Surg tech with serious burns from

  1. We had a ST that was delegated the responsibility of doing the defib monitor checks by the OR RN (charge nurse). This nurse has the orderlies, ST's and other unlicenced assts doing this for years. We had a ST hospitalized with electrocution and burns to the hands while incorrectly checking the monitoe(she didn't know the paddles had to be in the holder area and she touched the machine... So, I can't understand this. Is this something that can be delegated? The nurse is blaming the tech of course. I think that the delegator must assume responsibility to assure those persons given the task are competent(or legally allowed) to perform them. This is so sad. Any thoughts?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    IF she has delegated it to one person and ensured that that one person does have the requisite training to do the job and then unbeknownst to her that job is then delegated on without requisite training then NO she is not responsible. Why? Because under law each person is responsible for their own actions. It only becomes a wider responsibility of the employer/ manager if that action was sanctioned.
  4. by   sharann
    Let me clarify more if I can. The Charge RN who delegated the task did not HERSELF know how many joules were needed to test the machine(because she herself had not done the job for many, many years).
  5. by   suzanne4
    Every place that I have ever worked, it was the responsibility of a registered nurse to check the crash cart, as well as the defibrillator.

    How could she delegate when she didn't even know the proper way to do it? Perhaps, that is why? She is the charge nurse and this occurred during her shift. She is the one that delegated the responsibility.. :uhoh21:
  6. by   canoehead
    I think there is some responsibility on the person she delegates to if they don't know the proper procedure to speak up.
    If defibrillator checks are commonly done by techs at that hospital it could be reasonable to assume that all the techs know how to do it- especially if she hadn't worked with that particular tech before.
  7. by   armyrn
    we have an army saying; you can delegate authority but not responsibility. you need to know the skills (and limits) of your staff. on the other hand, the delegatee has a responsibility to ask for training if not sure how to do something. how many joules did they use anyway? we test ours at 100. can you get a bad burn from that? i've tested it a million times, only used it once though.
  8. by   burtonorrn
    Quote from sharann
    We had a ST that was delegated the responsibility of doing the defib monitor checks by the OR RN (charge nurse). This nurse has the orderlies, ST's and other unlicenced assts doing this for years. We had a ST hospitalized with electrocution and burns to the hands while incorrectly checking the monitoe(she didn't know the paddles had to be in the holder area and she touched the machine... So, I can't understand this. Is this something that can be delegated? The nurse is blaming the tech of course. I think that the delegator must assume responsibility to assure those persons given the task are competent(or legally allowed) to perform them. This is so sad. Any thoughts?

    We have ST's checking our crash carts for a while and had them stop while we were researching...the word came down from our safety people that as long as they were ACLS cert. they could check it.
  9. by   shodobe
    Just curious, but is this something new to have STs ACLS cert? I haven't heard of it in all of my years of nursing and besides why would they need it? Just curious, please enlighten us. Mike
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Everyone in our O.R. has to be ACLS certified.
  11. by   jwk
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    Everyone in our O.R. has to be ACLS certified.
    Interesting since CST's and most LPN's would be far outside of their scope of practice doing any ACLS functions, although I think the knowledge base is good to have.
  12. by   sharann
    No one in the OR is ACLS cert anymore including the RN's. The hospital made this rule(this is another post anyway).
  13. by   callbabe
    Quote from jwk
    Interesting since CST's and most LPN's would be far outside of their scope of practice doing any ACLS functions, although I think the knowledge base is good to have.
    I agree I use to be a LPN and I always had an RN supervising. I have been an RN for some 21 years now. The knowledge base is good, but should not be a requirement for LPNs. Our ORs have only RNs and CSTs. The LPNs do pt care on the floor. There is a standard of care that should be universal. Every pt deserves an RN. I am truly sorry if this bothers anybody not my intention. Just go back to school. I did. Also as above stated the nurse practice act is a nice piece of reading material. Namely scope of practice, your better learn it well. Because if your step out of it because someone told you it was ok your are sadly mistaken. It would take someone reporting these actions to a nursing board.
  14. by   lwlrn
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    Everyone in our O.R. has to be ACLS certified.
    I always thought that an LPN could not work in surgery unless you were scrubbing holding retractor or have been train to scrub. I thought you had to be an RN to circulate. What state are you in?

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