buying a pulse ox of my own?

  1. 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 apparantly every other floor in the hospital - there is never a pulse ox around when you need it. I did clinicals on one floor where they said they hadn't had a pulse ox for over a week because it had just gone MIA so when they needed it they called respiratory to come check it. My floor has never been that bad, you just spend forever trying to track down who has it or what patient room it was left in. Everybody tries to be the first one to get it in the morning so they can get assessments done. My Patient Care Coordinator has her own finger one and I love it! She lets people borrow it occassionally and everybody knows that it MUST end up back in her pocket. I am considering buying my own with the PELL grant check I will get at the end of the month. I am through with school and have this check and 1 more that don't need to go to tuition but I would like to put them towards my nursing career. I found some good prices on eBay for new ones.
    I'm just wondering if anybody else has their own pulse ox and what experiences have been like. I don't want to have everyone borrowing it all the time so I would probably just get it and not tell anyone (of course someone would eventually see me using it!)
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  2. 68 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I have looked into purchasing a portable pulse ox machine within the past few months. However, the cheapest ones cost several hundred dollars. At that price, I think I will continue to use my workplace's pulse ox machine.

    I purchased an electronic thermometer for $25 and an electronic blood pressure machine for about $22 online.
  4. by   PANurseRN1
    I wouldn't get one. Think of it this way: Your unit doesn't have enough IV pumps. Are you going to buy one of those, too? Crikey, pulse ox. are $$$!

    If you're just getting a pulse ox. on a pt. because it's a routine per the unit, then if there isn't one avail. it can wait til resp. tx. gets there. If it's a crisis, you're probably going to want respiratory there STAT, so...

    I can think of half a dozen things that would be a better investment than a pulse ox. I can guarantee you if you buy one it will mysteriously "disappear" before you know it. It's the hospital's responsibility to provide you with the appropriate equipment.
  5. by   Jolie
    I think there could be potential liability issues if your machine is not calibrated and maintained by your hospital biomedical department, if you don't have documentation of having been trained in its use, or if it could be shown to have contributed to nosocomial infections in patients.

    On the surface, it sounds like a nice convenience, but in the medical-legal environment of healthcare today, I would not do it.
  6. by   TazziRN
    If you want to use the money or a piece of equipment, I would suggest a mega-good stethoscope....especially if you have any plans for going into critical care. A pulse ox is good but too expensive to take the risk. Very few people will borrow your stethoscope but sooner or later your ox will grow legs.
  7. by   bargainhound
    I paid about $189...........found it via amazon.com
  8. by   caliotter3
    If you decide to get one just be very, very careful w/it. Personal equipment tends to develop legs. When I got hauled off to the hosp from my homecare job, my steth was inadvertently left in the client's bedroom. Since I was replaced on the case, that leaves only 2 "suspects": my replacement on the job or the CHHA. The paramedics never went into that room, and they all have their own equip anyway. How "tacky" I would be made to feel if I asked the agency about it. So be careful w/it!
  9. by   clee1
    I don't see why not, unless the hospital has some kind of policy against it for liability reasons. If your NM has her own, I don't see why you shouldn't

    I have my own (good) stethoscope, and I carry my own BP cuff (I HATE the automatic ones). If I see the need, I'll get my own thermometer and pulse ox machine as well.

    I think the time spent hunting for equipment could be better spent in pt care or charting.
  10. by   KellieNurse06
    true...... This may be a good idea also! I may even look into this myself!!! Have you looked on the websites for the pulse ox themselves? I have a handheld one from respironics that my daughter has through a medical equipment company because she has mega resp issues.....hers can fit in a pockrt and runs on 4 AA batteries.......the only thing I hate about it is some of our home nurses forget to hold the button in to shut it off so the batteries get drained because it keeps trying to pick up a pulse ox that obviously isn't happening......thats the only bad part.......and I also hate the clamp pulse ox...the one the finger goes into...the soft rubber that goes over the finger like a mitt is great!!!! Let us know if you get one...I have no idea of how much it costs....I'm sure it's at least $350.........
  11. by   tridil2000
    Quote from LanaBanana
    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 apparantly every other floor in the hospital - there is never a pulse ox around when you need it. I did clinicals on one floor where they said they hadn't had a pulse ox for over a week because it had just gone MIA so when they needed it they called respiratory to come check it. My floor has never been that bad, you just spend forever trying to track down who has it or what patient room it was left in. Everybody tries to be the first one to get it in the morning so they can get assessments done. My Patient Care Coordinator has her own finger one and I love it! She lets people borrow it occassionally and everybody knows that it MUST end up back in her pocket. I am considering buying my own with the PELL grant check I will get at the end of the month. I am through with school and have this check and 1 more that don't need to go to tuition but I would like to put them towards my nursing career. I found some good prices on eBay for new ones.
    I'm just wondering if anybody else has their own pulse ox and what experiences have been like. I don't want to have everyone borrowing it all the time so I would probably just get it and not tell anyone (of course someone would eventually see me using it!)

    are you kidding?
    absolutely NOT!
    it is the hospital's responsibility to have equipment for pt care NOT *NURSES*!

    what next, get some ekg machines and ambu bags on ebay too?

    you HAVE to document your need for equipment to your nm and incidences where pt care was delayed bc you didn't have a machine. cc your director of nursing and the president of the hospital. start it out with....
    "i am not sure if you are aware of an ongoing situation but....."
  12. by   KellieNurse06
    Quote from Jolie
    I think there could be potential liability issues if your machine is not calibrated and maintained by your hospital biomedical department, if you don't have documentation of having been trained in its use, or if it could be shown to have contributed to nosocomial infections in patients.

    On the surface, it sounds like a nice convenience, but in the medical-legal environment of healthcare today, I would not do it.
    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!!!
  13. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from Jolie
    I think there could be potential liability issues if your machine is not calibrated and maintained by your hospital biomedical department, if you don't have documentation of having been trained in its use, or if it could be shown to have contributed to nosocomial infections in patients.

    That's the first thing I thought about. It could bite you in the end.

    What if you based your treatment on the readings and they were inaccurate?
  14. by   bethin
    Why not ask respiratory what they use? Would that help with liability issues? Then order one of those. If you do, don't tell anyone you have one or it will grow legs and disappear. And label it very well.

    It always seems when I need a pulse ox at work I can't find one. I have to chase down all the nurses who invariably left it in her pocket. It happens, but it's frustrating when the pt is SOA and I need one stat. There's only one resp. guy on the weekends and he has to cover the entire hospital so it could take him a while to get to the floor with his.

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