Arterial Blood Gas

2 Feb


Where I work it is the job of the respiratory therapist to obtain all blood gas samples on the floor. Most nurses are not certified to collect ABGs although if they want to get certified they can, by taking a test and doing a minimum of 5 ABGs in the presence of an RT to sign them off. Now I usually love love love the RTs at community X, but after this weekend, my patience has run dry.  I had 3 patients this weekend with respiratory problems and 2 of them were on and off the bipap and needing multiple ABG samples.   The patients needed it! The physicians ordered it! And the RTs gave me crap all weekend. One day because the MD ordered ABG today, the RT did not collect it until 10pm at night!

I am really sick of it. Now they all “do” their job in the end, but why do I have to be abused? Why do I have to call over and over “begging” them to do their job? Why do I have to be on the receiving end of negative attitude and nasty comments? 

Why does the patient have to be “coding” or near it for the RTs to take this stuff seriously?  And even then I still try to work as a team and when the results are back they do not even want to know about it! I understand that they short staffed and have lots of patients and they have to prioritize but HELLO! My patient in early resp distress with abdominal use for breathing and cyanotic nail beds that can not even talk is more important than the neb treatment to the chf patient that probably does not need it on the other end of the hallway is not more important than the ABG my patient needs now to determine how bad off it is.

I even offered to call the House MD to obtain my samples for them but of course the offer was declined. Maybe I will work on getting certified so my patients do not have to WAIT.

I guess I am just going to have to be the bitch nurse in order to get what I need done for my patients, and I never intended to be. That is what it comes  down to.

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4 Responses to “Arterial Blood Gas”

  1. Strong One February 7, 2009 at 18:35 #

    Each hospital has been different with their P & P for Blood Gases and Arterial sticks. My first hospital actually required us to know how to do radial sticks. RT of course did them, but we could also perform the duties if in a time crunch.
    I personally think it’s very beneficial to have the skill. It can only improve your practice as a nurse.

    Best of luck!

  2. seejanenurse February 17, 2009 at 01:58 #

    Thanx! I think I am going to go for it!

  3. KansasRT February 20, 2009 at 05:17 #

    My suggestion is that next time you want an ABG now instead of just today sometmes then you need to order it stat. That should get you want you need.

    • seejanenurse February 25, 2009 at 17:22 #

      I guess that is what I will have to do…although I always feel that “stat” or “now” orders should be reserved for just that, I did not really want the ABG now, the physician ordered ABG today. That means to me “today”, like within the day shift, not tonight and not “now” either. You know…a happy medium. I get new orders in the charts “all day long” and really do not let them lapse over to the next shift, so I guess I expected the same from other departments. Any case that was a bad week with a shortage of RTs and lots of ABGs needed on the floor, most that probably should of been in ICU although the line gets blurry sometimes, so it was stressful. I luv our RTs.

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