A patient in respiratory distress is being cared for by an RN, an LPN, and a nursing assistant. The nursing assistant checks the patient's pulse oximetry level as requested by the RN. The patient's reading is 88%. There is an order for oxygen, 1-4L/m, if the patient's oxygen level is sustained below 90%. The RN is busy assessing a critical patient. What should she do next?

Ask the LPN to obtain the patient's vital signs and apply a nasal cannula at 2L/min.


•It is within the LPN's scope of practice to administer oxygen. The nurse should not leave her critical patient, but instead delegate this task to the LPN.

Incorrect options:

•The patient's oxygen needs should be addressed immediately. Waiting to complete the current task before addressing the patient could result in a negative outcome.

•A nursing assistant cannot administer medications such as oxygen, so this cannot be delegated to the nursing assistant.

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