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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Treatment Jockeys and Button Pushers

These are two more types of RTs to add to our list of "The different types of RTs." We'll add this to our RT lexicon.

Treatment Jockey: An RT who goes about his job of passing out breathing treatments without questioning whether they are needed or not; an RT who just does what he or she is told, no questions asked. Quite often, these types of RTs are well liked by RT Bosses and Administration Officers, and doctors seem to like them too because they usually don't provide the lip. However, treatment jockeys tend to not do so well under stressful circumstances.

These types of RTs are related to button pushers who work in the critical care unit.

Button pushers: An RT who works with ventilators in the critical care unit and all he or she does is push buttons without questioning orders. Initial ventilator settings and all succinct ventilator changes are made by the RT pushing a button, but what to change is decided by the doctor. This type of RT is more prevalent in smaller hospitals that don't have ventilator protocols. However, even with a protocol, this type of RT finds it easier just to call the doctor than risk making a mistake.

These types of RTs are related to the treatment jockeys who work throughout the hospital.

Button Pushers and Treatment Jockeys are more prevalent of the contents and the quitters, and only about 20% of the complainers. The learners and the leaders tend lead the charge away from the button pusher/treatment jockey era.

As the latest statistics show, the number of Pushers and Jockeys has actually diminished over the years. In 1965, when most RTs were OJTs (on the job training), 71.2% of all RTs were were among these types, and by 2005 their numbers had dwindled down to about 30%.

The reason the numbers have not dropped further, experts figure, is that some RTs in certain hospitals develop poor attitudes because a few doctors don't want to give up autonomy to RTs.

However, this attitude is quickly changing with the advent of protocols and improved RT morale.

One of the reasons for the steady decline is the improved educational requirements imposed by the NBRC, coupled with all the great RT programs across the country. It is a simple fact that RTs are slowly generating improved respect within the medical community.

The number of Jockeys and Pushers is inversely related with respect within any respective RT department. You will see that as the percent of the previous declines, the later increases.


my-rt-life said...

Very insightful. I enjoy learning about these "types" and I will keep them in mind when I graduate and start working as an RT.

It seems the question now becomes, how do we learn to effectively communicate our ideas to these "types"? I believe it is called communication style-flexing.

Eh. Just musing. lol

Freadom said...

I don't think you have to worry about communicating with these types, because they usually try to avoid stressful places, like the CCU. They usually prefer to work on the floors so they can pass out nebs. They are content doing that, and thatj's just fine with RTs like me who love the challenge of ER and the CCU.