The Pulse | Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Knowing the Capabilities of Your Nurses
Do the Nurses on Your Unit Know How to Do the Job of the Technician They Are Supervising?
When I began in the endoscopy field as a PACU nurse, I was taught and expected to function in the technician role by helping the GI physician with procedures, scope handling and cleaning, and troubleshooting equipment while on call and as needed if a technician was not available. At that time, we provided mainly IV sedation for our procedures with the nurse administering and monitoring the patient. I would also help with small, uninterruptible tasks as needed during the procedure.
As MAC anesthesia has become more standard, I have found myself doing more computer charting and paperwork with occasional hands-on care. Over the past few years, our unit has hired several nurses who were on boarded with an emphasis on the role of circulating. The thought was, overtime, the new staff would learn the hands-on care.
Then, we implemented a new computer documenting system. It is cumbersome, causing much frustration and delays in documenting. The extra time needed to troubleshoot documentation issues has prevented the newer staff from learning how to assist during the procedure.
Now, we have a problem. The nurse seems to be disengaging from the bedside, and this is exactly the opposite from what we are trying to do by keeping the patient safe during the procedure. I have two questions for my fellow GI colleagues: are your nurses at the bedside, or is a majority of their time spent charting? Do the nurses on your unit know how to do the job of the technician they are supervising?
Respectfully submitted by Wendi McDonough, BSN, RN, CPAN, CGRN