Why can't nurses intubate? - page 4

by natnat122 | 22,410 Views | 103 Comments

Paramedics and Doctors intubate, why can't nurses?... Read More


  1. 12
    All day, every day. But let me say this: while I have literally thousands of intubations...y'all, it's a neat party trick, but knowing how to maintain an airway with chin lifts, jaw thrusts, oral airways, and how to bag someone...THAT'S how you save a life.
    PedsED-RN, Pixie.RN, crispycritter, and 9 others like this.
  2. 7
    When I was in my EMT-B class, the paramedics used to get at nurses by saying things like, "Yeah, you can do x and y and z...but you can't intubate." It was their favorite dig against RNs.

    I used to think they had a point, but I have to agree with NurseKitten on this one. It's a cool party trick, but the basics are the basics. And no matter how many skills you have, nothing beats good assessment abilities and basic intervention skills. Those, 9.9 times out of 10, will save a life.
    PedsED-RN, Pixie.RN, delphine22, and 4 others like this.
  3. 0
    [QUOTE=PMFB-RN;7186290]
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** Nurses work in many rolls and enviroments, including as first responders in emergency situations. Our transport crew consists of a transport RN, a paramedic, and an EMT/driver or EMT/ pilot. The RN is the team leader. It is the RN who decides when a patient is stable enough to transport (in small hospital ER to large hospital ICU transfers), weather the scene is safe enough for our intervention (in the case of field calls), it is the RN who decides if a patient gets intubated or not (though we may or may not deligate the actual intubation to the paramedic). It is the RN who decides if we need to divert to a closer medical faciliety due to a
    change in patient condition enrout.
    Fair enough, but you have to admit the number of RNs working as first responders is a tiny percentage. I maintain that far too many students get into nursing thinking it's something it isn't. The majority of jobs out there are paperwork and/or bedside care. I still say students who say "I want to be I nurse because I want to save lives" are being naive.

    I didn't mean to imply that nurses who *do* work in a first responder capacity aren't practicing "true" nursing, I just think some students will be pretty disappointed to learn the "cool" stuff is few and far between for most nurses.
  4. 8
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I still say students who say "I want to be I nurse because I want to save lives" are being naive.
    That entirely depends on what they end up doing.

    Let's face it--most of the time, when we save lives, it isn't in the TV drama fashion that people think it is. It's a nurse noticing that something isn't right about the pt/lab values/I&O's/etc and alerting the proper people and then advocating the urgency of the situation to those people.

    THAT is saving lives, undervalued and unappeciated as it is.
    casi, delphine22, NurseKitten, and 5 others like this.
  5. 0
    Nurses do intubate...It's a part of ACLS and PALS.

    I know it depends on the facility, etc. In the Rehab facility I worked for, several residents were knocking out teeth..One snatched the scope out of an experienced nurse who was VERY proficient in intubation and proceeded to knock that patients two front teeth down their throat...how "proficient" was that?? That resident at the next code passed the scope to that proficient nurse. Teeth remained intact.

    Where I work at now, management of the ET tube is still collaborative, but if you need to advance the tube if it is going to be compromised, then by all means we have the autonomy to do so, after PALS, CC, and ICU training. If you have this, plus hours of management and support, then you are good to go!
  6. 0
    Quote from SoldierNurse22

    That entirely depends on what they end up doing.

    Let's face it--most of the time, when we save lives, it isn't in the TV drama fashion that people think it is. It's a nurse noticing that something isn't right about the pt/lab values/I&O's/etc and alerting the proper people and then advocating the urgency of the situation to those people.

    THAT is saving lives, undervalued and unappeciated as it is.
    ^ eh, that's relative...those aspects ARE valued, to the families, and the lives and the healthcare team members we save everyday with our skills and constant questioning attitude. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be consistently the most trusted profession...just my two cents.

    And a lot of people escape reality and love to dabble in fiction...they see nursing as an end all be all to help serve them sometimes, unfortunately...
  7. 0
    Quote from LadyFree28
    ^ eh, that's relative...those aspects ARE valued, to the families, and the lives and the healthcare team members we save everyday with our skills and constant questioning attitude. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be consistently the most trusted profession...just my two cents.

    And a lot of people escape reality and love to dabble in fiction...they see nursing as an end all be all to help serve them sometimes, unfortunately...
    You know cooler people than I do. Most people I meet still think nurses "serve" doctors and are lost without direction from the physician.
  8. 0
    Granted, I have been an RN for decades, but, I intubated neonates and children pretty regularly in my years as an NICU, PICU, and critical care transport nurse. As has been previously mentioned, intubation is (or was anyway) one of the skills required for ACLS or PALS certification.

    In addition, many of us were trained in providing intraosseous and cricothyroidotomy access for our critical care transport patients, at that time. Is that still in practice?

    Times have changed for certain, but RNs still have plenty of opportunity to participate in advanced skills in the acute setting. It really depends upon your practice setting, your experience, the policy of your employer, and your training.
  9. 0
    Quote from tewdles
    Granted, I have been an RN for decades, but, I intubated neonates and children pretty regularly in my years as an NICU, PICU, and critical care transport nurse. As has been previously mentioned, intubation is (or was anyway) one of the skills required for ACLS or PALS certification.
    Must of have been a skill that used to be required, because when I did my ACLS certification, we didn't have to demonstrate how to intubate. We were tested on different airways, but the only ones we had to return-demonstrate were NPA's and OPA's.

    I wouldn't want to intubate, anyway. I already have enough responsibility!
  10. 0
    Everytime I hear the word intubate I think of that Grey's Anatomy episode where "TUBEing" a patient is explained; "totally unnecessary breast exam". So very bad! Lol! And yeah, wouldn't want to have to do the legit thing, intubating, either were I nurse! As if nurses didn't have enough to be scared ******** of going wrong!


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