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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My rant to the 5% of nurses who are hoarding idiots

I would consider myself an enabler. When an RN requests a breathing treatment on a patient I usually do it even when I know it's not indicated. I do it because that's what keeps the peace.

However, if an RN asks me to suction a patient who is awake and alert, I draw the line. If I think suction is not indicated, I will say so. And if the RN insists, I will still refuse to do it. I will absolutely in no way do such a traumatic procedure on any patient who is awake and breathing perfectly fine. Even if the patient has a PRN ORDER.

"I wanted this patient to be suctioned the past three days I've worked, and I just got the order today."

"Well, I'm afraid to say this patient shows absolutely no signs of bronchospasm and doesn't need a breathing treatment period, let alone suctioning," I said. "Look at him. He's sleeping comfortably. In fact, he's snoring for Crying-out-loud. And he's taking good deep breaths."

She continued to look at me, vexed that I would refuse to do something she insisted was needed.

Which is funny, because maybe twice a year I refuse to do something, and every time I do I receive vigorous animosity by this stupid nurse. Then she does everything in her power to make me feel guilty, and it works every time. Still, I stand my ground that I will not suction a patient needlessly. I won't even do it when the doctor orders it.

I enjoy suctioning. I enjoy it because I know I'm good at it, and I know I do a good job -- as most of us RTs do. Yet I draw the line.

The funny thing is. I think nurses like this (which are rare) need to find something better to do than to hoard over their one patient. They need to play solitaire or read a book and not niggle over the patient trying to find something wrong.

Please, don't be a hoarding, all-knowing nurse like this. Be the kind of nurse who calls the professional respiratory therapist, asks his advice, and doesn't argue with him when he gives his advice. After all, our jobs are to do what's in the best interest of the patient, not to do every niggling little thing RNs ask of us.

I think that we RTs ask for this kind of thing, though. We ask for it because we are nice and do what we are told, instead of educating. We give breathing treatments all day long that aren't indicated, and we keep our mouths shut out of respect for our team mates.

We RTs are not ancillary staff. We are trained professionals. Use us! Use our skills! And to you 5% of nurses who think you know it all: stop being niggling, hoarding, disrespectful, moronic idiots.

"Well fine then," she finally says, "But if I think he needs suctioning later I'll call you."

She can call me all she wants, but if I think suctioning is not needed I won't do it. However, I will gather up the suctioning stuff and let her do it.

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