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Friday, July 3, 2009

Respect garners respect, or so they say

Respect is something that must be earned. I think respect for respiratory therapists is growing, yet I think there are even those within the RT department who don't understand the meaning of the word respect, like the boss of the RT Cave.

A few days ago one of my coworkers got fed up with stupid doctor orders in the ER. The straw that broke the camels back was when Dr. Q1 wrote the following order for a patient with no respiratory distress: "Q1 treatments until discharge."

My coworker, Dale, grabbed a folder and wrote the following on the tab: "Questionable ER treatments. Save and we'll bring this up with the RT bosses." He said: "We're going to keep track of all the stupid ER treatments and take this up with the RT Bosses."

This seemed to me a noble idea, and during the night I did five treatments in ER, and of course all were questionable. So I put them in the folder. I also did five ABGs, all questionable. So I started a second folder: "Questionable ABGs."

The next morning my boss came to me and said, "Do you know about the folders in the back room?"

"Oh, yeah," I said, smiling. "Dale started that."

"Well you guys need to have more respect for your job," she said.

I said nothing, although I wanted to.

She said, "You know, you guys ought to accept the idea that it's treatments that keep us in business, and if it weren't for these treatments you wouldn't be here. You bring this to an RT meeting and all we're going to do is throw this king of stuff out."

"It's the principle of the matter," is all I said, not wanting to start another fight with my boss. "It's the principle."

I mentioned this brief discussion with Dale the next time I saw him, and he said, "The RT bosses want us to respect our jobs, yet they don't respect us. It's our wish to get rid of useless treatments, and they don't care."

1 comment:

Glenna said...

Another side of it is called "irresponsible medicine". Q1 albuterold tx's until discharge is going to run that pt's heart rate up so high they'll have to admit them....and we all know that common sense says that if someone's well enough to go home then they don't need Q1 anything. You'd think a doctor would know that we're supposed to WEAN meds and monitoring to send someone home. (yes, that was sarcasm) Tx's may "keep us in business" but that still doesn't mean you give meds that are indicated. That's irresponsible medicine.