Ready or Not
We have a new surgeon. He is a general surgeon and I don't expect that he will have any crazy cases, at least not right off the bat, but he had promised our department that we will be keeping vents in-house instead of just long enough to see them head out the door with a transport team.
Since we are a critical care access hospital, and the majority of our funding is based on this classification, we are only able to keep these vent patients in-house for 72 hours before extubation or transfer to a facility of higher acuity. This is new and exciting ... but somewhat nerve wracking.
To be honest, other than the patients we put on the vent to ship, I haven't managed a vent patient since I was in RT school two years ago doing my ICU rotations. I feel very competent and confident that I can handle this, but I still feel like there will be a period of dusting off the cobwebs before I am totally comfortable. I know that I can handle whatever comes my way -- I had good schooling and feel confident in my skills as an RT. But when you haven't done something for two years there has to be an adjustment period while the proverbial knife is re-sharpened. My coworkers and I have taken some vent retraining and are going out to an ICU at a bigger hospital in a month or so for a refresher, so I know we as a department will be ready when it finally happens.
Change is a good thing. Managing vent patients is something that I have missed doing and was sad to think I might never do again once I finished up my ICU rotation. But now that the prospect is real and right around the corner, I guess I'd better be ready, because here it comes!