Saturday, October 27, 2007

RT's vs. RN's


I was out just searching around the old Internet when I ran across this discussion: Respiratory Therapist VS Nursing and it got me to thinking of the differences between the two. Now I know there are nurses who appreciate us RT's and on the flipside of the coin I know there are RN's who think of us as a highly paid nurses aide or trained monkey. So what are the differences between us? Who really works harder? So here I go with another list of the differences between RT's and RN's.
  1. You can become a RN in either 2 or 4 years of college. Wow you there are 2 and 4 years school's for RT also, along with the 8 month route with a commitment to the Military.
  2. RT's specialize, RN's don't but they can specialize.
  3. RT's know a lot about the Respiratory system, RN's know a little about a lot of different systems.
  4. RN's have a bunch of patients on a floor, RT's have a bunch of patients on a lot of floors. So we walk further.
  5. RN's make more money, that's a given but we seem to be creeping up.
  6. RN's do have more opportunities of different places to work like hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, jail's, factories, home health, and of course as a school nurse. RT, well not so many. Mainly just hospitals and home health.
  7. Everyone knows what a RN is, but not everyone knows what a RT is, we are small stealth unit like special forces.
  8. RN's are stuck on a floor so a lot of times they don't really know many people in the rest of the hospital. RT's get all over the place, so we know people all over the hospital.
  9. RN's get a big todo for nurses week. RT's have to do something to get RT week known.
  10. RN's are the one's who call RT when the patient is going downhill fast.
  11. RTs get to shove RNs out of the way to get to the head of the bed during a code. (Thanks Freadom of the RT Cave)
  12. RT's don't have to talk to the family (Thanks Freadom of the RT Cave)
  13. When a codes over RT can split, while the RN has to clean up. (Thanks Freadom of the RT Cave)
  14. RTs have to pay more than twice as much for their license, at least in Michigan, (Thanks Freadom of the RT Cave) and in Illinois and Wisconsin which is cheaper than Illinois.

Ok this is mainly just for fun and that's just a short list off the top of my head. Overall nurses work hard and so do RT's, just in different ways and of course both are needed to make the hospital run smoothly. My wife is a ER nurse and I have utmost respect for her as a ER nurse because I know the crap they deal with and the disturbing things they see. All in all it takes a certain type of person to be either a RT or a RN, but RT's don't let those "high on their horse" RN's talk down to you like we are a hired hand and they are the ones in charge. Sorry a little rant there, could be from running into a certain type of RN, or not.


Anyways...


Drive on RT's and Happy Respiratory Therapy Week.










39 comments:

Freadom said...

Great list. I'll think of some to add to it.

1. RTs get to shove RNs out of the way to get to the head of the bed during a code.

Okay, I'll think of more. I'll show this to my coworkers, they'll think of some.

MonkeyGirl said...

RT's have a bunch of patients on a lot of floors. So we walk further.

*snicker*

When we've poked an IV drug abuser or LOL with no veins 10 times to try to get labs with no success, we always call RT to do an art stick. And they always come do it. Because they rock.

I love RT. Anyone talks down to you, send 'em to me and I'll throw some poo on them. ;-)

Freadom said...

2. RTs don't have to talk to the family.

3. When a codes over RT can split, while the RN has to clean up.

Freadom said...

4. RTs have to pay more than twice as much for their licence, at least in MI.

jesus_of_suburbia said...

Twice as much!?

I think I'm going north to WI to work then.

just respiratory

Generic said...

Your list is pretty interesting although I think it's obvious you've got super RT pride. More power to you. I am an RN and I do have to comment on a few things. We do not see RT's as highly paid monkeys. We see RT's as part of out team. We provide the direct patient care and RT's assist us in keeping the patients stable. In a code, RT's are usually found at the head of the bed while the RN administers life saving drugs and assists as part of the code team. Both positions are highly necessary in order for patient care to be complete. The issue of RT's not being as well known of is due to the fact that RN's have been around longer. RN's used to perfrom the job of a PT or OT or RT...now we are a mix of a little bit of everything. Try to put aside the view of RT's vs. RN's. It's a pretty challenging job as it is, we don't need to be fighting amongst each other.

