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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stupid doctors can keep us RTs very busy

With his briefcase in hand the pharmacist passed me in the hallway. It was 9:30 at night and I knew he was  scheduled to clock out at 8 p.m.

"Heading out finally?" I said.

"Yep," he said as we progressed to the staircase. "It's amazing how one patient can keep you so busy so long."

"Or one stupid doctor," I said ruefully.

He laughed. "That was a good joke."

"Oh, I'm not joking," I laughed. I really wasn't.

He was still laughing as he exited the building. It is amazing how one stupid doctor can keep you busy all night long, or one lazy doctor if you don't like me calling a doctor stupid.

Tonight we had a good example of this, as the patient was extremely labored when admitted to ER. After several bronchodilators and BiPAP she was finally feeling much relief. She was even feeling well enough to joke about getting up and walking out.

And, ironically, she was off the BiPAP for 20 minutes during and after the transport to her room, and she was satting well and doing just fine. Not only that, she had gone six hours without a breathing treatment and she's still feeling fine.

Yet, I look at the chart and find out that the order says to continue the BiPAP and give breathing treatments every 2 hours.

This is one case I wish the patient would simply refuse therapy, but she's nice and she won't. So, because the doctor was too lazy to come in and assess the patient and order stuff she really needs than stuff out of habit, I'm going to be really busy tonight.

Yep, one patient can keep us busy. Yet, one stupid doctor can keep us even busier. I'm sure the admins will smile, however, when they see all the procedures I do tonight, whether those procedures are needed or not.

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