I see the respiratory therapist as a member of the overall team of medical professionals who does his part in making a patient more comfortable or, if it comes to it, providing his expertise and skill in an attempt to save the life or improve the quality of a patent's life.
I suppose it's for that reason that I do not enjoy doing procedures just because a doctor orders it. I flinch when a bronchodilator breathing treatment is ordered on someone just because he or she is short of breath, or just out of a routine of the doctor -- or per his protocol.
Likewise, I flinch when I'm asked to do cord blood gases. The only reason this procedure is done is after a difficult birth because the doctor wants it documented that the gases were normal in case of a law suit. I do not see the RT as someone who does services just to prevent the doctor from being sued.
Thus, if a doctor wants a cord blood gas, he should draw it himself. After all, the RT had to be taken from the bedside of a person who was having difficulty breathing to draw the cord gas.
This is also why I'm anti doing EKGs on patients just because the doctor wants to make sure he covered all his grounds just in case the patient decides to sue.
That's also why I think doing Holter Monitors in the ER is not the job of the RT.
I'm not saying these things don't need to be done. What I'm saying is it should not be the job of the RT on duty.
Now, say, the doctor asked the RT kindly if he'd do these things, I'm sure he would oblige if he wasn't overly busy.
Yet, be it as it may, we do as we are told. We do things we do not approve and we do it with a smile. And then we blog about it in a wry or flippant way.