I started working in a diagnostic cath lab a couple of years ago. At that time we had 5 RNs and 1 Rad Tech. We averaged 3-4 caths/day. All the RNs rotated through bio, circulating, and scrubbing with the rad tech scrubbing or doing bio. The rad tech was a psycho. I mean this literally. (The things that he would do...sick.) He finally snapped at work one day in the cath lab and was immediately fired and escorted off the hosp grounds. As he was leaving, he was threatening all of us. I truly felt that he would come back with a shotgun. We were escorted to our cars every evening for a while. It was very trying on all of our nerves. Of course, we were told not to repeat anything that had happened. We were only to say "**** no longer works in the cath lab. If you need to know why he no longer works here, you need to ask him." In the year since he was fired, we were moved to a new area in the hosp. down by radiology. It has been very hard to work here. The manager of radiology thinks the lab should be full of rad techs, not RNs, so he treats us very rudely. Plus, all the rad techs think we got "you know who" fired just because he was not an RN and they barely tolerate us. Once when their lab broke down and they had to borrow our lab for a procedure, the snide comments and rude remarks were embarrassing. We were doing everything they asked, trying to get along and mend bridges, but they continued to try to make us look stupid.
So the advice I need? Our manager is being promoted to Director of Cardiac Services and rumor has it that the manager of radiology will in all likelyhood become our manager. This was told to me by a rad tech (one of three that talk to us) and that he planned to fire three of us and replace us with rad techs and then the remaining 2 nurses would only be allowed to circulate. And I can only imagine how the remaining nurses will be treated. We realize that having a cath lab staffed with RNs only is unique. I will be one of the RNs remaining in the lab due to senority. I just worry about how I will be treated. I love to scrub but will give it up willingly just to get along. Any advice out there?
Feb 6, '02
Why are you staying there and putting up with all
the BS. Nurses can go any where. Get out of there
and be happy.
With your skills you are a valuable commodity.
Acknowledge your worth.
Someone who has been there.
Feb 6, '02
If your present manager willl be director of cardiac services, won't your manager be under this person? Speak to your present manager to make a plea on your behalf. Find out what other cath labs are doing in your area. That will become the acceptable standard.
For the record, tho I have never worked in cath lab, I have heard the same complaints from nurses in cath labs in 2 hospitals. The rad techs seem to feel threatened by the nurses for some riduculous reason. Sigh! Why can't they play nice and be a team??
Feb 6, '02
I currently work in a special procedures lab. The fact is---it's their turf. I don't agree with it, but it is. The administration wanted the RN's in specials to just circulate a few years ago---that changed drastically with the rad tech shortage. With issues of concious sedation and possible complications, I was actually more comfortable with circulating. Good Luck.
Feb 12, '02
I work in a small cath lab with 4 nurses who can circulate, 3 of these nurses also record, 1 of these can scrub/pan. These nurses are also responsible for preop, recovery, stress test, clinic patients. They all do not work everyday. This lab has 1 CVT and 1 RRT who can fill all positions save circulating due to the medications we deliver. Everyone fills a purpose. Everyone is a team player. The radiology department is not involved and they want to be badly. After listening to your stories, I hope they are not allowed in. It is a turf war to them and they can't see the forest through the trees. Good luck to the nurses stuck in the lab in the first post. Try to recruit respiratory therapists and cardiovascular techs. I found them to share quite nicely.
Feb 16, '02
I work in a 2 lab unit we have 4 cvt/rts and 3 RNs being the supervisor I've made sure that everyone is aware that we function as a team regardless of what letters are after your name the nurses circulate because of state laws but everyone in the lab can do everyone else's job up until 2 years ago we were a multiprocedure lab based in radiology we maintained autonomy but were able to work around the conflict of our techs versus their techs
Feb 16, '02
Doesnt sound like a very healthy situation.