Letter to the Editor

Hello fellow RCISs, I worked in the cath lab for 23 years before going on worker's comp due to excessive lead apron time. The last lab I worked in had a huge turnover due to physician interference, favoritism and good ideas falling on deaf ears. I frequently scrubbed multiple cases unless a doctor requested someone else they knew better or longer no matter what my credentials were or what I had proven I could do. My specialty was cardiology, but I worked in a radiology suite because they needed me and promised I would be transferred to cardiology, or at the very least be able to trade off. Of course this never happened. The stress level was terrific and everyone complained, especially the ones who did the least! I took a chance prior to that job and went to work for an agency that provided techs, RTs, and RNs as independent contractors. The work was great. I was mostly working and busy, making GOOD money (the most I ever made in my 23 years), respected by staff and doctors that I went to and most important, I didn't have to be involved in the POLITICS! It was the best two years I'd had in a while. In case you wonder why I left, my 40-year-old son had a severe heart attack in April 2001 and I wanted to be close to home. Then I had a stroke in July 2001 (fortunately I was at work) and decided to take a job close to home, not taking any or limited call time. Then my neck, bilateral carpal tunnel, and lower back gave out on me from scrubbing, pushing guernies and beds, moving oversized patients, watching the monitor and handling guidewires. I have read a few articles in Cath Lab Digest regarding the aches, pains, surgeries and forced retirements because of cut backs or not wanting or being able to find good, educated and reliable employees. I think this may be in part because for some reason they think RNs are more essential or qualified to work in a cath lab. The best RNs knew how to do it all. Nowadays in most states, only RNs can push meds and this is all due to their powerful lobby. If they could, some RNs would take over the cath labs, but some are so secure that they really do appreciate the RCISs and RTs. Glad to be out of it! Good luck to you. Joan Guerrero TGJoan@aol.com P.S. I graduated from Grossmont in 1980. I then went on many years later to get my BS in HS Administration. I was a supervisor for five years and decided it was no fun being between a rock and a hard spot! Patient care was the best, and learning new things was great.