Djanvk said...

This is more just for fun and some observations I see as a RT and others also seem to see these to. But yes I do understand that it is a team thing in the hospital and we do work together. We do have our fun and opinions also.

Anonymous said...

I work as both and RN and a RRT. I have been a therapist for far longer then I have been a critical care RN and I can honestly say that most of what you posted is completely false in comparison. As a critical care RRT I felt under appreciated until I became an RN and discovered why nurses get the respect that they do. I felt as if I didnt get the respect from the doc's that I deserved.............after all, we spend years learning the physics behind mecanical ventilation. I can promise you that none of that holds any comparison to the theory and mechanics behind hemodynamics and the vast amount of drips you have to know to maintain hemodynamic status on a minute by minute basis. They are very different jobs and it is not something that you will understand until you have worked on both sides.

Anonymous said...

Well good for you RN/RRT. I am not sure what RT school you went to but the current program of study requires extensive education in hemodynamics.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and some hospitals like the Florida Hospital system in central florida require the therapist to run the IABP. It's a team effort folks. Who gives a shit who works harder. Both of our professions are here for the patients. The list was made for fun. Respect is given on a individual basis--Not based on the profession. Work hard and know what you are talking about and you will get it. There is a select group of nurses out there that feel that they are running the show and that their name is on my paycheck. As a therapist I see myself as a consultant, a specialist in my field. When the pt goes on mech vent or any other respiratory modality I come in to assess, deliver treatment, and my recommendation to the MD. If the RN and MD don't like my plan of care then fuck 'em they can come up with another idea-that's what medicine is about. I am there to provide my knowledge in my specialty of RT. If I come across an RN that feels the need to boss me around and wants me to take the nasal cannula from 2 to 3 liters I laugh...Then I inform her that the flowmeter needs to be set on a minimum of 10 liters/min if it is going to be hanging out of her ass. I love nurses and I love the respiratory profession. Both are equals just deal with different spectrums of patient care. Hopefully the battle will end...

Anonymous said...

This is for sure an old post, but guys like you piss me off! You are exactly the kind of RT we don't need in our profession. A Nurse coordinates the patients care with all Ancillary Services, not just the high and mighty RT Consultant. She makes sure her patient is fed, bathed, has their meds and vitals, labs are drawn, CT's, MRI's, Routine X-Rays are done, I's & O's, calories are counted, they do talk to the patients families and in a code they push the drugs that make the difference. They manage the entire patient and coordinates with multiple physicians. I have been in Respiratory Care for over 20 years. I started as an RT aide in a small hospital and currently work in a University Medical Center. My job has changed little in those years. Sure I get to go to the head of the bed, but who cares! I do the same thing whether it's a Code or a Trauma, I bag, then I put them on a transport vent. Whoopi!!! If I'm real lucky I can give them an SVN or draw an ABG or maybe I'll get to do an EKG, WoW that requires a lot of brains!! Oh and I forgot skill!! Respiratory Therapy is the UAW of healthcare. We demand more and more money and then slight the other members of our team, Classic!

Djanvk said...

Wow someone got a little testy and me just having some fun. Trust me I have much respect for RN's and other medical services.

Anonymous said...

I am an RRT as well as an RN. Yes I stil practice both. I work much more intensely and am busier as an RN. The reason for this is the expectation put on an RN. You have to document on every system and implement treatments for many different systems. As an RT I always have the time to do what I need to do because I am just focused on the Pulmonary system, as an RN this isn't the case, there are times as an RN I feel Discombobulated especially if understaffed etc. I will say this........both RT's and RN's play a vital role on the team. I find both rewarding, I do concentrate more on being an RN just because I like to work in one area, as far as pay, I get identical pay for both.

Anonymous said...

