Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are Respiratory Therapists hospital's bitches?

The following may be a controversial topic among the respiratory therapy profession. 

However...

Considering the popularity of  questions I've received on the subject herewith, I have decided to publish the controversial post on the controversial subject. 

I humbly submit this with permission by said author, and by request of an anonymous friend from whom follows the RT cave from somewhere on earth but we do not reveal where as to not get him fired.

Note:  All names places, dates, periods, and capital letters are exaggerated as to not give away any reliable information.  Please consider this while pretenting to read said post. 

Hi Rick. At the hospital I work for we were so excited to finally have an emergency room breathing treatment protocol.  Man, this made me feel so good.  It was finally going to allow me to use the skills I learned in RT school, to decide who does and who does not need breathing treatments.  

Well, after about two years of implementing this protocol, it has resulted in zero fewer emergency room breathing treatments.  If anything, it's resulted in more -- many more. Thus has hammered RATS even deeper into my bones.  

I will give you an example as it occurred today.  I'm called to the ER for RT Consult.  The patient is not short of breath, but is diagnosed with pneumonia.  I'm asked to use my skills to decide if a treatment is needed.  

Nurse:  "You need to give a treatment."

Me:  "Upon my assessment no treatment is needed."

Nurse: "You need to give a breathing treatment."

Me: "No breathing treatment is indicated per RT Consult."

Nurse:  (Irritated) It's your job to give breathing treatments.  There's no reason you can't prepare one.  That's your job.  (right in front of the patient)

Irritated, I give the treatment.
Me: (to patient) "Do you feel any different after the treatment?"

Patient:  "No."

Of course then the patient coughs, brings up a loogy, and spits it into the sputum cup.  The nurse picks up the cup, and holds it up to me as she says, "And you said the treatment wasn't needed."

Me: (Rolling my eyes)(sighing)(leaving room)

Nurse:  (Writes letter to my boss complaining about how I'm lazy and trying to get out of work. Complains how I am grumpy with her.)

My boss then recommends that I take a customer service course, and give more treatments.  

Of course since the treatment is now "indicated" according to our protocol, I have to check up on the patient every half hour until discharge.  

Me:  irritated, go home and drink four Bud Lights, 2 glasses of wine, and one shot of Peppermint Schnapps.  

Sorry for the French, but as RTs, we've become the hospital's bitches.

Anonymous RT (with permission from RT Cave)

Keep in mind, here this is the perspective of the anonymous RT and not necessarily representative of the view of this blog.  However, the RT Cave does not deny it either.  

Now, we should have a raging discussion on this.  Thoughts.  

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You bet we are. I even have a very nice T-shirt that says exactly that. It has RESPRIRATORY written across the top then a set of lungs with the words " the hospital's bitch" underneath.
So yeah, I believe.