Days like today I don't get nearly enough credit for not strangling someone with oxygen tubing.
This is what happens when non-clinical people try to solve clinical problems
Without going into too much detail, there was a patient incident over the weekend that could have ended up much worse than it was. The patient seemed no worse for wear and the incident was dutifully reported. Well, that called down the scrutiny of the higher-ups who decided right in the middle of a very busy morning--and in front of patients, no less--was the proper time to address it.
Now, I understand that with our new "culture of safety" (
) they have to come up with some sort of action plan to prevent it from happening again. But in this particular instance, the incident was caused by patient non-compliance, which we can do exactly jack about. Which is what my supervisor didn't seem to understand as she grilled my unfortunate coworker (who was the tech who happened to be there over the weekend). It's weekend call, which means most of the time, a tech is there alone. Good luck getting a nurse or house supervisor to come down, which is what my supervisor was insisting we do. She couldn't seem to get it through her head that sometimes there is no one else
. So what are we supposed to do? To quote the Lion King, sometimes bad things happen and there's nothing you can do about it.
I've complained about our transport department before. I'm all for cooperation between departments and I feel no department is necessarily more important than another. HOWEVER, my department utilizes radioactive tracers that are decaying at a pretty fast rate. They're only good for a couple hours or so. So we are on a time limit. So when we say we need a patient at such and such time, that's when we need them
! Typically we order stuff hot for this very reason. It's not unusual for us to get patients over an hour late.
And it gets better. I don't really know how the priority system in the tracking software gets decided, but it doesn't seem to prioritize appointments or whoever put their request in first. TBH, it seems pretty random to me. So other patients frequently get bumped ahead of ours. Occasionally the request even gets cancelled outright. For some scans, that's annoying, but not life threatening. I'm guessing today was half price lung scan day or something, because we ended up with 3 or 4 of them. Two were ordered yesterday. It took us all freaking day to get them down from the floor to do the scan. Specifically one guy who we wanted down at 1000. At 1045 the floor called and said he was in the middle of a dressing change and can't come right now. So we put him back in for 1200. It was probably 1315 before we finally got him. Which is completely unacceptable that scan is a STAT scan designed to look for a blood clot in the lungs. If he or any of our patients had actually had a clot, they would have been dead before we even got to the test
Calls to the transport office to figure out where our patients were and why requests kept getting cancelled went unanswered (I do know the transport supervisor was actually helping to transport patients, but she didn't have a pager). It finally got to the point we called our supervisor to get involved. She said she'd talk with transport and a few other supervisors which pretty much means nothing will get done. Quite frankly, this terrifies me. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a patient dies before transport gets them to where they need to do a test and the fallout is going to hit all of us.