I feel for all the nurses who have more than 3 or 4 patients. I am a tele tech, and after my horrible day yesterday I started wondering if there were state laws regarding how many patients the Tele Tech should watch. I've read elsewhere that Tele Techs are "just sitting" at their desks in front of the monitors and, therefore, should also have secretarial duties. This is stunning to me that anyone thinks this. I am the sole Tele Tech for a maybe 40 bed tele unit, as well as the west side which is probably the same, AS WELL AS 3 additional floors all totalling up to 80 beds that we watch! Probably only because that is all the monitor space we have. Not only must we watch all of these patients, MANY of whom are critical and have constant arrhythmias, we also have to answer the patient call phones and overflow of the unit phone when the secretary cannot get to it. Imagine that I have a critical alarm, try to call the nurse, cannot reach her, cannot reach her unit, and three patients are calling on the pt call phones wanting their pillow adjusted or a cup of tea with some sweet n low, or continuously mistaking the call light for the TV controller....over and over and over.....beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep WAIT there's still a patient who just had 17 beats of VT! STILL can't get a hold of the nurse! And now there are 4 patients who have critical arrhythmias, you have to track down each and every one, still call the nurses on your unit for the tea and freaking crumpets, and now a doctor has walked in to the Tele room and wants to discuss all his patients with you by walking in the room without bothering to greet you after you've said hello, how are you. When he is gone, and I finally do reach the nurses whose patients have had VT, they are short and snotty with me. When I call the MA to get the tea or prop up the pillow.....or take a poor old lady to the bathroom whose now been waiting about 45 minutes, I hear a big exasperated breathe and the phone goes dead.
Apart from all of this..........you've missed other alarms because, contrary to what some have said, alarms do not always go off for even VT, and sometimes alarms ring CONSTANTLY for rhythms that look like VT. Yesterday I had 3 patients who rang Asystole all dam day long no matter what lead I changed them to. We MUST have our focus on those monitors and nurses in stations walking by occasionally just would never cut it.
Keep in mind, after all is said and done, I make about $10 an hour. Yes, I am educated. Lost my job, thought this would be a foot in the door to a new career. OVER IT after a year and a half only because of this new hospital I work at. Tele Techs do not get the respect nor pay they deserve. It's the absolute worst job I have ever had hands down simply for the rediculous volume of people that I have to watch along with other duties which only add to the insanity inducing noise in the tiny tele room.