Use of techs (UAPs) in ICU/CCU

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    I'm working on a project to convince a very budget conscious administration that it would be advantageous to bring CNAs/Critical Care Techs/Patient Care Techs or whatever name for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel into the Unit. I'd like to find out how techs are used in units across the country. What is their scope? How are they assigned? Tech to patient ratio (day & NOC)? And anything else you think might help. Thanks so much
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    We have one or two techs for 19 patients. Our techs help with turning, transport, stocking, EKGs, IVs, vital signs for stepdown patients, blood sugar checks, and baths. I am sure there are a few more things.

    I think it would be useful to have 2 techs for the unit and assign them to an area/specific patients. I think when you "assign" patients it increases the accountability of the tech and they are more likely to take initiative and "just do" instead of waiting to be asked.
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    Some units utilize a tech simply to watch the central monitor and answer phones. In smaller units they do that plus the FBS's, check and draw am labs, assist with turns, etc. In some units, with alert patients, they can do the history part of the admission HP and set up the room, attach monitor, sat and BP cables, etc... til the nurse gets there.

    So there are lots of potential uses for a tech in a unit. The problem I've run into? If we get a tech, inevitably they want us to triple patient load.

    So...my colleages and I have opted to do primary care, work together in a team environment, and insist on 2:1 ratios.
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Aug 14, '05
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    Don't mean to change the subject, but, a friend of mine knows this guy who is a "critical care tech", he said that was his title and he said he watches the monitors to make sure nobody dies. He also told her that he brings home $3000 a paychek. Does that sound right? I'm assuming he gets paid every 2 weeks, and if he brings home that much, he's making alot of money for a tech. job. Just thought I'd see what you all thought of that, I personally think he's lying to her. Thanks for any info.
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    Quote from pixie-dust37
    Don't mean to change the subject, but, a friend of mine knows this guy who is a "critical care tech", he said that was his title and he said he watches the monitors to make sure nobody dies. He also told her that he brings home $3000 a paychek. Does that sound right? I'm assuming he gets paid every 2 weeks, and if he brings home that much, he's making alot of money for a tech. job. Just thought I'd see what you all thought of that, I personally think he's lying to her. Thanks for any info.
    $3,000/check???? Where does HE work? I'll quit nursing school right now for that kind of dough. My pay as a critical care tech is comparable to that of an LPN fresh out of school. The guy's not for real IMHO.
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    Quote from mattsmom81
    So there are lots of potential uses for a tech in a unit. The problem I've run into? If we get a tech, inevitably they want us to triple patient load.

    So...my colleages and I have opted to do primary care, work together in a team environment, and insist on 2:1 ratios.
    I tech on a small unit (11 beds) in a community hospital. Staffing has not changed as a result of my being there. I watch the central monitor, run the desk, perform FBS, assist with turns and hygiene, perform dressing changes and keep the linens stocked as well as run control checks on equipment. How unfortunate that some managers decide to staff down because a tech is on the unit. Management where I'm at understands that I cannot replace a nurse.
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    Working without our techs is terrible. They help bathe, do all the Accuchecks (how are nurses supposed to get all those hourly checks done?), restock, clean equipment, help with code browns, run errands, order supplies, help turn patients, etc.

    In your appeal to the budget-conscious powers-that-be, suggest that safety is compromised when two nurses are in a room giving a bath or turning a patient -- it leaves not one but three patients unattended...and for how many baths a night? And no, we are never greater than 1:2 ratio even with the techs.
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    I work nights and we have a tech about 50% of the time and while it's great help for us they are counted in the hours per patient day the same as a nurse. The hppd is calculated as the number of nurses, techs included x 12 hours and divided by the number of patients. So if I have 4 nurses and a tech and 10 patients my hhpd is 6; however, this means 2 nurses are taking 3 patients. If we are over the hppd and I have an agency nurse then I am expected to send one home so more nurses end up taking 3 patients. You can see how I would rather not have a tech.

    I think techs in the unit are nice if you don't "count" them and if you can be sure they are accountable for their care. At night our tech will help to bathe the vented patients. After she is done with that she tends to disappear.
    Good luck.
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    Hi

    my hospital employs health care assistants on the high dependency units, where the staffing level is 2 RNs to 4 patients, plus an HCA. It works well, and they are very much part of the team.

    Quote from TamaraRN
    I'm working on a project to convince a very budget conscious administration that it would be advantageous to bring CNAs/Critical Care Techs/Patient Care Techs or whatever name for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel into the Unit. I'd like to find out how techs are used in units across the country. What is their scope? How are they assigned? Tech to patient ratio (day & NOC)? And anything else you think might help. Thanks so much
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    oh they would be a godsend if they were in the unit settings for some reason they think that since u have a 1 to 1 pt is that ur able to do care for that pt solely by you, but in reality there are times when ancillary personell is needed and appreciated. some nurses are get so busy with their pt's that no one is able to help you. we do use student rn's that are on their externships as na's but personally i dont like using them as ''helping'' hands because that's not what they are for. i like calling in my nurse manager or residents whenever i need help turning, collaborative nursing ain't it the best.


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