Are nurses high payed techs?

  1. There is another thread out there, dealing with who should be allowed to pass meds. The topic got me thinking about how nurses are loosing the skilled parts of their practice, and the parts we are being left with are not that apealing. The following are some examples of the erosion of the nursing role that I am referring to. I feel that some of these practices have helped us get in the nursing shortage we are in. What do you think? What follows is a quote from my post on the idea of having med techs.

    Locally nurses are loosing much of their practice and left being high payed techs. Examples include.......

    A local hospital has RT do CO numbers on all the swans in house.

    Baloon pumps in the same institution are run by RT.

    RT alone takes many aspects of nursing away, at least in the ICU.

    PT has removed many of the interventions nurses used to perform.

    Another thing to note, is that these professions while being highly trained specialties, make equal or better money, for assuming a fraction of the responsibility of a nurse.

    So would medication administration become another highly payed specialist area?

    I am definately not for any further fractionalization of the nurse role.

    Besides, I am tired of the skilled aspects of our jobs being taken away. Why not find ways to decrease the meanial tasks. Why is it we couldn't dictate our nurses notes. That alone would save so uch time.
    Last edit by nilepoc on Oct 8, '01
  2. Poll: What is your opinion of the state of nursing now?

    • The nurse role is well defined and there is no erosion of it.

      18.03% 11
    • Nurses are rapidly loosing the skilled aspects of their jobs.

      32.79% 20
    • Nurses should assume more skills, and less non skilled work.

      49.18% 30
    61 Votes
  3. Visit nilepoc profile page

    About nilepoc

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 660; Likes: 148


  4. by   essarge

    I said it before and I'll say it again. It's almost like the "higher ups" are taking tasks away so they don't have to pay for our skills. I think it is high time to have a universal job description (perhaps some type of law) with minimum wages to go along with it. Hell, waitresses have minimum wages, farm workers have minimum wages, retail etc.....why not nurses? There is such a vast difference in wages in this my area alone there is a difference of $7.00 an hour from one hospital locally to a hospital that is about 30 miles away.

    Give us our skills back that we were specifically trained for and pay us for it instead of trying to find a "back door" way out of giving us our worth!!!!!
  5. by   fergus51
    I atually really apreciated the collaboration with RT and PT in my short stint in the med-surg world. If I had to do everything for my patients they wouldn't get done. The only way for the workload to be manageable was to involve other disciplines. Passing meds does worry me because there is a lot of patient assessment with that, so I don't like the idea of any techs doing it. It doesn't really matter to me right now because I work on an all RN floor so we do everything.
  6. by   Joycean
    Being a nurse is not just about the tasks but more importantly about critical thinking. It is my responsibility to know what is going on with my patients no matter who is doing the tasks.
  7. by   jjjoy
    For those advocating the "professionalization" of nursing, it seems they would welcome the transfer of skilled tasks to other personnel. And the nurse's function would then more specifically be care coordination: getting the overall "big picture" and making sure all the various staff are doing their part to assist the patient towards the healthcare goal.

    Of course, hospital nurses have always done this to some extent. However, the bottom line was that nursing staff took care of hygiene needs, administered routine treatments, and were the eyes and ears for the doctors, recording assessments and judging when back-up was needed. Basically, nursing was the patient care that the doctor didn't do and the family didn't do. That demanded a breadth of knowledge and skills, both medical and interpersonal. Nurses, having so much patient contact, were in an ideal place to see the "bigger picture" - to advocate for patients to doctors, social workers and the like.

    As medical technology has grown and inpatients are generally sicker, there are more and more tasks that need to be done. Nurses are left running to get the tasks done but still expected to somehow be the patient advocate that they've traditionally been. So the assistance in tasks from other healthcare personnel can help ease the physical demands of the nurse. However, it was the carrying out of these sometimes mundane tasks that allowed the nurse to interact with the patients and get that "big picture" that helped them be such skilled caregivers and patient advocates.

    With new medical procedures and technology multiplying, with ever shorter patient stays, with several care providers working on just their own specialty area, nurses are still expected to do whatever it is that no one else is doing as well as ensure that everyone else is on track as well (check for doctor errors, pharmacy errors, dietary errors, make sure the social worker or discharge planner is on task, and of course supervise any auxiallary staff working directly under the nurse).

    I can see how some see "professional nursing" as moving away from direct patient care and more to care coordination. However, that leaves us with a problem. Nursing traditionally has meant direct patient care. If you take care of a loved one at home, we call it "nursing." Someone will still be performing the direct patient care, and who will those people be if not nurses? Will traditional nursing then be done by "patient care partners" "physical therapy aides" and "medication administration techs" ? Even if we define nursing of the future to be predominantly care coordination and less direct patient care, will we as a society be able to make the jump in our image of what nursing care is? Perhaps hospital nursing as we've known it is a thing of the past and we ought to think of a new name for this evolving nurse so as to avoid confusion both within and without the profession.
  8. by   Dave ARNP
    Erm... and can nursing quit making the durn beds?

    Just a peeve of mine.

  9. by   dphrn
    I remember the first day of nursing school. We learned how to properly make a bed.
  10. by   Agnus
    Sadly hospitals do not bill seperately for nuring services. It automatically is included in the room rate.

    On the other hand they bill seperately for PT, OT, SP, etc. So if a patient needs expensive (and or profitable) additional nursing care such as wound care they delegate it to PT, that way they can bill extra for that aspect of nursing care. If nursing did the same wound care the hospital would not be able to bill extra for it.

    Ain't sayin' it's right. Just sayin' it's so.
  11. by   sbic56
    As a nurse, I have referred to myself as a waitress with advanced education and it's getting worse all the time with this customer service focus we are seeing so much of lately. I'm no longer a staff nurse and this is the biggest reason why.
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Making a bed the right way is important to pt. comfort. There are 2 nurses on another floor at work that have actually called on my floor to talk to ME to ask me to come make the bed. Nevermind that i've got how many other pts. just on this floor whose fevers have broken and soaked the bed with sweat. I don't think so. I'm not leaving my resposibilities for 15 minutes (takes awhile to get to the other floor) all because something thinks that making a bed is "not my job" (housekeeping could have been called if that floor was that busy, they have a bedmaking team) . That's exactly what they said "It's not my job". That phrase wears extremely thin anymore.
  13. by   BRANDY LPN