Well...let's discuss COLLABORATION!
I have yet to read any study nor I have I witnessed any hospital initiative showing a detriment to outcomes when collaboration between health professions is increased.

Djanvk - I don't know what the work culture is like at your hospital, but I can assume that your hospital does not rank in the top 10% regarding outcomes, simply because the adversarial and heirarchical attitude you demonstrate would not be tolerated at those hospitals. It is unfortunate that you are not getting the respect you deserve at work. If you would like to change that aspect of your work culture, I would suggest that you not frame it as an "us" versus "them" problem. If a nurse is treating you like a "trained monkey", you are not going to change his view of you by bragging about how much better your tricks are than his. Offer some education. Respectfully explain something to him something that is pertinent to one of his patients (permissive hypercapnia, ventilation/perfusion matching, etc). If you want to be treated as a member of a profession then take some initiative and share that specialized knowledge with your fellow healthcare colleagues (as an added benefit you may also contribute positively to the welfare of patients, sometimes we have to consider them too).

Good luck,
Surgical,neuro,trauma,surgical ICU nurse.

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Anonymous said...

Rt do not chart as much RN's do

Anonymous said...

RN's are in charge you F'N RT MORON!!!..and the sooner you RT's figure that one out the better Everyone will be..God help the hospitals if we actually sat back and let RT's make all the decision's??!! YEA, like you could even handle it..GO BACK to your RT Cave where you can run and hide!!

Slyfox RRT said...

I look at is this way: In healthcare you obviously have to work together so no occupation is higher than the other in my book. We have to remember without RT's or RN's the hospital wouldn't operate. So to everyone that likes to exploit there ego screw you. You're probably the worst healthcare practioner ever and you know it. You just have to come on to websites and put other people down because you suck clinically. There you go.

RT's and RN's rock.

URA HOMERSEXUAL said...

Healthcare Rocks.

Revolt against Physicians

;)

Just kidding.....or am i.

moo ha ha ha

YOUR MOM said...

HOW ABOUT:


POOP VS MUCUS.

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Lee said...

Wow. You couldn't be any more wrong. I am an Intensive Care RN-BSN with 4 specialities (Cardiac Surgery, CCRN, CFRN, and CEN)
(1) In the last 5 hospitals I've worked (major hospitals, inc;uding Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins), all RTs are allowed to do is ADMINISTER BREATHING TREATMENTS!
(2) RN's know ALOT about ALOT of systems. All of the RT's I met (and that's a lot), know a little about respiratory system, and that's it.
(3) RT's are the ones getting shoved out of the way. If you are lucky, we will LET you bag them. We are the ones who RUN the codes, administer the drugs, start the IVs, do compressions, record, and run the crash cart. So, where is the RT? Oh yea, the RT is getting the ventilator out of the storage closet.
(4) I've never called RT when my patient crumps - unless I need an extra set of hands. But lets be honest, I'd rather have the 2nd year nursing student help me.
(5) Yes we make more, because we KNOW MORE and can DO MORE.
(6) Sure after a code you guys split, because you didn't do anything. And WE the RNs are ultimately responsible for OUR patient. Everything that goes on in that room has to go through us. If we don't want you in there, then by God we can kick you out. I'm pretty sure an RT can't do that.

So, in end. RT's are pretty handy to have around...to give the breathing treatments. Other than that, they are a complete waste of space and medicare dollars.

Anonymous said...

Medicare is a waste

Eleanor said...

I was looking for Respiratory Therapist Salary and I landed in this post. Had fun reading, I'll be visiting for more for sure!

Djanvk said...

Wow didn't know this posting would start a little flame war. This was just a post having some fun and not trying to put down any profession. I am in agreement that all professions are needed throughout the hospital. My wife is a RN and she got a laugh out of this, no disrespect to the RN profession, but if you are a RN who thinks they are above us RT's that is where I have a problem, your not our boss, supervisor whatever we are equals and need to work together.

Anonymous said...

Because RN"S have a college degree and RT's don't!!

dave said...

