I am a new dialysis nurse, well a new nurse period, and until today I loved my job and the people I work with although they've been a little slow to warm up to me on a personal basis.
Here's my delima....
I am in training and my preceptor is a tech and a DAMN good one at that. I have no problem with her being a tech. I understand I have to learn the nuts and bolts of dialysis before I can go on and it is my understanding that I will go on to be preceptored by an RN later in the game. That said, of course I'm excited about being an RN and wanting to jump in with both feet but know I have to take baby steps as boring as I might think some of them are.
Today I had my first evaluation and my FA and preceptor said I had an attitude about my being an RN and that the techs weren't happy. I was blown away! I thought all this time I'd been showing, if not telling them how great I thougth they were blah blah blah...
I'm beginning to think that it's the other way around, that the techs have an attitude about me being an RN but not knowing much of anything about dialysis.
I'm interested to hear from other dialysis employees, both techs and nurses. I'd like some pointers on how I can avoid saying anything in the future that will piss them off. I hate offending people and this really has me upset.
The only thing I can think of is to never use the term tech or nurse again and stick to our companies term of "teammate" or refer to them as crew memebers, but that seems a little silly to me because after all there IS a difference in training, licencing etc, otherwise the state of Texas would licence us all as "Dialysis Peoples".
Sep 26, '07
by Hellllllo Nurse
I started dialysis in TX, and imo, the bad attitude of dialysis techs re: nurses is very common in TX, especially in FMC units. I became a traveler and found it is not that way in a lot of other states.
You earned the title nurse, and please refer to yourself proudly as a nurse. Techs are techs. They earned that title and should use it proudly. Poorly defined and poorly delineated role of nurses and techs is a big problem in TX.
Last edit by Hellllllo Nurse on Oct 26, '07
I'm sorry you are experiencing this, but unfortunately this is a HUGE problem in chronic/outpt dialysis. Why? More so than in other areas of nursing, the perceived roles and responsibilities of nurses and techs/PCTs are very, very blurred. Of course, PCTs (with the exception of student nurses, but those don't normally cause a problem) have no idea what additional responsibilities nurses have. On the other hand, PCTs know that nurses make much more $. Therefore, the "same job, more money" perception will lead to resentment (yes, there are exceptions - excellent PCTs with great attitudes who are never subordinate - but I've encountered very few in chronics). Sad, but true.
Usually, nurses and PCTs are even trained together. Personally, I think it's a very bad idea for a subordinate to train a nurse, even in the more technical aspects of the job (not because PCTs are not competent at their jobs - in some areas, such as cannulation, they are often better because they get more practice). Only nurses should train nurses! How will the PCT later respect a nurse that s/he got to "evaluate" (and obviously, in your case, told lies about?!) Bad, bad idea.
It seems obvious that your are dealing with resentment/envy/attitude issues here. If I were you, I would speak to the FA in private to see if you can work with your nurse preceptor from now on. There is nothing that a PCT can teach you that a nurse cannot. Explain why - you don't have the "RN attitude" (LOL, that's a favorite one) but if the PCTs think so, then it's not a good idea to continue the training relationship. If you have any problems with the FA - and/or the PCTs - think long and hard whether you want to continue working there. Yes, it will probably get better once you're no longer being precepted, but dialysis has a long learning curve and other workers can truly make your life miserable if there are unresolved "issues".
I'd better get off my soapbox now (you can tell, this is one of my pet peeves although I'm no longer in chronics and we have no PCTs in acutes). I hope you can get this resolved. Despite some problems, dialysis is a very rewarding nursing specialty - you will get to know and have meaningful relationships with your patients.
Best of luck to you!
Last edit by DeLana_RN on Sep 27, '07
I'm glad things went better for you today, however I'm just a little concerned. It sounds like certain techs are trying to fluster you and "bring you down to their level"; this is typically the reason the "RN attitude" is brought up (have I heard that one before :roll - a favorite nurse "put down" - and believe me, I have never acted superior toward PCTs - having been a nursing home CNA, why would I?!)
Just be careful, the day will come when you will have to delegate to techs and "act superior" (which is what bad techs would call it when asked to do their job). Good techs with good attitudes, of course, are never a problem - but they wouldn't accuse a nurse of having the "RN attitude" in the first place. I really don't think you offended anyone - it's just a popular way of manipulating a new nurse.
Continue what you did today, but don't apologize anymore for something you didn't do
Also, no need to avoid the terms "nurse" and "tech" in conversation, sometimes you have to use them (e.g., "Is float staffer X a tech or a nurse?" You need to know!)
Best of luck to you, keep us posted.
Last edit by DeLana_RN on Sep 28, '07