Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A quick story

Was helping out with a procedure on the Mom/Baby Unit that involved the pt getting a little bit of fentanyl beforehand to help chill her out beforehand.

I don't know exactly how it came up, but the other nurse I was working with said something about the doctor having to give it. I dunno, I guess we don't give fentanyl on our unit? *shrug*

So I do the doc a favor and draw it up using a cannula access needle
and put the plastic covering back on to keep sterility while we got everything else together.

The doc comes in and pulls the plastic cap off, exposing the red-hubbed blunt needle and asks (confusedly) "So, um, I just put this into the IV?"

I take the syringe away from her and put the plastic cap on so I can unscrew the access needle. "No, it's a needle-less system. Just screw the syringe into the luer-lock on the IV"

She turns to the patient and tries to figure out how they go together (without even alcohol wiping the IV port!). "Um, I don't usually give medications......"

"How about I give the med and we'll just say you did, okay?"

"Sounds good to me."

I don't think this incident is limited to this one particular doctor. My guess is that most wouldn't know how to give an IV med if you asked them to. Which is why my blood boils when I see doctors doing nursing jobs on shows like House.... If it were realistic, they'd have no clue.


  1. Amen to that one! haha.

    Most units I worked L&D DO have the RNs giving the fentanyl. ?? That puzzles me. I don't think I EVER saw a doc give ANYTHING.
    ...and I worked L&D for 15 years out of my 35 years of nursing...

  2. I didn't get it either, but at that point it would've been too much trouble to ask questions, particularly in front of an already-freaked-out patient....

    The seasoned nurses on this particular mom/baby ward seem to lack a sense of autonomy. They call the docs to get an order for a TKO line if there are antibiotics ordered and no fluids... I guess it makes sense they'd be scared of fentanyl?

  3. Medical TV shows crack me up. I'm a radiology tech. I've *NEVER* seen a doc do an x-ray or a CT scan (regardless of what you see on "Grey's Anatomy"). Although our McDreamy is nice enough to come help me transfer a heavy patient when I'm all alone on 3rd shift. :)