I HAVE TO ADMIT WORKED IN HOSPITALS WHERE RT,S WOULD NOT HAVE TOLERATED LEE.I HAVE WRITTEN ORDRES,DONE INTUBATIONS,IRAN THE THE VENT UNDER RESP. MANAGE VENT PROTOCOLS.I COULD SEE LEE GETTING TERMED OR WRITTEN UP WHERE I WORKED.WE WOULD NOT HAVE PUT UP WITH A NURSE LIKE THAT.THE PULMONOLOGIST BACKES US UP ALOT.THERE ARE HOSPITALS WHERE RESPIRATORY GETS THE SAME PAY,OR MORE THAN NURSING.RESPIRATORY THEREAPY HAS ALOT OF BS PROGRAMS;SO SOMEONE DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.THERE ARE HOSPITALS WHERE RESPIRATORY IS NOTHING BUT A MEDICAL BELLHOP,AND I REFUSE TO WORK IN THOSE PLACES.THERE ARE PLACES WHERE RESPIRATORY THERAPIST ARE CONSULTS,AND THEY WRITE THE ORDERS.REMEMBER WE ARE A TEAM.HOSPITALS THAT DONT UTIILZE RESPIRATORY; LIKE THOSE WITH LOTS OF RESPIRATORY PROTOCOLS,THEY LOSE OUT ON MONEY,AND PATIENT CARE SUFFERS.LEE, YOU WOULD NERVER COME TO MY PLACE AND TELL ME I COULD NOT BAG OR INTUBATE SOMEONE DOING A CODE,AND I WOULD HAVE THE BACKING OF THE NURSES,AND THE DOCS.I WOULD WORK WITH YOU,BUT I CALL THE RESPIRATORY SHOTS.I WOULD LIKE YOUR INPUT AS A TEAM MEMBER.I,AM VERY GOOD AT WHAT I DO.

Heather said...

Well said Dave. I have been an RT for over 11 years. I have ER, ICU, NICU and transport experience. Which I am currently a NICU RT and flight therapist. I am PALS, NRP and ACLS certified. I do intubate neonates, pediatrics, as well as, adults. Now I have worked in several hospitals and worked with lots of RNs. And I have a special little message for Lee, four years of ICU experience RN. You are the scariest type of RN. There are several types( see RT Cave website for more info) but your kind are the most dangerous and unpleasant to work with.You believe you know everything. Challenge authority. And do not value anyone else's opinion or "know how" Let me guess. You are young, probably late twenties or early 30's. You have a huge chip on your shoulder because you think you know more than anyone else. I have worked and currently work with some male RNs like you. They try to be a big, tough and smart for us poor, helpless, mislead, uneducated RTs. Ha! I just roll my big blue eyes at RNs like you! It us very typical of ICU RNs to feel this way toward us RTs. It's a defense mechanism. You try to make us look stupid or nit usefull to make yourselves look smarter. You must work at a joke of a hospital if you treat RTs that way- unless you're just again trying to make yourself look better. Where I work I am called in for my expertise in the respiratory field. My opinion and skills are appreciated by most. You obviously are just spouting off at the mouth because you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You wouldn't make it a day in any facility I have worked at and neither would your patients. In my hospital RTs intubate, assist directly in bronchs, perform ABG sticks, place arterial lines, manage traditional vents along with high frequency oscillating vents, manage inhaled Nitric Oxide, Heliox, serve as a vital part of the rapid response and code teams and neonatal transports. Oh and of course nebulizer treatments. Apparently you feel as though you are not appreciated in your job and are taking it out on RTs. I could go on with so much more but I think you have done a well enough job making a fool of yourself. As I am sure you do on a daily basis at your job with that superior attitude. You should talk less and listen more. RTs have a lot they could teach. And I think I hear your IV beeping. Sincerely yours, A True RT!!!

Anonymous said...

This is for Lee who left a comment on Feb 4, 2011.

I can tell by your comment that you have went down the wrong avenue in healthcare. You should have been a physician with your holier than thou attitude. I bet when you go to work you have your crown and robe on.

