buying a pulse ox of my own? - page 2

I am completing my school preceptorship on the same floor where I currently work as an aide and will be working as a nurse. We are a telemetry step-down unit. The floor has the same problem as... Read More

  1. by   whiskeygirl
    Equipment like this is a line item on your NM budget for the year. Why isn't she purchasing (or renting) this equipment? Why does this fall to a nurse's pocketbook to purchase?

    I have seen really poorly managed units at least be able to pull off the more than this one seems too.
  2. by   Silverdragon102
    I know I live in the UK but we bought one where I worked (was with their money) which rang on 2 AAA and had automatic switch off when not in use. This link shows something very similar to what we bought http://www.wmsplc.co.uk/MD300D_Pulse...1&V=&GID=12336
  3. by   bill4745
    You really face liability if your pulse-ox becomes innacurate and you harm a pt - these things need to be calibrated once in a while. As many people have said, it will eventually walk.
  4. by   KellieNurse06
    I happened to ask our respiratory company a while back about "calibration" because I had to call to get our big plug in pulse oximeter replaced (wouldn't run on internal battery anymore...only if plugged into an elec. outlet) and I had dead silence & was asked who ever said oximeters are calibrated? So apparently that is a myth ( don't know...just what I am relaying that I was told).......I was told usually it's the probe that senses that gets dirty so it's harder to pick up readings,.......apparently sometimes people forget to clean them........and also what I have always said......look at the patient 1st....and then compare to your own hr on the thing........ (don't shoot the messenger!...lol) I don't know I just remember them telling me this a while ago because one of our home nurse said the same thing about calibration to me......that's why I asked them "in case" that was what was wrong with it.....
  5. by   Silverdragon102
    must say the hospitals I worked in in the UK didn't have their oximeters calibrated
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    Ours are routinely checked by BioMed, however, so if on the outside chance something went wrong, you would be swinging in the wind.

    I still think there is a better way to put grant money to use than getting a personal pulse ox. Why not put it toward additional classes? A review course for boards?
  7. by   Jolie
    Quote from KellieNurse062b
    no ..it's not an ekg machine or a vent for petes sake! It's a stupid pulse ox machine!!! I always test my own if I am in doubt of the reading...and check the heart rate manually against the pulse ox's heart rate........if they are the same hr or very close by 1-2 bpm then it's accurate......and remember ..treat the patient, not the machine!!!
    It doesn't matter what type of machine you are using. It is a JCAHO requirement that patient care equipment, especially that which runs on battery or electrical power, be safety tested, calibrated, and maintained, and that records detailing this are maintained.

    I am quite certain that a lawyer would have a field day with a nurse who used an untested, uncalibrated piece of machinery on a patient who later suffered an adverse event.

    I am also quite certain that you do not have documentation of competency on your own personal equipment, or could prove that it has been properly cleaned between patients.
  8. by   tridil2000
    Quote from KellieNurse06
    no ..it's not an ekg machine or a vent for petes sake! It's a stupid pulse ox machine!!! I always test my own if I am in doubt of the reading...and check the heart rate manually against the pulse ox's heart rate........if they are the same hr or very close by 1-2 bpm then it's accurate......and remember ..treat the patient, not the machine!!!

    you're crazy to consider spending your money on pt care equipment a hospital has a million dollar budget for!

    think about this big picture.... what kind of precedence will you be setting on your unit?

    does your nm know about this problem? it is THEIR responsibility NOT YOURS!

    ..... can you imagine a surgeon buying their own clamps? even with their bucks??
    ya, hello!!!??????
  9. by   RNsRWe
    you're crazy to consider spending your money on pt care equipment a hospital has a million dollar budget for!

    think about this big picture.... what kind of precedence will you be setting on your unit?

    does your nm know about this problem? it is THEIR responsibility NOT YOURS!

    ..... can you imagine a surgeon buying their own clamps? even with their bucks??
    ya, hello!!!??????
    She/he's not crazy to consider buying her own equipment for something like this. Your own convenience and ease of function in your job has a price and sometimes it's worth spending that, sometimes not.

    In clinicals, as a student, I brought my own newly-purchased BP cuff each day and kept it in my pocket because I knew that there would never be one available to use when I needed it. Not with all the usual staff plus our clinical group. Others did not, and they were forever running around to find one, delaying their assessments and getting out late. Not me!

    I don't use my personal one at work now, though, because I can generally locate one when I need it (and the concept of cleaning mine between patients and before bringing home doesn't appeal to me). Someone said something about personal equipment and nosocomial infections: whoever heard of nurses cleaning BP cuffs between patients, anyway? Never saw that, ever. And it's gross, actually!

    I'm at the point of the original poster myself, though, when it comes to the pulse ox: our unit had a portable one (in addition to the ones stuck on the dynamaps) and it disappeared awhile ago. Gone, poof. Unit manager is not interested in replacing "something you guys lost and better find". Since there's technically two on the floor (on the dynamaps that you sometimes can't use because they're attached to people getting blood), so much for that option.

    I'm seriously considering spending a couple hundred bucks on one so that *I* have one every time I need it, immediately, like the BP cuff in school. I'm not worried about losing it; I have never lost a stethoscope or anything else, because it doesn't leave my body! Keep your equipment ON you, and it's hard to lose, you know? Put it down on a surface, and well....oh well.

