Legality question

  1. I am asking this for my aunt who is an RN.
    She works on the telemetry unit.
    Another floor has now taken on patients with moniters and the nurses on that floor said they couldnt read the moniters as was expected because they had no experience with them. SO to fix this problem the hospital has the moniters on that floor hooked up to the Tele floor and any time a nurse cannot read a moniter they are to call the tele floor, have them pull up the pts moniter and tell them read the moniter to them.
    My aunt feels this is illegal somehow but cant figure out how.
    It just does not seem right at all. It almost seems that it adds to your number of pts to me.
    There have been problems already. Of course the nurses on the telle unit dont know anything abt these pts and dont have their charts...etc
    Any imput from anyone on this please?
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    About CantHardlyWait

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 1


  3. by   Antikigirl
    NOt sure if it is illegal, but it isn't practical and will end up in big time liablity.

    I don't do tele yet, but have signed up for the course. I have a basic understanding from my hubby, who is a paramedic and teaches me them because he knows it is important to pt care. But I will not work tele pts till I have that skill. I will float to tele to take care of non-tele pts though if they need.

    Now for us, there is one floor for tele pts (outside of PCU and ICU), and the other side of that floor may have one from time to time. Those are watched carefully by the charge nurse (they do desk work and tele), and if anything is wrong..even on the other floor...there is a call or we see that charge nurse fly to the other side! Even if it is just a little change! Us other nurses do the same when we see something odd! So it isn't a phone call so much as a run to on any monitored pt we have on floor...even I have caught a v-tack in progress and ran! Saved him too via code interventnions which I assisted!

    So I don't know...if something were to happen, do those nurses monitoring get quick help? That is the way it should be!
  4. by   GeminiTwinRN
    can't answer as to the legality of it, but i can tell you that i work on a busy icu and we also have one monitor that shows up to 8 or 10 different patients on it, depending on how many are on their unit. whenever there are alarms sounding or the monitoring looks "funny", we have to call the unit and document who were spoke to, what the problem is with the monitoring, and what the response it.

    i can also tell you that this "other" unit doesn't exactly jump on our phone calls when we have to call them about their patient either. it's very "oh, well... ok, i'll let the nurse know.. " or "oh, yeah.. that patient went to CT around an hour ago and we forgot to suspend their processing...".. and on and on.

    we have our own 18 patients to be looking after, and all the other unit's monitor shows us is a heart rate and the continual monitoring of their rhythm. it does add quite a bit to our workload.

    good luck with that!
  5. by   vamedic4
    It's not illegal but it is dangerous and stupid. The danger is that
    1. These nurses don't have the familiarity with EKG interpretation.
    2. They are having to rely on ANOTHER FLOOR for said interpretation.
    3. Something could go wrong...seriously wrong with a patient, and you couldn't reach someone on the other floor in time..what happens then??
    Can you say, lawsuit??

    Bottom line, your aunt should familiarize herself with EKGs, and quickly. Suggest she take an ACLS course as well.

    Best of luck

  6. by   meownsmile
    We use these types of tele units at my hospital. Its called scatterbed telemetry. (because they may be scattered throughout the facility). These patients are not necissarily cardiac patients but patients admitted with other either surgical or medical problems. The monitoring of these patients are done from the telemetry floor and the tele nurses read their strips along with the others on their own floor. The monitors have a button on them that the patient can push if they have anything symptomatic and it automatically runs a strip and alarms from the monitor. The nurses on the tele floor will call us, and call the doctor if there are problems. Usually if there are major problems with the patient, we have already been in the room, know the patient is either crashing or having symptoms and have called them to read the strip. The scatterbed is read ONLY by tele nurses on the telemetry floor. We have no monitors on our floor. Sometimes the patients are on telemetry so the doctors can see rhythms and heart rates to clear a patient for surgery.

    The only thing dangerous things we have found about it is it takes sometimes several minutes to hours for the tele nurses to notice that a lead is off or the monitor is off completely. They call us and we go check the connections and unit. That shows just how close these scatterbed units are monitored. These are not necissarily unstable cardiac patients. At least at my facility. I cant speak for the type of patients your aunts facility uses scatterbed for.
    Last edit by meownsmile on Sep 28, '06
  7. by   Larry77
    This "remote" tele is done in our hospital as well but these pt's are monitored by the monitor tech on tele and if there is a change the tech calls the other floor to inform the nurse.

    I'm pretty sure there is also a way for the charge nurse on the "remote" floor to monitor the patients on her floor too but am not sure...I'm usually stuck in my "hole" aka ED.
  8. by   JentheRN05
    In the last hospital I worked at, there was a tele monitor station. In that station was ALL the tele patients from the entire hospital. Several tele techs were to monitor the teles. That is their only job. If someones rhythm was off the monitor station would be on the phone quicker than the patient could say - Um chest pain here. So it's definately not illegal. Just depends on how many monitors one tele person is watching - however during night shift there was like 2 tele monitors for the entire hospital (and yes it's a big hospital) but they would be right on it if there is a problem with anyone.
  9. by   heartbeat2
    I am a nurse that is working in telemetry. We have 4 RNs and 3 LPN's. We don't have direct patient contact. The cardiac floor has a duplicate monitor. They run their own strips but we runs strips on their patients too. (double charting). We watch the telemetry from the rest of the hospital also. We can now monitor almost 50 patients at one time....ONLY 1...repeat 1 person working telemetry at a time. Does anyone know if there are limits to how many patients one person should be monitoring at one time?
  10. by   nuangel1
    i could not agree with vamedic more .no its not illegal but its stupid on the hospital and nurses part .you as a nurse are reading a strip on pts you can't see nor are taking care of vary dangerous .i would think it opens the hospitals liability way up . and if you ever get sued the pt etc will sue you the one who read strip the nurse caring for pt dr hospital it worth the risk? i would never do this .i would absolutely carry my own malpractice insurance.i cannot believe how many places do this.