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Friday, June 4, 2010

Dear doctors: don't abuse the word STAT

I dare you to hang this note on your bulletin board for doctors to see.

Dear Doctor:

If the patient has been in afib for six hours, has a long history of afib, and shows no signs of respiratory distress, notes no signs of respiratory distress, has a normal spo2, and has no chest pain, then a STAT EKG is not in order.

Now, you may order an EKG as "Now" or "ASAP," but STAT is not appropriate. When we hear the word STAT we think that if we are not at the patient bedside in a matter of minutes the patient will die. If you abuse this important word, you diminish its value, and desensitize us to that word.

Thus, please, do not order a procedure STAT unless you actually mean you want us at the bedside immediately. If you order me to the bedside STAT because you don't want to wait, or because you're annoyed with the nurse, or because you want it before a surgery, I'm going to catch on and STAT to me is going to mean no more than ASAP or NOW.

So, please, from this day forth, do not order procedures STAT unless the word STAT is what you really want.

Thank you: your humble respiratory therapist

I dare you.
Word of the Day:Provocation: the act of provoking; something that incites, instigates, angers, or irritates

I imagine one might see this more as an act of provocation as opposed to educating.

1 comment:

Glenna said...

Yeah, totally agree!!!!!!