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Do RT's ever help you with bedside nursing?

Nursetobe25 Nursetobe25 (Member)

If you are busy and they see you need help?


Specializes in Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

Most won't even ask if you need help. But we do have 2 who will.. They have helped me move someone up in bed, get a pt up to the bathroom, and help turn someone. Those same two will get things the pt asks for when they're in the room too, like water or a snack - but ask us if they can have it first .

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

If you are busy and they see you need help?

Why not just continue in your other thread? What are you asking this time? If a patient needs a pain med and the nurse is busy, an RRT cannot administer the narcotic to assist the nurse. What do you mean, you need to be more clear as to what you are asking?

Do you have an issue with respiratory therapists? Do you not understand their specialized scope of practice? Do you not understand the role of an RRT on the healthcare team? They are a part of the team just like CNAs PT OT SLP RD radiology nuclear medicine ultrasound CT MRI phlebotomy MLT and every other role.

The ones I work with do. Almost all ancillary staff will help us out if it's within their scope of practice. Just this morning while I was passing my morning meds, a phlebotomist asked me if it was OK to give one of my patients a cup of coffee and make her some toast. I've also seen RTs, xray techs, take patients to the bathroom for us if we are busy. I really like the team work we have where I work.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

sorry I just have to say this

they are either Certified Respiratory Therapist, CRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist, RRT,

and or RCP respiratory care practioners (Tx.).......

like justbeachey said, there are a few who do or will.......

Edited by sallyrnrrt
spelling, text


Has 1 years experience.

I've worked in LTAC facilities (mostly vent patients) so I have a lot of experience with RTs. Usually they do not do anything that a nurse or CNA would do. They do their respiratory thing and "get the nurse" for everything else. I could be in an isolation room with a RT and the patient needs to be boosted up but they "don't do any lifting" and just let me stand in the doorway waiting for someone else to walk by as the tumbleweeds blow down the hall. I think a total of three times I've had an RT help with lifting or turning. It's not the norm. I can't blame them really... it's not their job. It's nice to get the help when they offer it but I don't expect it from them or hold it against them.


Specializes in ICU, PCU. Has 8 years experience.

In PCU they cover our floor pretty closely at my facility (not everyone can boast of this). I once had a respiratory therapist safely help my COPDer (amidst a pretty awful exacerbation) out of bed and into a gerichair so he would be more comfortable sleeping. They return our pages very quickly. They provide effective interventions. They establish good rapport with and take very good care of our patients. They participate in codes and rapids. They're always available to help transport vented patients. I love respiratory therapists and couldn't do my job without them.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Nope. Not so far. But then they aren't trained to do what we do.


Specializes in LTC, med/surg, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

Such as what?

I appreciate it if they get a patient a cup of ice or an extra blanket if needed. Occasionally some will but most don't. I don't expect them to reposition people nor toilet them.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

We probably have 100 nurses on shift at any given time and 2 or 3 RT's at any given time. The RT's are slammed. The nurses are busy, but the RT's are even busier, especially if an emergency or chain of emergencies puts them even more behind. It's crazy! They get paged and pulled in other directions the whole time they're doing a treatment with someone else. If they're doing a neb with a sitter case usually they'll watch the patient so the sitter can use the bathroom or stretch their legs, or if the RN is sitting, maybe grab some meds. If a patient asks them to help reach something, they'll definitely help there. If a patient asks for fresh water, most of them will do that (after checking with the nurse).

When I was working with vent patients, I had a couple of RTs that where good about helping on simple things, boosting a patient up in the bed, or helping with a transfer. One that I worked with was the exception, when I had to do a shower for one of the vent patients, she would be right there helping with the shower. I had others that would sit on the other side of the shower room, while I was giving the shower texting on their phone, or playing a game the entire time.

It comes down to every one working as a team, I don't expect an RT or a nurse to do my job, as I am not going to be able to do their job. I however do what I am able to do to help others that are on my team, just as I expect that they will help me when I need it. It doesn't always work out that way, but the night does go smoother if everyone works together as a team.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Why do you ask?

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Only if the task is related to RT. "Could you help me boost him up so we can sit him up high for extubation?" Otherwise, no.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Once in a great while, we will recruit them for lifting help. A while back we had a very large pt fall and all available helped--even the resident. But generally, they're a bit busy with a dozen other intubated pts, plus running to codes, going to the ED to help bring up intubated admits, going w/ other RNs to CT with intubated pts...

So anyway, if the RN needs help with a nursing task we'll generally either get another RN or a CNA.

Fascinated with RTs, eh? I put my focus on doing my own job.