If I am called to the emergency room STAT only to be told the ambulance is still 5 minutes out, I didn't need to be called STAT.
If I am called to recovery STAT only to find out the surgeon wanted a pre-operative EKG, I didn't need to be called STAT.
If I get called to a patients room STAT, and learn the doctor wanted the routine ABG or EKG done before he had to leave town to go fishing, I didn't need to be called STAT.
That in mind, allow me to restate here an old RT Cave Rule:
RT Cave Rule #6: STAT means that you need to get to the patients side right now. We are talking about a life and death situation.
That said, there is another rule that must be re-emphasized about the word STAT, and that's this: if you're going to abuse the word STAT, then you are going to desensitize RTs to its meaning.
Thus, if you keep calling me STAT for BS reasons, I'm going to stop dropping what I'm doing when I hear it. This brings me to our latest RT Cave Rule:
RT Cave Rule #37: If you don't want to desensitise RTs to the word STAT, make sure you don't abuse the word STAT.I think the word STAT is one of the most important in the entire hospital industry, so it must not be abused. We RTs are just as busy as doctors and nurses and are required to prioritize therapies. Don't force us to sacrifice the care of one patient for your inappropriate STAT call.
There are more appropriate ways to inform or page the RT of an impending situation. For examle, you can type the following page:
- The doctor wants you in room 231 ASAP
- Ambulance 5 minutes away
- EKG in ambulatory ASAP