[QUOTE=plugger_;12388]I don’t know how they let this happen in the first place or why? Oh, I did see your previous post …and WOW! A clinic with nothing but RNs and LPNs, sounds like a dream, sounds like the-way-it-used-to-be. Not that all techs do a bad job, I’ve heard of some I would trust before some nurses. I don’t see it going back to those days though anytime soon.
After talking to my rep though, it sounds like we will probably have testing of a tech’s practical skills, mainly cannulation[/QUOTE]
I am in a unit where there are more RNs and LPNs then techs. The care has been better than any of my previous units that did not have this ratio, because the nurses have more nursing education than the techs and understand what they’re doing in many respects and they also have a more professional attitude. As an educated patient, I can tell them how I’d like my tx to be and they are eager to assist me to get a good tx. Nevertheless, the nurses are still lacking in basic dialysis education as they are trained by the company and they don’t get complete training. So, they have blinders on so to speak. But the ones who are the most honest realize that their training is incomplete. I was on dialysis for a long time and never had one nurse admit this to me. But in my current unit I have had several own up to it.
Honest nurses are wonderful people. They are really dedicated to patient care and work so hard. They are better than medicine. But I see this thing all the time where they are unaware that they are lacking a complete dialysis education until they have a patient like me who is able to open their eyes. I’ve influenced quite a few that there is more to dialysis then how they were trained. But only a very few open their eyes and see it. And, yes, I’ve had some techs who were every bit as good as a nurse-they are really special people. Oh, and I’ve had some nurses who knew less and peformed their jobs worse than the worst tech.
In discussing cannulation above, when you say tech do you mean techs and nurses or just techs? Because I have also had techs who were better at cannulation than nurses. Some nurses have frightening cannulation skills! Their hands shake, they may have poor vision and it is so scary when they are coming toward you - they will hurt you!
My unit still has most of the core staff, but lately they have lost some and have put some techs in their place. It really surprised me to see them hire some individuals off the street who were so poorly educated. They hired this one lady who was really bad off. I would not allow her to cannulate me as she was so new and barely knew what she was doing. She took it personally although I tried to kindly explain to her that she was a nice person, but I don’t like anyone, nurse or tech, who is not experienced to cannulate me as we are talking about my lifeline. After her short, 2 wk training she thought she was Super Nurse! This is how these individuals think as they go from fast food or some such position to medical work. They have the medical uniform down pat, but have little idea what they are doing. I see them work on elderly and other patients who have no concept that these people are so inexperienced. As you can well imagine, this spells problems.
Maybe you can use this post with you rep. I applaud what you are doing and knew someone would come along with the guts and know- how to wage a campaign and get legislation. A good dad is going to protect his ESRD child . I knew one other father who tirelessly protected his child. Kept her safe on home txs for years and, ironically, he died prematurely from all the stress since he always had to battle the unit and the govt. He was in top physical shape, so it was a great shock and loss when he died, but that’s what stress can do. His daughter was strong like him and I have no doubt she will be fine.
I do as much as I can to fight for change in my own way. The Industry has had an advantage for years as they know patients are a captive audience and family members are so stressed taking care of their loved ones that there are few to fight the battle for patients’ rights. But what they didn’t figure on is the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are not the type to take unit abuses lying down. I believe this generation will wage a good fight. Congratulations on your efforts and courage, Plugger, and I hope all who see this thread will get off your duffs, for once, and email the reps. I really hope that this will be a significant turning point for improvements in ESRD care. GOD BLESS!