Pcts telling you to get it yourself

Specialties Med-Surg



I am so frustrated at work right now. We are on a trend to try to improve patient care scores by telling the nurses that we have to do the pct's work as well. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem getting someone coffee, juice, taking them to the bathroom and cleaning up total care patients, but when it comes to choosing to get coffee for someone and managing a bp of 210/100 and a couple of BS that are over 300 while the PCT is at the computer, I will always choose to manage the bp and bs and deligate to the PCT. I had someone absolutley refuse to get a pt coffee while they were charting at the computer and when I asked they told me to get it myself. This was while I was trying the manage the above cases. What do you say to that?? (Of course I had a few choice things in mind at the time, but really didn't want to get fired)

incident report....paper trail, paper trail

This has happen to me too. I politely replied back, " I know that but I am asking you for help because I have other duties that are semi life threatening for the patient now."

Specializes in Home Health.

I'm not the most PC at times however, I possibly would have went over to that computer and hit the power button. Charting is the LAST thing to get done. Get off your behind and take care of the pts!

Specializes in Medical Surgical & Nursing Manaagement.

Remind them that DIRECT PATIENT CARE (however menial) COMES FIRST. Ancillary, in my opinion, do not have the option of refusing to do something the RN has delegated/requested. Is this their normal mode of operation? Where are the managers?

Next time, do whatever you need to do for the patient then ask the offending person if they are alright (you never know) then tell them in no uncertain terms what you're expectations are. Get the Management Team involved.


I literally didn't have time to argue or get the manager at that time, but what I did do was call the CN the next day to find out how they wanted to handle it. I had many things that I wanted to say, which included "pt care comes before charting", but I knew anything out of my mouth at that point would have started an arguement.

Specializes in ICU, Dementia care, Home Heath Care.

Hi there,

I have worked with some nurses that demand a hundred little things every shift - and other nurses that will get it themselves. I think some nurses tend to forget that the assistants have their own jobs -(patient care, secretarial work, inputting DR and lab orders into the computer, running to bloodbank or lab, etc. ) to do too (while assisting 2-10 nurses and ?# patients)

I have personally worked in the night shift ICU with 20 patients and 10 nurses - 1 tech. When a nurse asked me to get her something - then she promptly sat down and started reading her personal email. Really? I've just cleaned up 4 diarrhea beds, done 7 other bed baths, gotten 40+ full sets of vitals, made 12 trips to the lab, 2 trips to bloodbank, been vommited on by a hep c+ bleeding ulcer haven't sat down or eaten in 12 hours and you want me to get your ONE patient another cup of coffee so that you can get back to emailing your facebook friends about the night you've had? Oh, sure I'll get right on that!

I put patient care above everything else, but when nurses constantly demand things that they could do themselves - I might have already learned to tune you out when you actually do need something.

The nurses that treat their techs with respect get respect back - and that extra cup of coffee! (maybe one for you too - since I actually do know how you like your coffee...)

Overworked and underappreciated -



Actually the reverse was true for me. I was running around like a chicken that entire day and every time I saw this PCT she was sitting down at the computer. I help my techs all of the time as evidence by the techs that I have asked since this incident. Just as an example: today my tech only had to get help from another tech once and that was because I had to drop an NG tube and pass a bunch of meds. The rest of the day I helped with BMs, bedbaths, turning, labs and even taught her a few things since she is in nursing school. Our techs are responsible for ADLs, vitals, accuchecks, taking labs down and taking pts down at discharge. The only two things I asked her to do that day, this PCT refused to do. I understand the fundamental conflict between PCTs and RNs, but honestly if your nurse was getting coffee for another pt while the PCT is sitting down at the computer station and your BP was in the 200s/105, wouldn't you be a little peeved?

Specializes in ICU, Dementia care, Home Heath Care.

In the ICU, patients have BPs in the 200/105s all the time and I probably wouldn't be freaked out about it - just something else to fix. But I agree that the tech was wrong. Maybe she is burning out? :yawn:

Our ICU had 1-2 nurses to 1 or 2 patients (depending on acuity) and 1 tech to 20 patients. Our Techs on night shift were also the runners, extra muscle, phlebotemists and the secretary, so I wouldn't have thought twice to see one at the computer. On a bad night, I would have spent most of my night chained to the computer! Lab won't run blood, no emergency cxrs or cts without a computer order - didn't matter if the pt was crashing or not. Without things being entered into the computer, it doesn't happen. (I am not defending your tech - don't know what she was doing or thinking.)

glad to hear you don't abuse your techs! :p



NO! Would never abuse my right hand people. I am on a med/surg floor, so nurses have 6-7 pts and the techs have 8-10 pts. BP that high on the med/surg is call for closer observation, which is hard to do with 5 accuchecks to cover and the tech not helping with coffee and water.

Specializes in ICU, Dementia care, Home Heath Care.

Maybe your hospital is nicer to it's patients that we were to ours!:D (then again - on night shift - patients don't need our crappy coffee! )

Have you spoken to her about this issue?


Specializes in tele, oncology.

Oh my...I've been in this exact situation, rarely thank goodness, always with pulled techs b/c my techs are phenomenal.

My reply is so not PC but drives the point home..."And while I'm getting the pt to the bathroom, what are you going to do about my new onset afib with RVR that I'm dealing with now? And are you going to push the D50 on the pt that has a crashing blood sugar too?"

My techs know that if I ask them to do something instead of doing it myself, there's a darn good reason. Unfortunately the pulled techs often don't know this, so sometimes assertiveness is required.

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