    Anyway, I think I'm going to start shopping around for the best price myself!
  10. by   nurse4theplanet
    This seems SO very similar in concept to teachers in the public educational system spending money from their own pockets to be able to supply their students with needed materials for class.

    While it is a quick fix to an immediate problem, the teacher is out of a considerable amount of money from a less than adequate salary. And because of continued practice of this sort, it has now become so acceptable for teachers to do so that the government (who pays their salary btw) now offers tax write offs for this! Instead of addressing the real problem and putting money towards supplies and teacher salary.

    Now, take that concept and apply it to health care. You have a facility that is making billions of dollars a year, yet they can't supply enough $350 pulse ox machines to stock on their floors. The shortage of machines is so short, in fact, that nurses who are making a very small wage in comparison to the hospital are taking money out of their own pockets to purchase their own machines as a quick fix to an immediate problem. What do you foresee happening in the future? If most nurses are providing the equipment themselves, why should the hospital buy any at all. Then it becomes a common practice.

    You may want to buy a pulse ox for your patients, but I do not. It is the facilities responsibility and it is up to us to enforce that instead of carrying the burden. Why are nurses so self-sacrificial? Use the appropriate chain of command to require your corporation to meet the standards necessary to provide safe pt care to its clients! It's not the easy way, nor is it the fastest way. But in the long run, you will be doing us all a favor. We don't want the new trend in pt care to become purchasing your own pt care equipment.
  11. by   RNsRWe
    All excellent points, asoldierswife. However, when it's your responsibility to get the assessments done in a timely fashion and waiting for the supposedly available equipment to BECOME available delays that, it's hard to say "but it's the hospital that's supposed to give me that". I totally agree, it's on them to do it, but you know what? It isn't happening. Before I started work, I'd never have considered it either!

    In school, eventually all the students managed to get their BP readings done without bringing their own. But my time and convenience was worth enough so that I chose to use my own cuff. So I understand the thinking about the pulse ox, for the same reason. I can run around EVERY SINGLE SHIFT looking for an available dynamap (which then has to be dragged down the halls into a patient's room, weaved through visitors, and wait for the thing to give me a reading....OR, I can get one for my pocket and my work is done in ten seconds per patient.

    You're right in that we should never have to do that. Neither should teachers. But what they've learned is that the supplies aren't there, no matter how much they kick and stomp and complain, so they give up and do it themselves. You can say it's a vicious cycle that means they won't EVER get those supplies purchased for them, and that's quite possible. But as long as there is technically a pulse ox on my unit "available" for use, we're not getting one that's convenient for me. So that's where we stand
  12. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from RNsRWe
    All excellent points, asoldierswife. However, when it's your responsibility to get the assessments done in a timely fashion and waiting for the supposedly available equipment to BECOME available delays that, it's hard to say "but it's the hospital that's supposed to give me that". I totally agree, it's on them to do it, but you know what? It isn't happening. Before I started work, I'd never have considered it either!

    In school, eventually all the students managed to get their BP readings done without bringing their own. But my time and convenience was worth enough so that I chose to use my own cuff. So I understand the thinking about the pulse ox, for the same reason. I can run around EVERY SINGLE SHIFT looking for an available dynamap (which then has to be dragged down the halls into a patient's room, weaved through visitors, and wait for the thing to give me a reading....OR, I can get one for my pocket and my work is done in ten seconds per patient.

    You're right in that we should never have to do that. Neither should teachers. But what they've learned is that the supplies aren't there, no matter how much they kick and stomp and complain, so they give up and do it themselves. You can say it's a vicious cycle that means they won't EVER get those supplies purchased for them, and that's quite possible. But as long as there is technically a pulse ox on my unit "available" for use, we're not getting one that's convenient for me. So that's where we stand
    Only if you allow yourself to....

    Like I said, it's easier to surrender than it is to fight the larger battle. Please believe me that I understand very well your intentions and reasoning behind doing so! But someone has to stand up for our rights as nurses, and simply accepting the incompetence of this facility/unit is doing nothing to solve the real issue, now is it?
  13. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Only if you allow yourself to....

    Like I said, it's easier to surrender than it is to fight the larger battle. Please believe me that I understand very well your intentions and reasoning behind doing so! But someone has to stand up for our rights as nurses, and simply accepting the incompetence of this facility/unit is doing nothing to solve the real issue, now is it?
    Nope, it won't. And my demanding a new pulse ox be purchased for the unit won't result in this happening, either, I can assure you. I have fought a whole LOTTA battles in my lifetime, and have never shied from a good one. I can be quite the rebel, trust me. But one must know when the battle is futile, too, and there's a better way to "win" (for you and your patients, anyway).

    Hey, what's with the fighting analogies, "asoldierswife"?

    I continue to fight for better staffing, and better situations for new grads. Some of it might even have an effect; actually, some of it already has. Perhaps equipment purchases will one day be a priority to someone. But that day may just not come soon enough to keep me from screaming in frustration each time I come on shift and can't get what I need, is all I'm saying.

    On to more battles

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