LPNs to do this job, because it’s an area that is always understaffed since a lot of RNs just don’t want to sit on a tele desk and be relegated to only that, but it’s an area where hospitals could definitely utilize qualified, experienced LPNs, and in the process, provide even better patient care.
And besides, LPNs truly need more areas to be allowed to practice in because we have been basically pushed to the side in hospitals, and God knows RNs are pushed to their limits in hospitals! They are constantly short handed and overworked and usually given way too many patients in their assigned patient loads!
RNs could truly use a couple of LPNs on every hospital floor just to be able to pass orals and IM’s and surgical wound care, general patient care and charting, and many other “peripheral” duties to the LPN, thereby allowing the RNs to do other things that are more pressing or time consuming.
I say all this because a lot of hospitals don’t even hire LPNs anymore and when it comes to telemetry nursing, it should be worked into every state as part of LPN practice.
But in the end, this is the fault of our state nursing boards, as they do not advocate for the LPN anymore! If our boards advocated for us LPNs more, and pushed the states to allow this into our scope of practice, then the states would absolutely do it!
But I don’t think RNs want to allow us to be able to do it, kind of like doctors don’t want to give up more “scope of practice” to RNs and nurse practitioners, and that’s just so wrong in the face of shortages and how much RNs already have when it comes to options and scopes of practices that are available to them and not LPNs.
We truly are being relegated out of so many things and we already basically are entirely in hospitals, because so many of them do not even hire us anymore. If state boards would push for the state to allow it, then they would because, for the most part, states do not fight the recommendations and requests of their Nursing and M.D. boards.
Perhaps if LPNs in each state would themselves push their boards to advocate for them to get it included into their scope of practice, then the LPN could actually have a few more choices in the present day nursing field and be more viable and valuable to employers, and maybe in the process, find more work!