i agree there is nothing new about doing ekg's and lab draws, and i have done them.... when i worked in smaller facilities. but once you are in 200 plus hospital area with inpatients everywhere and out patients, day surgery, er, etc etc....it becomes impossible to keep up with what few machines exist from the ekg department.
i have done my own vent settings for respirators, inserted art lines, helped in pacu, worked l&d, as well as done breathing treatments in the er and run codes, you name it.... but again it was a smaller 100 or less bed hospital where the turnover rate, sheer volume and numbers of patients, and the care needs of the patients were different and the acuities not as high in a 24hour period.
level 1 trauma verses level 3 and 4 and rural areas verses large urban cities...the responsibilities of a nurse change variable on where she/he works.
once you have a hospital large enough to have it's own department, then usually it is because the patient needs and numbers have increased to warrant such a department and that has long been our case.
there are not enough ekg machines to place one on each floor, let alone each unit, and icu and er would out prioritize a medical floor or surgical uinit. i am not sure where outpatient day surgery would fit in priorities or endo or several other areas.
it becomes no longer a problem that nurses do not know how to perform a given task, or cannot do it, but that there is not enough equipment or staff to do nursing and perform the other departmental tasks facility wide.