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What Would You Like Your Tech To Do?

Emergency   (1,831 Views | 6 Replies)

5,487 Profile Views; 57 Posts

I recently started a job as an ER Tech. (I am also a first year nursing student) To this point all of the feedback I had received from my co-workers has been positive, however my boss called me this week to tell me that 'some' nurses don't feel like I am being proactive enough. Currently I do the following proactively throughout my shift:

1. Clean room after patient discharge

2. Make sure all of the exam rooms are well stocked

3. Run any labs over to the lab as soon as they are collected.

4. When EMS arrive I do initial vitals and attempt to make sure that the nurse has everything they need.

5. Answer all call lights

6. I try to keep a eye on all the rooms and clean up any supplies/messes as they occur

7. Empty trash and dirty linen bags as they fill up

8. Take non-telemetry patients to the floor

The nurses I work with will generally ask me to d/c IV lines and do last vitals before they release a patient. If I run out of things to do I always check with the nurses if there is anything I can do to help out. If they say no, I do tend to sit down and usually try to read a page or two of my textbook. My question is what else should I be doing to be more proactive? I really love my job and would like to work at this hospital when I graduate from nursing school. If anyone can suggest anything else I can do to help out my nurses I would greatly appreciate it. I will be signing off on my in house phlebotomy certificate (I've already taken my class and clinicals and just need to sign off with the hospital itself) so I hope to be able to help out with blood draws soon. I wonder if they think I'm not being more proactive because unlike the other Tech I am not a CNA II and can't do in and out catheters. Thanks in advance for any assistance on how I can improve my skills and better serve my nurses!

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3 Articles; 2,815 Posts; 30,719 Profile Views

You sound like you're doing a fine job to me. The only thing I didn't see on your list is repeat vital signs at the required intervals.

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544 Posts; 8,445 Profile Views

Wow, I wish our techs did all that! Maybe ask your boss to ask 'some' nurses specifically what they want you to do differently?

I bet you that 'some' nurses don't have anything to say : )

You are doing a great job, and if they can't justify their comments, then that is their problem!

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327 Posts; 4,359 Profile Views

I would talk to your boss. Let them know you are eager to do a good job and ask if they can suggest anything you can do to improve. I am sure the nurses that talked to your boss gave some specifics. Based on what you posted it is hard to say what more you should do. The techs where I work are responsible for EKG's, nurses don't even have access codes for the machines. A tech would never be responsible for emptying trash or cleaning rooms. The most helpful thing a tech can do for me is answer call bells and help patients to the bathroom/provide incontinence care. Maybe you already do this but It is also nice when a tech anticipates things such as the need for a urine sample (based on the patients chief complaint) and encourages the patient to provide a sample even if there is no order yet-worst case it get disposed of but if it is needed it is a huge time saver. Or if the tech puts the new chest pain patient on the cardiac monitor and offers to get an EKG -where I work an EKG is a protocol order for chest pain so the nurses appreciate it when the techs get it done right away and the providers do to. Otherwise maybe you can talk to another tech for ideas.

You sound like a great worker from what you wrote, the only thing that might be frowned on by some would be that you say you sometimes study on the job. Even if it is only when you have down time and you work your butt off the rest of the time, others might not see it that way. I'm not sure how big your department is but I know where I work there is rarely a time where a patient doesn't need something, even if it is just someone to talk to.

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kesharn2 has 11 years experience.

1 Post; 406 Profile Views

Sounds like you're doing a great job,

The techs in our ER are EMT's so upon chest pain arrivals they obtain EKG's. They also do splints for broken bones and do things as simple as belonging lists for patients who are admitted to the hospital.

You sound like a go getter to me. Maybe not wait for a nurse to ask if you can d/c an IV line or get vitals? I'm a more self sufficiet nurse and I only ask for a tech to be present "somewhere" so I can easily ask them for help if I needed it.

Hope that helps!

Kesha

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4 Posts; 984 Profile Views

Sounds like your doing much more than the techs I work with.... Great job.....hope your passion continues to burn

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bvalerio23 has 2 years experience.

18 Posts; 915 Profile Views

I was in the same situation a few months ago when I started working in my ED. The dept was/is notorious for not training or doing very well on orientations. I was nervous because the pace of the ED is unlike any other floor and I did not want to upset my RNs by screwing up their flow.

What worked for me was working various shifts (mornings, mids, nights, etc.) and working with as many RNs as possible. I mentally kept notes on what each RN would generally expect of me and make sure I did it for the next RN. Besides being being very aware of what routine tasks take the longest for the RNs to do, I decided what was within the scope of my medical practice that saved the RN some time.

My duties include your list minus call lights (our clerking staff relays msgs to RNs), starting/pulling IVs, all blood work, assisting in intubations, Foley's, I&O caths, 4P's, EKGs, collecting specimen cups/samples, alerting RNs of abnormal labs, glucose checks, vitals on arrival and Q(whatever), charting anything and everything I do, whatever is asked. Generally an RN will know what their tech can and cannot do so don't overthink the situation. If you EVER feel uncomfortable in completing a task, tell your RN or provider. I took my time in the ED as the best hands-on learning you could receive. Most BSN programs don't include enough clinical experience to make you feel comfortable when you get on the floor post degree. The ED is fast paced and you'll see everything from GI bleeds, CVA/TIA, MI, MVA, to cold and flu symptoms. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from my time in the ED and will seek a position in critical care.

Most hospitals are understaffed so if you feel burnt out, ask management about floating. It's not the most glamorous job but sometimes it comes with a pay increase and you get experience with other clinical settings.

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