Respiratory Therapists Inserting PICC Lines - page 3

by Asystole RN 25,363 Views | 217 Comments

Here in Arizona several of the hospitals have started an experiment, they are actively replacing PICC nurses with RTs and calling them "Vascular Access Specialists." These RTs will place PICC lines, midlines, and US guided PIVs.... Read More


  1. 1
    Texas is very specific in the NPA rules. Not even an LVN/LPN can do central lines. There is more to learn that the task. People need an EDUCATION about why and where.
    lindarn likes this.
  2. 0
    Respiratory Therapy is placing PICC lines after hous at a several hospitals in Alabama.
  3. 0
    I am quite upset with some of the comments here in this discussion. Although they were said a while ago let me educate everyone on what a Respiratory Therapist does in the background behind the scenes. Constantly is called for from RN's, new grads and old. "My patient's is coughing a lot, can you come give TX?" OMG, and hold on, "My patient has a lot of crackles, can you come give TX?." ETC, ETC, ETC. It's ALBUTEROL not ALLBETTERALL. I am now placing PICC lines in AZ as an RRT and work with respectable RN's daily to assist. Do not make RT's sound like a worthless job, we are mini physicians, CPR experts, and so much more. Respect your RT's. Yours truly,
    TD " A world without RT's is like a world without strings" I made that up ha lol
  4. 3
    Quote from havacube
    we are mini physicians...
    You just lost all your credibility.
  5. 0
    Even the least amount of registered nurse education, the ADN, makes any RT program seem like remedial education. There is no comparison. Yet? Even an ADN (and in many places a BSN) registered nurse cannot insert central lines in most states, without further, specific IV training and certification. This is just another of the ongoing and successful attempts to reduce the status of licensed nurses while allowing lesser educated persons to take their places. Out of control, even as more nurses continue to believe that to obtain employment, they need to obtain advanced nursing degrees. Sad.
  6. 0
    Even practical nurses can do most of what an RT does (trach care, suction, vents, inhalation TXs, etc.). In fact, when the PPS system started in the late 1990's, tens of thousands of RTs were laid off from nursing homes because they became classified as 'unskilled care' (unbillable) , that could be performed by the nursing staff. BUT- in most places an RT can't even give a patient an ASPIRIN. For that poster to claim that RTs are mini physicians, scares me. And as far as CPR? Anyone on the street is allowed to do that, so what makes a person a "CPR expert"? Please elaborate, thanks.
  7. 0
    I have said it before, and I will say it again. Until nursing gets it act together, we will continue to have our professional practice given away to others.

    RRTs have a two year Associates Degree, so do most nurses. But nurses make more money. Do the math.

    If you were a hospital administrator, who would you give practices away to? Probably the one who will cost you less.

    Nurses need to insist that a BSN be the entry into practice, mostly to DIFFERENTIATE US from other health care professional who have our same educational preparation. I am not saying that an RRT degree is any where as intense, or equal to, an Associates Degree in Nursing.

    What I am saying is that, to a hospital administrator, it looks like an even switch, and the RRT costs less.

    Nursing also need to insist on BILLING FOR OUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES!! As long as a nurses' professional practice is rolled into the room rate, housekeeping, and the complementary roll of toilet paper, nursings' contribution to positive patient outcomes will forever be stuck on the negative side of the balance sheet. It is simple economics.

    And hospital administrators and insurance companies want to keep it that way.

    Grandfather in all nurses who have Associate degrees and Diplomas, so no on get left behind. I don't believe that they should be made to earn BSNs, unless they want to. It is just not doable.

    As usual, JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Sorry that I have been gone so long from ALLNURSES. Too many issues to deal with.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
  8. 1
    Quote from lindarn
    I have said it before, and I will say it again. Until nursing gets it act together, we will continue to have our professional practice given away to others.

    RRTs have a two year Associates Degree, so do most nurses. But nurses make more money. Do the math.

    If you were a hospital administrator, who would you give practices away to? Probably the one who will cost you less.

    Nurses need to insist that a BSN be the entry into practice, mostly to DIFFERENTIATE US from other health care professional who have our same educational preparation. I am not saying that an RRT degree is any where as intense, or equal to, an Associates Degree in Nursing.

    What I am saying is that, to a hospital administrator, it looks like an even switch, and the RRT costs less.

    Nursing also need to insist on BILLING FOR OUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES!! As long as a nurses' professional practice is rolled into the room rate, housekeeping, and the complementary roll of toilet paper, nursings' contribution to positive patient outcomes will forever be stuck on the negative side of the balance sheet. It is simple economics.

    And hospital administrators and insurance companies want to keep it that way.

    Grandfather in all nurses who have Associate degrees and Diplomas, so no on get left behind. I don't believe that they should be made to earn BSNs, unless they want to. It is just not doable.

    As usual, JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Sorry that I have been gone so long from ALLNURSES. Too many issues to deal with.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    OMG. THIS!!!!!! A MILLION TIMES THIS!!!! You, my friend, are a HERO just for this post alone.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 3
    You can teach a monkey as long as they're cheaper!
  10. 1
    I'm always amazed at the disdain some nurses show for respiratory therapists. Thankfully, it's the kind of disdain I've only ever encountered on the Internet, and it's usually about therapists who want to expand their scope of practice. How dare a lowly respiratory therapist express a desire to expand the scope of practice for his or her profession? Only nurses get to do that!

    And, I'm sorry, but anyone who says that RT education is like remedial education compared to ADN education either went to a poorly managed for-profit RT program or didn't pay attention very well in school. The sheer amount of detail we go into regarding cardiopulmonary A&P, renal physiology, gas and fluid dynamics, respiratory pharmacology, and ventilation makes most nursing students cringe.

    We're trained to specialize in cardiopulmonary diseases, disorders, and modalities of treatment. Yes, inserting central lines requires additional training, but to say that a respiratory therapist isn't qualified to the task after that training is risible at best. I can place an indwelling arterial catheter but somehow learning how to place central lines is beyond my ken?

    I understand you don't like loosing tasks and procedures that, as a profession, impacts your value to your hospital; I don't either, and I fought just as hard when nursing tried to take balloon pump management, asthma and COPD education, and the ability to initiate lung expansion therapies (like IS) from respiratory care at my hospital.

    However, I managed to do that without denigrating nursing as a profession or disparaging nursing education just because nurses wanted to expand their scope of practice at this particular facility.

    It's a shame that some nurses see the need to take the low ground and run around banging pots about how nurses are going to be replaced and yell about the sky falling just because another allied health profession is making reasonable expansion to its scope of practice at hospitals in some states.
    chare likes this.


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