I as a RRT know more about the lungs, heart and kidneys than most of the RNs I work with. They do not even consider that those three organs work together. God forbid, should they have to read and analyze a arterial blood gas.

Guess what, I can run a code too. When the patient survives the code and the family comes in to see the patient I am usually the ONLY healthcare worker that is in the room. All the nurses tuck tail and run so I am either bagging the patient or monitoring the ventilator. I am the one who has to deal with the family. Yes, this RRT can relate to family members during a time of difficulty.

No, I do not "split" as you say when the code is over. I am either doing one of two things: 1. Getting to take the patient to a different part of the hospital or getting ready to be a part of the transport team to take the patient to a different facility (imagine a respiratory therapist that can do that) or 2. Maintaining the ventilator.

As a RRT I have a real problem when the RN calls me to let me know a patient is complaining of shortness of breath and I get to the patient's room and there is no RN to be found. I take it upon my self to assess the patient, no the rn did not have to tell me to do an assessment. I take my assessment findings to the RN to discuss the patient only to find the RN has not even seen the patient. They just went by what they were told. Such a great RNs we have.

I will agree with you that you are responsibile for your patients but you also better realize I am also responsible for them. I do not know the guidelines of your state
concerning respiratory therapists but in Georgia we can: receive and write physician orders; communicate with the physician on a one to one basis--no nurse needed; do any respiratory procedure including giving aerosol treatments.

I love working with nurses, RNs or LPNs, some more than others. Most nurses are great to work with the others you have to ignore. I loved working with nurses I went back to nursing school, graduated AND passed boards the first time with the minimal amount of test questions--75. I work every day as a RRT and RN.

So Lee, ICU RN-BSN with 4 specialities behind your name not all respiratory therapist are treatment jockeys. There are those of us that are a credit to healthcare and do not go to work just to get a paycheck.

And one last thing...If we were to work together I would give your over-inflated ego a run for the money.

Sincerely,

Georgia Peach, RRT/RN

RTLB said...

Im an RT student with 11 months to go till I can take my CRT exam, after seeing and hearing the stories of what goes on in ICU and CCU RN's need us, and apparently on their NCLEX any respiratory scenario they check the box that says call an RT. I respect RN's but RT's, we are made to handle the critical situations. we make the same pay as RN and have the same 12hr schedule difference is We make sure the patients is breathing and stick arteries (ABG"S are for RT's only)...
Can't wait :))

Anonymous said...

Well you dont shove me out of the way during a code! How disrespectful! As a Critical Care RN I will tell you that we know more than you think we do. We are specialized and take care of the WHOLE PATIENT. I work together with respiratory but it is the NURSE who is ultimately responsible for the patient. I know RTs who would be offended at your comment. Oh and by the way, the CCU nurse runs the code until the MD arrives. The DOCTOR needs to run that code! I pray for the patients...... we have egotistical people out there who jeapordize the positive outcomes that would happen with TEAMWORK! Grow up!

Djanvk said...

Amazing I'm still getting comments on this. Again it was all in FUN!!! Whoever said RN's have degrees and RT's do not, they are entirely wrong we do have a degree, you can get you RN with 2 years of college and we also can get our RT with 2 years of college which is an associates. We also have the opportunity to get our bachelors degree also as with RN's. So what's the difference? Commenting to the the person who said RT's couldn't handle being in charge, I would think twice about that, we have the same ACLS training as you do, I also have NRP and PALS training, I'm not sure what you could handle, I was a flight medic, flight RT for neonatal, platoon SGT in the military during a time of war as a combat medic. What I've seen and have been around I'm pretty sure I can handle it, along with a lot of other RT's.

It's funny that a lot of the worst comments people posted anonymous, that just shows what they are like.

Again this was for fun, not for starting a fight. WOW

sandracam said...

I'm an RN with an associate in applied science. Have been working as a critical care RN for about 11 yrs I was a Certified RT for 20 yrs. what would I have to do to get my RRT?