Today here at Shoreline Medical, I was needed, effective and successful. The ER was full of truly difficult breathers, a couple of chest traumas and a man found down. Four nebs, 2 vents and a chest tube later I was flying high on adrenaline! How great it is to practice my skills of patient assessment, decision making and administering effective treatment. This is what I trained for, acute respiratory distress, trauma and ventilators. However, my euphoria was to be short lived,
Strolling down the hall feeling very full of myself, confident, serene and buoyant, I got a page for a now neb treatment in room 46A. Feeling much like superwoman, I rushed off to save to the day, only to find that a nursing assistant had walked Mr. Anonymous Endstage Emphysema, up and down the hallway without his OXYGEN on! Grudgingly, I reconnected the oxygen, monitored the sat and proceeded to give a Do-allolin treatment to a patient who was by now, totally comfortable, breath sounds clear, with a sat of 95% and talking a mile a minute. If only the nurse had called me to assess the patient before she called the physician I would have been so pleased. Even if I had still had to give the Do-allolin, I would have at least felt that I had been involved as part of the professional patient care Team.
A couple of days ago I heard my beloved respiratory department described as an ancillary department. I thought that this ancient thought process had finally died a natural death, what with minimum education requirements and licensure, and today I felt demonstrated that we are no longer an ancillary department. Then came Mr. A and the nursing assistant, oh well that nursing assistant probably knows more that I, afterall, she has the word nursing in her job title. Maybe we should change our name to Respiratory Therapy Nurses. Love you all, Jane Sage