Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cardiorespiratory Therapist?

So why does it seem that the duties of EKG's always fall in the hands of us RT's? Where we trained in cardiology, or given the knowledge of ECG/EKG's or even doing these tests on patients? I know I was never given a class on this type of testing during my schooling, but it the powers that be seem to think that EKG's should fall onto us RT's. Now I'm sure this isn't the case for all RT's who work in Hospitals, but so far in the last 11 years doing this it seem to be the standard where I have worked.

Now being a male RT doing EKG's can become a little touchy at times, but we must know to remain professional at all times also. Ok now I'm not trying to sound perverted but really is it to hard to ask for a hottie patient to do a EKG on every now and then, I think not. Really think about it what is our EKG population like and the problems the come with it.

As a man we have to handle these women's breasts which are in general terms a taboo region just to bear in front of a stranger. With the older women you can't help but wonder is this offends them due to how they were brought up. Middle age women usually there is a husband in the room with them and they of course are watching another man handle their women and I have yet to meet someone like Suzanne Summers in this age group. Then comes the large overweight women where you need a crane to lift those monsters to get a little sticker under their, sure wish they came with a kickstand. You actually wonder if they feel bad putting you under all that stress of lifting those things.

Now we get to the younger population of women, which is usually not the case for EKG's but it does happen. As a guy you might think great a woman I really don't mind touching but then professionalism takes over and you attempt to put these stickers on with averting your eyes as to not make her think you are staring at her in a way other then medically. Then there is the possibility of teenagers getting a EKG also and as a Dad with 2 girls, I do my best to keep them covered up because I don't want a parent thinking anything or being uncomfortable with a man touching their daughter.

As for the guys, who cares they don't. Just get it done and move on, these are the easy ones and the easiest to find their landmarks.

Over the multitude of EKG's I have done at this current hospital I work at my initial worries I had doing these has since gone out the door but those were real concerns at one time. Professionalism has taken over and I just get it done, try to make the patient feel comfortable and work on getting them covered back up as soon as possible. Yes I still get a little grossed out from the underboob sweat along with other funky things that are under there with the bigger women but we drive on and get the job done.

Yes some of use are CRT's .... CardioRespiratory Therapists, but please don't ask me what I see in that EKG because I cannot tell you because I'm only trained to put stickers on you.

Next Episode: What to look for on a EKG/ECG.


Freadom said...

Very true. I like to think I can do an EKG on just about anyone without exposing breasts. I can
even do them on teenage girls without making them overly uncomfortable. However, I usually try to have a female RN do these EKGs if at all possible.

I can't think of many things grosser than what you can find under those things -- and the smell. Makes me cringe just thinking of it.

So long as we small town RT Caves have slow times, we will always do EKGs. The bottom line is money.

Breathingthroughschool said...

I took a class last semester in cardiac function testing, which included interpreting EKGs, so I guess they are teaching it in school now.