respiratory student here....need to ask a question

  1. Hi all........
    I am in my last year of Respiratory Schooling. Well, I started my clinical rotations yesterday and was treated absolutely horrible by all the rn's. I know you all can not speak for them, But do you have suggestions on why they were so mean to me and the other students. We were working the cardiac unit doing o2 rounds. We were instructed by our CI to look at the charting to get familiar with it. I had a nurse come over and take it from my hands and said she needed it. I was like what? Do you think she should of asked me first. I didnt know what to do. I am a student so I didnt want to start any riff raff.
    Another incident was when I went to observe a thorascopy. The nurses in sugery were very rude to me also. I felt so out of place in the surgery I just wanted to run out of there. They were cold to me and when I asked questions, like i was suppose to, They would say I have no Idea really mean like I didnt matter. I just took it with a grain of salt. I really admire nurses for all the hard work they do. But, I work hard too. Our schooling is very rigorous and the grading scale is 5 points above the nurses. So I know what it is to work hard. I thought respiratory and nurses work hand in hand? Or did I just have a bad experience with my first few. I dunno just wanted some opinions.
    thanks
    Respiratory Student
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    No idea why they were rude to you. Could be some pre-existing bad blood the RT and Nursing that had nothing to do with you. Please don't let this sour your future relationship with nursing.

    There's sometimes a love-hate relationship between nursing and other departments, because we can be selfish and needy, but we're the ones at the bedside having to deal with the patients and the doctors.

    I've come accross some horribly rude respiratory therapists in my day. They act like nurses are so stupid and how dare we bother them for something as silly as a breathing treatment. I love when I call them with vent trouble and they ask very snottily "did you suction them?"...."well duh, are you supposed to suction a trached vented patient in respiratory distress, I could never have figured that one out, duh....".

    Anyway, didn't mean to vent about RT, because we have an awesome team here at night with only a couple of nasty ones and I won't judge.

    Sorry, I can't help you. But if the nurses we rude to you (and you're not being overly sensitive are you? Nursing students are like that too.) there is no excuse for that, and you have to rise above it.

    Good luck to you.
  4. by   11:11
    Hmmm...I wasnt there to observe you so its hard to say, but could it be that you are being a little sensitive?

    As an RN who has worked mostly ICU I would say you are correct that most RN's and RT's work pretty closely, but I havent been a nurse near as long as many here have been.

    I can tell you that the first code I was ever on started with just an RT and myself. I was brand spanking new and she called it. She knew what she was doing more than I did.

    At the hospital I work at now RT's not only do respiratory but IABP, EKG, swans, and ECMO (when certified).

    The unit I was in beofre this one all the RT's were ACLS certified and very involved with pt care (and appreciated).

    Something Ive observed is when theres a student or NG on the floor some ppl stand off. I dont know why this is and the only thing I can attribute it to is that healthcare is a very hard profession.

    Fortunately most are not this way and are eager to help new ppl RN or otherwise.

    Maybe while searching for a job you will take this into perspective and will make it a point to ask RT's how they get along with the nursing culture of their particular hospital.

    Best of luck and keep your chin up

    11
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I can't add much to the excellent advice offered here, so let me say this: A wise nurse recognizes and respects ALL members of the healthcare team, if for no other reason than they can save her/his butt (not to mention the patient's) in an emergency! :chuckle

    Seriously, we all bring different talents and skills to patient care; unfortunately, interdisciplinary rivalry is almost universal--it's like every department has to be 'better' than the others. It's unprofessional, and even juvenile in my opinion, but I think you'll find out that when you're in the middle of a code, the infighting stops and everyone does their job. Don't let a few snotty nurses sour you on the whole profession; the truth of it is, everyone has their area of expertise, and when a life is on the line, most of us are smart enough to put our egos away and let the experts do what they do best.
  6. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from respiratoryqeen
    Hi all........
    I am in my last year of Respiratory Schooling. Well, I started my clinical rotations yesterday and was treated absolutely horrible by all the rn's. I know you all can not speak for them, But do you have suggestions on why they were so mean to me and the other students. We were working the cardiac unit doing o2 rounds. We were instructed by our CI to look at the charting to get familiar with it. I had a nurse come over and take it from my hands and said she needed it. I was like what? Do you think she should of asked me first. I didnt know what to do. I am a student so I didnt want to start any riff raff.
    Another incident was when I went to observe a thorascopy. The nurses in sugery were very rude to me also. I felt so out of place in the surgery I just wanted to run out of there. They were cold to me and when I asked questions, like i was suppose to, They would say I have no Idea really mean like I didnt matter. I just took it with a grain of salt. I really admire nurses for all the hard work they do. But, I work hard too. Our schooling is very rigorous and the grading scale is 5 points above the nurses. So I know what it is to work hard. I thought respiratory and nurses work hand in hand? Or did I just have a bad experience with my first few. I dunno just wanted some opinions.
    thanks
    Respiratory Student
    ...about a nurse taking a chart away from you on a critical care unit. Critical care is very fast-paced and sometimes "politeness" gets lost. Even taking CPR, the instructors tell you to tell someone to "go get the AED". It's not, "could someone please get the AED, thank you." That's just not the priority.

