My hospital did away with telemetry monitoring techs recently and I'm concerned about patient safety and nurses legal liability when no one is watching the monitor. We are supposed to be checking it frequently, but in reality this is not so. We may be tied up in another patient's room. Sometimes people's rhythm changes ie to atrial fib and we do not know when it actually happened. I relayed my concerns to manager and even to the hospital risk manager, whose response was that perhaps I needed a job change. She stated the nursing literature proved that telemetry tech monitors were ineffective and unnecessary. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this and if they work in a state that requires an actual person, telemetry tech, watching the tele monitors.
I don't know that the states require tele monitor techs. I wonder if your nurse manager needs a job change? How many patients do you have and how many of them are monitored? I have worked on a unit with a 4 patient load and monitors above the bed and one in back of me. I felt safe with this ratio. How do you know whose alarms are ringing? How would you know whose leads are off? How many monitored patients are on the floor? The hospital will go down if there is a problem. I have worked on some 40 bed tele units and even 25 bed tele units. Every nurse would not be able to respond to every alarm. That is what it takes to ensure safety for the patients. With a low nurse to patient ratio, 4 patients, you are safe. More and something is going to happen. Research would be valid in a small unit, not in a large unit with the monitor at one end of the unit, and nurses assuming it is someone others alarms. I hope their policy has made it to print. This is what will protect you. If the nurse is following hospital policy and procedure, you will be ok. Find it in writting. I would not be happy working on a large unit without a tele monitor tech.
Last edit by lever5 on Jun 30, '02