Nice job writing this, very accurate.
I've been a Dialysis RN now for 1&1/2 years, 16 chair clinic, 1 Nurse, 4 techs. It has been a difficult, interesting time, I do enjoy it, but some things should not be the way they are.
The training “seems” to be very thorough, 12 weeks in class/machine training, then I had like 5 days with another Nurse on the floor. IMO, if you are going to be a tech then this is good, but a lot of wasted time for an RN.
There should be a separate machine set up in the back where one can just set up the machine over and over, that’s really just task oriented, non critical thinking stuff, but needs repetition to get it down. There is really no benefit to setting up 4 machines, then standing around watching techs do tasks. Much of the classroom training is also something that could be condensed into maybe 3 comprehensive classes for an RN.
Not everyone can teach. As mentioned here, techs do tasks, they can say “do this, do that, push this button,” but that teaches nothing. I too think like an RN, I want to know context, conceptual understanding, why I am doing a specific thing, and I have not had a tech yet that can answer these types of questions. It is maddening to be trained by someone who cannot teach. And, it should not be happening in this way.
One more though on that- techs in this setting can get pretty cocky and lose track of their scope of practice. Having a subordinate “train” an RN can lead to a perception that they are on equal ground. Let’s not pretend that this is true. You know what I’m talking about.
For me personally, much more value would have been found in spending time with the precepting Nurse, working with, and thinking through patient scenarios. I had like 5 shifts to shadow, in which I really learned nothing. So, 1 RN, 16 patients with no on site support or RN to do the “real” precepting. I can find the break room, bathroom, supplies by myself, let’s focus on the important stuff, you know, the patients.
The company I work for is so over focused on the techs that it is detrimental, and rather depressing. Keep an eye on the techs. As mentioned they have zero medical knowledge. I don’t care if you’ve been doing the tech thing for 10 years, you are a task doer, period.
It may sound like I dislike my RN position, but that’s not the case. Just pointing out some stuff that took me well over a year to sort out, as everything comes at you at a very fast pace.