    As for surgery, well, a lot of places don't like having students and/or observers. It shows in their attitude. I wouldn't be surprised if you get the brush-off from some of the RTs--sad, but true. It's kind of a thing that happens in lots of healthcare professions. You should check out what docs go thru during their training!

    Also, when you ask questions, ask using medical terminology; the quality of your questions can make a big difference in how you are regarded. A patient I had had had her eye removed and the ophthalmologist was doing a biopsy. To amuse the patient, I told her that there are 7 bones that make up the orbit of the eye (a fact which has always fascinated me since I learned it). I impressed the ophthalmologist, he asked how I knew that--and he remembered and called me by name when he left! So, one of the things that it is initially hard for a student to do is to feel like they belong. Most medical folks then feel like you are more of a burden when you react that way; try to find ways to be helpful, to "pay your way" so-to-speak. Watch to see what someone might need (paper towels? the right size glove? a pen?) and help them out.

    NurseFirst (still a student)
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Jan 16, '05
  7. by   begalli
    .
    Last edit by begalli on Jan 16, '05 : Reason: duplicate
  8. by   begalli
    I think that especially in critical care and I would imagine the OR, RN's are fiercly protective of their patients. You could say that the RN is the boss of the patient and knows everysinglelittlething about, that happens, or is done to the patient.

    Trust is HUGE. If someone walked into my room with my critically ill patient and starting doing things and I didn't recognize them, I'm going to be there with them nearly every step of the way....the first time. 99.9999% of the time competency, according to my standards with my patient, is established the first time. When it's RT, I'll sort of give them a report on the patient as they're doing their thing....what the story is, what drips the patient's on, what problems we've had, what the plan is, etc. RT does get some of this info from their own rounds and report, but frequently not the whole story.

    I just want to make sure that my patient is safe, not that I think anyone is going to intentionally harm my patient, but that's my patient. I sound horribly territorial, and I am, but fortunately most of us that work together realize that in the big picture, it's "our" patient and see the value in and understand each other's roles. So I may come across as someone who's not very nice to someone who doesn't yet understand. I would never intentionally set out to make anyone feel belittled or minimized, but I am there for my patient first.

    Critical care would be nonexistent without RT's. Most of our RT's are an incredible resource with mountains of knowledge and most times, it's RT who the RN's and Residents consult to ensure optimal oxygenation with vented and even non-vented patients. I'll ask an RT any day what they think before I'd ask a doctor. And on the other hand, the RT's understand that the RN knows the patient's up to the second condition and the RT's will always make us aware that they're about to do something or ask if it's okay before doing anything, even something as simple as a scheduled breathing treatment.

    Don't take things too personally. Know your stuff the best you can. Use the RN as a resource...he/she does know quite a bit about respiratory and lots of other complex stuff about the patient as well. Remember that you are working as part of a team and no one part is more important than the other. But remember that the RN is the one who know's what's going on with the "whole" patient and most good RN's will look at every single aspect of patient care critically (especially in ICU).


    Our schooling is very rigorous and the grading scale is 5 points above the nurses.
    I'm curious as to what this means? Because comparing the two (RN-RT) is not something that can be done and shouldn't even be tried. Thinking that one is "above" another is a really bad attitude or belief and it's something that will hurt your practice and quite possibly your patient in the long run.
    Last edit by begalli on Jan 16, '05
  9. by   respiratoryqeen
    Quote from begalli
    I think that especially in critical care and I would imagine the OR, RN's are fiercly protective of their patients. You could say that the RN is the boss of the patient and knows everysinglelittlething about, that happens, or is done to the patient.

    Trust is HUGE. If someone walked into my room with my critically ill patient and starting doing things and I didn't recognize them, I'm going to be there with them nearly every step of the way....the first time. 99.9999% of the time competency, according to my standards with my patient, is established the first time. When it's RT, I'll sort of give them a report on the patient as they're doing their thing....what the story is, what drips the patient's on, what problems we've had, what the plan is, etc. RT does get some of this info from their own rounds and report, but frequently not the whole story.

