"THE DOCTOR ORDERED THEM," she yelled at me, "OF COURSE THEY ARE NEEDED!"
Dog gone it, that's not at all what I meant. But thank you for getting all worked up and screaming at me. Now we all feel stupid don't we. Well, I don't, because I just take things in stride.
My point in asking her that question was not to tick her off, but because there is a difference between a need and a want. If a patient NEEDS an EKG, then I would do it right now. If the doctor simply WANTS the EKG just to be on the safe side, then I can move on to other priority therapies before I do the EKGs.
This brings us to another RT Cave rule #98:
RT Cave Rule #98: "Not all procedures doctor's order are really needed. Some are needed. But others are ordered just as a precaution, and thus are wanted. Thus, some are wanted. In order to prioritize, we RTs need to know the difference between a need and a want."Pre-op EKGs are wants. EKGs done just to prevent a lawsuit are wants. If that guy is having toe pain, then the EKG is a want.
If, on the other hand, the patient is having crushing chest pain, the EKG is needed right now. Another way of looking at it: If the EKG falls within the guidelines of ACLS it is needed, if not is is a want and can be prioritized.
And that, my friends, is the thought of the day.