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What can RT's do that RN's can't?

Posted
Nursetobe25 Nursetobe25 (Member)

It seems nurses can do everything an RT does plus their own duties... is that true?

ParvulusPuella

Specializes in Cardiac/Progressive Care. Has 6 years experience.

Depends on the facility. Where I used to work, RTs intubated during codes. Where I am now, RNs are able to give MDIs, but only if RT has written an order (per protocol) saying the RN can, but at my previous facility, MDIs were automatic for RNs to do. And we only give nebs if RT is in the middle of an emergency and calls and asks us. Only RT can do percussive therapy. And generally everywhere Ive worked, the docs let RT dictate vent settings, though some RNs could adjust accordingly. So it really depends on the facility.

matthewandrew, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Family & Palliative Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

RTs really just help us RNs out.

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UCLA FNP Class of 2016

Lennonninja, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in MICU - CCRN, IR, Vascular Surgery. Has 10 years experience.

It depends on your facility. At mine, RNs don't intubate, do percussive therapy, respiratory treatments, or arterial sticks. We also don't touch anything on the vent except the silence alarm button and the 100% button.

At my facility RT's are highly respected for their advanced knowledge of vents and airway issues. They give respiratory meds, advanced respiratory treatments, tweak vents according to ABG's and VBG's (with MD input), assist with intubation, and help trouble-shoot a patient who is declining along with the MDs and RNs. I don't know what we would do without them! At least in the Peds ICU and pulmonary unit.

RTs really just help us RNs out.

Really? Is this is all you can say about the RT members of your team?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I would not want to live in a world without RTs!!

PS: My son is in RT school.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

RTs really just help us RNs out.

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UCLA FNP Class of 2016

I laughed out loud.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

RTs really just help us RNs out.

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UCLA FNP Class of 2016

Surely this is a joke??

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

It seems nurses can do everything an RT does plus their own duties... is that true?

Depends on the setting.

In the home care setting; nurses ARE the nurse and the RT in the home; in sub-acute and Rehab, I have been the "Respiratory Nurse" when there is no RT present.

I know how to troubleshoot vents; know how to use a cough assist device, respiratory vests; etc.

I have received training from nurses and RTs how to teach nurses how to use and troubleshoot vents and have passed the knowledge on successfully.

As other posters have explained, RTs provide a role that is very complementary to the healthcare team.

I currently work with very knowledgable RTs and have done so in the past as well; good RTs are certainly worth their weight in gold :yes:

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Technically in many states the job of an RRT is within the scope of an RN and in some states LPN.

However, the RRT is specialized education on the respiratory system and a valuable resource with often high level skills in airway and respiratory management. Many nurses do not have that level of experience and continuing education.

Legally/technically an orthopedic surgeon can perform a c-section but would you even think of asking the guy who did the ORIF on your ankle to deliver your child?

Great...another one of these threads. As a critical care nurse I highly value a RT's knowledge base and the duties they perform. If you want to do it all yourself go ahead.

Next in, NPs will start saying we don't need surgeons anymore....

Seriously there are other healthcare team members besides RNs.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Personally, if I were the pt in that bed, I'd be nervous for one person to be tweaking my vent AND titrating all my drips AND worrying about my other labs AND trying to manage my pain and everything else. Especially if my ventilation involved a dual lumen ETT and the oscillator after taking a knife in my pulmonary artery. Just saying.

To say that that RRT just helped me out would be supremely arrogant, and supremely foolish.

It's not about having someone to give my pts their nebs for me.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

it is not RT

the national credential is CRT certified, or RRT, registered,

and in Texas respiratory care practioner....

I know we say Respiratory Therapist, but there is different credentialing

Edited by sallyrnrrt

edmia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

It depends on your facility. At mine, RNs don't intubate, do percussive therapy, respiratory treatments, or arterial sticks. We also don't touch anything on the vent except the silence alarm button and the 100% button.

What? Do you have an RT on standby? If I had to wait for RT to do these things, I'd wither... We do all of that (ok, not intubate, but RTs don't do that either).

edmia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

What? Do you have an RT on standby? If I had to wait for RT to do these things, I'd wither... We do all of that (ok, not intubate, but RTs don't do that either).

To clarify: this is because the hospital staffs only 2 RTs to cover 500+ beds. Not because they aren't capable. I always page them for difficult vent issues, but don't bother them for a breathing treatment or to restart a patient on bipap. They appreciate that I take care of my stuff and utilize them for their specialized knowledge and so, if I'm ever in a bind, they respond to my page right away.

RyanCarolinaBoy, ADN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 16 years experience.

In my ICU, the RT's are a member of the interdisciplinary team that is JUST at IMPORTANT to the wellbeing of the patient as I, the RN, am. With my sick patients, titrating multilple gtt's and attempting to keep a patient alive that's circling the drain, it is awesome to have a good RT at the bedside with me, working together taking care of the patient. In my hospital, the RT's are given a broad scope of practice and leeway from our ICU docs. Love it!

Wile E Coyote, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical care.

For those of us in the US style healthcare system, we're used to having RT's. For those that don't already know, this is not the case worldwide. One common example is Australia where you very much will have just one person adjusting your vent and your drips (the RN, of course).

In my opinion, a rockstar RT is worth his/her weight in gold, as the saying goes.