    I just want to make sure that my patient is safe, not that I think anyone is going to intentionally harm my patient, but that's my patient. I sound horribly territorial, and I am, but fortunately most of us that work together realize that in the big picture, it's "our" patient and see the value in and understand each other's roles. So I may come across as someone who's not very nice to someone who doesn't yet understand. I would never intentionally set out to make anyone feel belittled or minimized, but I am there for my patient first.

    Critical care would be nonexistent without RT's. Most of our RT's are an incredible resource with mountains of knowledge and most times, it's RT who the RN's and Residents consult to ensure optimal oxygenation with vented and even non-vented patients. I'll ask an RT any day what they think before I'd ask a doctor. And on the other hand, the RT's understand that the RN knows the patient's up to the second condition and the RT's will always make us aware that they're about to do something or ask if it's okay before doing anything, even something as simple as a scheduled breathing treatment.

    Don't take things too personally. Know your stuff the best you can. Remember that you are working as part of a team and no one part is more important than the other. But remember that the RN is the one who know's what's going on with the "whole" patient and most good RN's will look at every single aspect of patient care critically (especially in ICU).


    I'm curious as to what this means? Because comparing the two (RN-RT) is not something that can be done and shouldn't even be tried. Thinking that one is "above" another is a really bad attitude or belief and it's something that will hurt your practice in the long run.
    What I meant by this was that we have to get a 78 in order to pass all of our classes and the nurses have to get a 72. I was in no way comparing one is above another and would never do that. I was just trying to make a point that RT's work very hard and alot of people do not see that. I was just shocked because our CI said that Nurses and RT's work hand in hand. But, I do understand what you were saying about the patient.
    Come to find out, I talked to my CI today and she told me she noticed how we were treated and I guess that there has been a sour relationship with the RT department and the RN's which I think is utterly ridiculous. The good thing about clinicals is you can soak up everything you can like a sponge and see things like I saw and know you will not be working there. I know that there will be "sour relationships" where ever you go, But at this hospital I think it is too much. So I will be there to learn what I can. And move on.
    Thanks all for all your responses and advice.
  10. by   begalli
    Quote from respiratoryqeen
    I was just trying to make a point that RT's work very hard and alot of people do not see that.
    I know ya do!!

    Good Luck!
  11. by   begalli
    Quote from respiratoryqeen
    Come to find out, I talked to my CI today and she told me she noticed how we were treated and I guess that there has been a sour relationship with the RT department and the RN's which I think is utterly ridiculous.
    Also, don't hesitate to ask the docs questions, especially if your clinicals are in a teaching hospital!
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from respiratoryqeen
    What I meant by this was that we have to get a 78 in order to pass all of our classes and the nurses have to get a 72.
    edited. We needed a C or above which was a 79 or above.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 16, '05
  13. by   begalli
    Our nursing class was so steep, an 84 was bordering on a C or it quite possibly could have been a C. (It's been a while.)

    For some reason the number 96 haunts me.
  14. by   jeepgirl
    I don't know why the nurses would be rude to you as an RT student. I mean, gosh... I don't know about you guys, but I depend heavily on my RT people. Especially in Peds, were so many of our patients have respiratory problems.

    For the most part, we have good RT people at our facility. It bothers me, however when we have RT's who:

    Refuse and buck at us when we need a croup (or O2) tent set up for a kid. Don't they realize by the time that we need a tent that we're not playing games? Oh, and don't go in there and start grilling the parents at 0200 in the morning trying to make an Asthma dx so you can try to refuse to set the booger up. By this time, we've already confirmed that the kid DOESN'T have asthma with both the parents and the docs. Promise!

    Moan and groan when we call for PRN breathing treatments. Isn't that your job?

    Oh, and if a patient asks you to help them sit up at the side of the bed, or heck, even help them sit the head of their bed up... can you just help them? We had one RT when I was an NA who would track us down to sit the patients on the side of the bed. And these weren't assist X2 patients... one time, it was just the fact that the patient needed help moving her bedside table. Once, this certain RT even paged us to hand the patient her box of kleenex that was on the ledge in the patients room... EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS STANDING IN THE ROOM OBSERVING THE TREATMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED (the ledge was on the opposite side of the bed)! Lazyness!

    But no, no one deserves to be treated like that. I'd speak up and let your clinical instructor know. We had a situation like that when I was in nursing school. If people speak up, maybe classes behind you won't have to go through the same thing.

    Oh, and in my RN program if we made less than 78% we failed.

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