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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is the Job of RT getting easier or harder?

Your RT question:  I've been an RT for about ten years now and it seems we are working harder than when I started.  Do you think this profession is getting harder as the years go by?

My humble answer:  It seems you might have made a good observation, as I've thought the same.  It seems we do twice as many EKGs as we did ten years ago, and we do a ton more treatments and definitely more ABGs.  So it makes you wonder if something is going on here. 

You can look at it this way:

The first 8 years I worked as an RT everything new made the job easier.  Examples include:
  • Better EKG machines
  • Microprocessor ventilators
  • Protocols
The last 8 years I've worked as an RT everything new has made the job more difficult:
  • Protocols create so much paperwork it would be easier to just be a button pusher
  • Order sets double our workload
  • Government regulations setting criteria for reimbursement that has scared hospitals into ordering treatments automatically for some disease conditions (see order sets above)
  • Fear of malpractice has doctors over treating patients (as I wrote here)
  • Pharmacies have cut back on RTs carrying their own meds, meaning drugs must be double and triple charted

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