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Friday, July 11, 2008

An honest RT has "A bad attitude"

I didn't mean to be rude to the nurse, I was just being honest when I said, "This patient is wet, he doesn't need a breathing treatment."

"That's a bad attitude," My RN friend said.

"I'm just being honest."

That's exactly why we RTs go about our work, keep our mouths shut, and grumble and gripe to ourselves when we get tired of being called every five minutes for another treatment for some stupid reason.

This time, the patient had swollen ankles, diminished lung sounds coupled with a throat squeak indicative of CHF. Oh, and he also had a cardiac history.

I thought for a second about educating her on why I thought a treatment wasn't indicated, but decided better. It's easier just to keep my mouth shut, and let her think I'm just being grumpy.

One of my co-workers told me he told a nurse the other day a patient didn't need a breathing treatment, and the nuse said, "You're just trying to get out of work."

In other words, we RTs are lazy. We just want to sit in our RT Cave without being bothered.

So, basically, when we are called because a patient is SOB, or has some annoying lung sound, we have no choice but to give a treatment, whether it's indicated or not.

Mind you, it's no big deal sticking a pipe in some one's mouth, it's just the principle of the matter that counts.

It should speak highly of us RTs that more often than not we simply give the breathing treatment just to keep the nurse happy; to keep the peace. At least that's how I usually work.

For me, secondary to taking care of the patient, there's nothing more important than maintaining a good rapport with the nurses.

This brings us to RT Cave Rule #24:

RT Cave Rule #24: It's better to just keep your mouth shut and give the breathing treatment, than to risk being told that you are lazy and just trying to get out of work.

That, my friends, is the thought of the day


Heidi said...

I agree...but usually after I've given the un-neccessary V/A breathing treatment (which we all know cures CHF)....I go up to the nurse and say, "The breathing treatment is done, the patient is still wet and wheezing...I think Lasix and a catheter might be the solution..." and I walk away.

Almost as if to say..."Hum, maybe you need better friggin assessment skills" said...

Been there--Done That! Excellent post and oh-so true.

It's the Nurses that need to be educated. I think a lot of times, the Nurse will call the RT because they don't want to call the docs ( especially at night).

my-rt-life said...

As I'm not an RT, just a student, I still don't understand.

Do RTs really give a pt a breathing treatment because the nurse wants them to, even if it is not indicated by the pt's current condition?

If an RT truly believes a pt doesn't need a PRN treatment, what happens if they speak up? Something like, "I know you want me to give this treatment, and I will, but the reason I don't think it is necessary is_____________. However, if you still want me to give it, I will."

I probably really have no idea what I am talking about. Lol.

Intubate Em!!! said...

I try to explain to the nurse why I don't think they need a prn tx. Usually it is given anyways because, what can it hurt? Or they get on the phone with the doc and get an order for a stat/now tx.

However, since I do actually assess the patient & discuss it with the other members of the patients team, I do have some nurses/docs who go off my recommendations and trust me.

Pick your battles because sometimes it is just easier/wiser to do what you are told.