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I have recently started a rotation at an ER. I am being asked to do lots of EKGs, transport patients to the floor, put them in gowns, getting blankets, helping them with bed pans and changing diapers. I'm not above these tasks, but I'm just not sure if this is the norm. I'm being assigned way more of these duties than getting to see patients or perform procedures. Has anyone else had a similar experience in an ER? 

TIA

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1 hour ago, marktheshark89 said:

You shouldnt be doing any of that, unless its to lend a helping hand here and there. You should be doing primarily what your preceptor is doing, seeing patients

That's what I was thinking but when I've tried to explain to nursing staff that I'm busy trying to see patients, I'm getting quite a bit of push back. I don't want them to think I'm not willing to help, but I think I'm missing out on learning opportunities. Thanks for your input.

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23 hours ago, lucy2018 said:

I have recently started a rotation at an ER. I am being asked to do lots of EKGs, transport patients to the floor, put them in gowns, getting blankets, helping them with bed pans and changing diapers. I'm not above these tasks, but I'm just not sure if this is the norm. I'm being assigned way more of these duties than getting to see patients or perform procedures. Has anyone else had a similar experience in an ER? 

TIA

youre not paying 4k a rotation to do those.

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You need to talk to your program.  Unfortunately there are some rotations where you don't just do what your preceptor does.  You can learn a lot from nursing/ancillary staff and what they do...you just need to find out what your program THINKS you should be doing at that site.

It's not a perfect world and not every rotation is everything it should be.  Not saying it's right, but that's how it is.

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The learning from cleaning a patient, transport, and similar tasks reaches its peak in a day. I would bring this up with your program. If this is what they expect then I would find arc-pa requirements and ask them how exactly you are becoming familiar with X disease process being a medical assistant. If they don’t help, I would file a complaint with the ARC-PA. I would tell the nursing staff that you would love to help, but you have to perform  tasks that you will prepare you to pass boards, simultaneously bring them a box of bagels, donuts, and whatever other snacks. You can’t be mad at someone that brings food.

Edited by LT_Oneal_PAC
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Yes agree with above. Please speak up. Of course be respectful to the nursing staff, but they shouldn't be ordering you around doing things that they don't wanna do. It is good to get experience with those kinds of things, but you shouldn't be spending more than half your day doing the MA's or RN's job that they get paid to do... just my two cents

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  • 3 months later...

Absolutely not. My students do H&Ps, write notes, participate in rounds, do provider level procedures (and maybe a nursing level one thrown in for PA students like NGTs and IVs because most haven't done these), etc. But if you're being treated like a nursing student you need to get your program involved. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

You do not report to nursing staff. You should be working alongside them and offering to help, but not reporting to them. Even as a paramedic intern in the ED, I was not asked to change bedpans or put patients into gowns (although I frenguently assisted with those tasks on my own initiative). I’m not on rotations yet but I would be calling my clinical coordinator immediately if I was required to do these things daily

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Current paramedic an in-house ED Tech at Level II trauma center. We have multiple PA students rotate through.

It is good to get a feel for what nurses and techs do all day but it will not be your focus as a PA and should not displace any learning related to functioning as a PA in the future.

I will say this, I have a wonderful working relationship with our PAs and go out of my way to help PA students learn IV placement, 12 lead interpretation, urinary catheter insertion, and NG/OT insertion. I ask them if they've done one and if not, they learn with me. I don't know if I have a lot to offer them but small things like starting a line gets them a bit of experience.

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