Reality check please?

  1. I'm trying to decide accelerated BSN vs. RT school.

    Every time I say, you know, nurses seem to get stuck in the middle, fielding requests for snacks for visitors, cleaning the floor if housekeeping can't make it up, running their tails off with too many patients, all the while also trying to do everthing they need to do for the pt and use all of the skills they learned in school,.. my husband always tosses these lovely comments out:

    "The RNs tell the LPNs what to do and the LPNs delegate to the techs and aides and the RNs mostly chart and boss everyone around. They do only the most advanced pt care. If an aide can do it, then the aide does it." (this is usually in response to my - I don't want to be doing catheters, dressing changes, and being 6 inches from various parts of the patients' bodies all day long). I think we are both way off on what an RN does on a shift except on opposite ends.

    "Nurses make like $50/hr" - not around here, thats for sure. Not sure WHERE he got that number

    OK, I think he is off in left field a little bit. :uhoh21:

    He did some rotations in a couple of hospitals as a paramedic intern and seemed to get placed in many different units, so I don't doubt he has witnessed how some units run and the different jobs people do.

    Can anyone tell me what an RN does do typically? I know nurse techs can do a lot, more than what I learned in my quarter plus one week of LPN school 7 years ago, but I guess I really don't know how the division of labor works, and how often it breaks down due to understaffing.

    I was talking to my aunt the other day, (my gma is in the ICU) and she told me they are tube feeding her and said she forgot the term for it. I said, I think its TPN, and went on to describe how in my LPN clinicals we learned how to check the g tubes and stop and start the feedings on our pts in LTC. She said, you know, when you talk like that, I just think you should go back to school and finish getting your RN (I have a BS in general studies but was originally a BSN major). I can really see you doing that. I just don't know what I would be doing. its all a little daunting to think about it.

    A little help?

    Last edit by lisadol on Sep 28, '05
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    About lisadol

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 4


  3. by   bluesky
    OK. First of all your activities as an RN will vary tremendously depending on what environment you choose. Most ICU nurses (that's my environment) do all the patient care including the tasks you listed as the jobs of "aides".

    Research and nurse educators on the other hand, sometimes don't spend any time at the bedside. It's quite impossible to make a generalization.

    TPN is intravenous feeding (it looks like white milk going into the person's central IV line site). Tube feeds are the feedings (usually beige in color, osmo +, nepro, traumacal are some names) which are fed through NG, PEG or small bowel feeding tubes. Major difference.

    As for RT vs. RN, all I can say is this. I have met many RTs who were studying to get their RN's. I have not met any RNs studying to get their RT... just a fact.... please don't flame... I luuuuuv my RTs who have saved my pts lungs and lives on multiple occasions! :kiss
  4. by   Antikigirl
    I have had four CNA's where I work loose out for the third or fourth time for nursing school (lottery system), and I finally told them to research three are becoming RT's and thanking me up and down for the suggestion!!!!

    My best friend, and lab partner in nursing school prereqs was an RT, obtaining more hours to become a PA. It is a great way to go, and I learned so much from him about the respiratory and circulatory system, fluids/electrolytes, and patients in general...more so than I did in school!

    Nursing is a great option, but like I told my friends...not worth putting your life on hold for years just to get into school...go with RT and pursue the RN later if you wish ...
  5. by   lisadol
    I appreciate the responses and thanks for the correction on the types of feeding. Its been 7 years since I had to know anything anywhere near that kind of information, so it has slipped my mind.

  6. by   Faeriewand
    I have read several posts here from RN's who said they were getting paid $50/hr. And that's not just in California. (I thought ok yeah in the SF Bay Area its possible and was surprised to read a guy's response that he was from Kentucky and getting paid that much) They had worked a while as an RN tho.

    I hope to see you go for your RN if that's where your heart lies.
    Good luck to you
  7. by   KatieBell
    Just to point out...
    I have never worked anywhere where there was an LPN position. In most acute care settings, RNs can't delegate to LPNs because they aren't there.

    My typical day is very messy (Emergency), and involves a lot of being close to patient bodies...But the RT who works in our department, also ends up being close to body parts frequently...

    I think a day shadowing an RT and an RN will give you a good idea of the duties and responsibilities of each and possibly the "reality check" you want.