What does a Respiratory Therapist Do That An RN Can't? - page 9

Hi All- I was just wondering what education/etc one needs to become a Respiratory Therapist, and what their role is in the ICU? In Australia, Registered Nurses manage almost all aspects of day to... Read More

  1. by   OkieICU_RN
    Maybe I didn't read enought posts to know what you are talking about so maybe you want to expound on what exactly you mean.

    I can do lots of things that an RT can do as I have been trained as a critical care nurse to perform some of those functions. I can change the FiO2 on the vent or BiPAP, I can ET/NT suction, I can bag a patient with the best of 'em, I can even flip somebody back to AC or IMV from flow-by if somebody's in trouble and the RT isn't around after I have paged twice.

    I would like RT's to give RN's some credit and some allowances. There are times when RT's will get really ticked when you touch "their vent." I wouldn't do anything outside of what I have been taught in the ICU setting.

    I don't make vent setting changes, I don't intubate people in a code, I don't manage somebody on BiLevel or Nitric oxide. Those are things that an RT has special training and experience in and I don't.

    Can't we all just get along?
  2. by   meandragonbrett
    Quote from OkieICU_RN
    There are times when RT's will get really ticked when you touch "their vent."
    ?
    Yeah, they might be managing the vent, but the nurse is the one managing the patient. A "prudent" should be ensuring the vent settings are appropriate and match the physician's order.
  3. by   RN Randy
    WHY OH WHY.... would anyone want to stir that topic back up again????

    An RT practices within his/her scope as outlined in the governing state and national guidelines. If you aren't an RT, it doesn't apply to you. If you are an RT, there are plenty of RT boards out there to drop this on.
    If you are an RN and want to know what an RT can/can't do...
    CALL YOUR LOCAL BOARD FOR RESPIRATORY CARE.

    So, let's put this one to bed before it goes south, please.
    :-)

    peace out,

    rb
  4. by   interleukin
    Too many people(and this society perpetuates it) seek to define themselves by what they do, rather than who they are.

    For this reason, people are terrified that they will not be seen as, "Commander in Charge" of their respective professions.

    RN's are comprehensive in their responsibilities...RT's are specific.

    Do your job well, then go home and develop into the human being you'd like to be. It ain't gonna happen on the job.


    When thoughtful people find you to be an engaging, contributing, respectful, clear-minded individual who is not behaving like you're the center of all living energy, you're doing well.

    When you're the only one who thinks he has achieved all of the above, it's time to drop your delusions.
  5. by   RN Randy
    Very well said.

    Kudos.
    rb
  6. by   dfk
    Quote from OkieICU_RN
    I can do lots of things that an RT can do as I have been trained as a critical care nurse to perform some of those functions. I can change the FiO2 on the vent or BiPAP, I can ET/NT suction, I can bag a patient with the best of 'em, I can even flip somebody back to AC or IMV from flow-by if somebody's in trouble
    this seems to be the point that many people are missing. big deal that the RN can change the FiO2 or suction or go from AC to IMV.. but do you KNOW WHY that request was ordered? are they shunting? what about the A-a gradient? can we change their base defecit of -7.9? you get what i'm saying here? it means nothing to just flip the switch or increse the rate unless you really understand the physiology behind it. i can preach because i used to work on an SICU and thought i knew what i knew.. and until i got to school (CRNA), i realized how wrong, or one-sided, i was (which does not have to mean a blanket statement for ALL RNs out there). that's where RTs and nurses are different. the understanding and the education and the training... sorry, but i don't believe that whatever unit you worked on as an RN, you are NOT the same as an RT in the management and understanding of the ventilator and respiratory states... thanks for listening ~
  7. by   jbtampa
    Respiratory Therapists are trained to approach therapy with very extensive education in hemodynamics, pharmacology, and physiology. Interpretation of acid base and modification of ventilation to promote therapeutic hypercapnea? And when to hyperventilate?

    Yes, I am a RT soon to be a RN. A better RN because of it.
  8. by   msnzo6
    Quote from JoanieRT2b
    i thought it goes like this excuse me if im wrong okay RT see his pt ,RT reports to the doc about the pt, doc writes order for patient, RN follow the order

    My fellow RN's......

    Why are you guys trying to convince yourselves or have the RT's convince you guys that RN's and RT's are in the same level??.....I've never heard of an RN going back to school to be an RT....However, many posters on this forum have done just the opposite.....

    Secondly, I have a Master's in Nursing.......and I am currently researching PhD programs in nursing......Are there RT programs out there that have Graduate Schools??.......So let's face RT's......We are all here to help the patient, not to criticize one another on what role each plays in healthcare, for we all have important roles for our patients....However, when RT's start shooting flames at my profession, I have to respond back....sometimes harsh, but only speaking the truth.....
  9. by   bassplayerrob
    I have been a Respiratory therapist for over 16 years. RRT,RPFT. I have just completed AAS in Nursing. RCP know more than what most nurses think they know and nurses know more than what most Respiratory Therapists give them credit. As a matter of fact, both education programs are equal and should be respected as such. I am proud to be a Respiratory therapist and a nurse. Why can't we all get along?:spin:
  10. by   sabadah
    Its true in the past that Nurses did everything and we are very grateful for their hard work. However, in the same context we had General Family Physicians that did everything and also made house calls. The fact is, we live in a much more advanced society that has sprung up many specialist. Would you like a GP taking care of your loved one with an AMI or a Cardiologist? Our equipment is more complicated now with the micro processors than they use to be...a little more than just turning a nob. ...granted we all have our bad apples. All I have to do is one year of college to become a RN. The RN only has to take one year of college to become a RT.
    Last edit by sirI on May 6, '07 : Reason: Inciting membership
  11. by   sirI
    Closed for staff review.

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