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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The admins tried to make us RTs automatons

"The first topic of discussion," Gary, our department head, said to start the meeting, "is what you are going to have to say for now on when you go to do a breathing treatment."

I rolled my eyes. Looking around the room, I observed many eyes rolling.

"Now who's going to volunteer to work on this?"

"I will," Dale, one of my co-workers said, raising his hand.

Well, this ought to be interesting, I thought. Dale wasn't just the biggest complainer about useless breathing treatments, but the biggest joker about it.

At the next meeting, Gary asked Dale if he had a program prepared.

"I sure do," Dale said.

"Go ahead."

"You walk into a room," Dale said, "and you say, 'Hi, my name is Dale, I have your before breakfast peace pipe here. Are you short-of-breath?"

Everybody, including Gary laughed.

"What do we say after the treatment?" Gary asked.

Dale said, "Well, after the treatment you ask them if the treatment improved their work-of-breathing."

"Simple enough." Gary glanced at his clipboard. "But what should we say seriously

Without hesitation, Dale shot back, "I am being serious."

Needless to day, Dales presentation was changed by the next meeting. This is what Gary came up with after verifying the patient:

"Hi, my name is ________. What I am going to do is give you a breathing treatment (explain procedure). Do you have any questions? (answer questions and perform procedure) Thank you for letting me give you a breathing treatment. Is there anything I can get for you? I will see you again at approximately ________ for your next treatment. Thank you."

I watched as Dale's jaw dropped. "You want us to say that?"

"Yes," Gary said.

"What about asking the patient if he is short-of-breath?"

"You can ask that if you want, but you don't have to. Breathing treatments are given for more reasons than just for shortness-of-breath."

There was some grumbling in the room. I looked at Dale and he looked at me: we were both thinking the same thing, "How idiotic." Neither one of us said any more. We just wanted the meeting to be over.
This happened about eight years ago, when I was still new at this game and still working mostly days in the pool.

Likewise, we were told we had to stick to this, and that the admins would be hiding behind curtains listening to make sure RTs and RN were sticking to their respective programs.

And, needless to say, I followed this line for a few weeks, only because I feared someone might be listening to me. Finally I decided the spiel wasn't working for me, and I went back to my old routine. I was a bit nervous about this, however.

"I feel like an automaton giving that speech," I told Dale one day, "The patients probably think we are a bunch of robots."

"I never do it."

"You don't."

"Hell no. It's not personalized."

"So, what do you say then," I asked.

"Hey, I have your before breakfast peacepipe here?"

I laughed.

They may have had good intentions with the automaton speech as parts of it are well intended, and it's probably still on the records, but it was dumb.

The admins must have realized their folly, for they have never brought it up again.

1 comment:

mielikki said...

Podunks admins try to encourage us to say things like
"We know you have a choice when it comes to hospitals, we'd like to thank you for choosing ours. Would you recommend us to your friends?"
try saying THAT with a straight face. . .