Here's an interesting article you can read about the pulse oximeter: "Is pulse oximetry an essential tool or just another distraction? The role of the pulse oximeter in modern anesthesia care." I personally believe there are definitely advantages to pulse oximeters, yet there are also disadvantages.
Advantage: It's a agreat noninvasive way to learn how well a patient is oxygenating. Patients can monitor their own oxygenation, and increase or decrease as needed. By seeing how well a patient is oxygenating, this negates the need to perform unnecessary invasive arterial blood pokes.
Disadvantage: Some patients sit and stare at their pulse oximeter and this results in added anxiety. Sometimes I just want to take it away. If it's mine I can, but many patinets are bringing in their own pulse oximeters. Some are less than $99, and some cost less than $50.
What do you think? Is pulse oximetry a distraction?