I think that especially in critical care and I would imagine the OR, RN's are fiercly
protective of their patients. You could say that the RN is the boss of the patient and knows everysinglelittlething
about, that happens, or is done to the patient.
Trust is HUGE. If someone walked into my room with my critically ill patient and starting doing things and I didn't recognize them, I'm going to be there with them nearly every step of the way....the first time. 99.9999% of the time competency, according to my standards with my patient, is established the first time. When it's RT, I'll sort of give them a report on the patient as they're doing their thing....what the story is, what drips the patient's on, what problems we've had, what the plan is, etc. RT does get some of this info from their own rounds and report, but frequently not the whole story.
I just want to make sure that my patient is safe, not that I think anyone is going to intentionally harm my patient, but that's my patient. I sound horribly territorial, and I am, but fortunately most of us that work together realize that in the big picture, it's "our" patient and see the value in and understand each other's roles. So I may come across as someone who's not very nice to someone who doesn't yet understand. I would never intentionally set out to make anyone feel belittled or minimized, but I am there for my patient first.
Critical care would be nonexistent without RT's. Most of our RT's are an incredible resource with mountains of knowledge and most times, it's RT who the RN's and Residents consult to ensure optimal oxygenation with vented and even non-vented patients. I'll ask an RT any day
what they think before I'd ask a doctor. And on the other hand, the RT's understand that the RN knows the patient's up to the second condition and the RT's will always make us aware that they're about to do something or ask if it's okay before doing anything, even something as simple as a scheduled breathing treatment.
Don't take things too personally. Know your stuff the best you can. Use the RN as a resource...he/she does know quite a bit about respiratory and lots of other complex stuff about the patient as well. Remember that you are working as part of a team and no one part is more important than the other. But remember that the RN is the one who know's what's going on with the "whole" patient and most good RN's will look at every single aspect of patient care critically (especially in ICU).
Our schooling is very rigorous and the grading scale is 5 points above the nurses.
I'm curious as to what this means? Because comparing the two (RN-RT) is not something that can be done and shouldn't even be tried. Thinking that one is "above" another is a really
bad attitude or belief and it's something that will hurt your practice and quite possibly your patient in the long run.