In addition to the rigorous training that AvaSys Monitor Tech (AMT) receives prior to their first day on the job, the thousands of hours they will spend watching patients on the screen amount to an education on the full range of patient behavior. Making the most of that education, however, is dependent on the monitor techs previous clinical experience.
Many AMTs are or were clinical nursing assistants. This is an invaluable skill set for this new role. Let’s look at what this means in real practice: A monitor tech will frequently see patients becoming restless. The monitor tech without clinical experience may view the behavior as “just something this patient does from time to time.” The monitor tech with a nursing assistant background will be able to go further and identify the cause of the distress. It may signal a need for toileting or something more serious. Maybe the pain medication that the nurse gave 6 hours ago is starting to wear off.
ABILITY TO PREDICT BEHAVIOR
The monitor tech may not be able to immediately diagnose what’s going on with this patient, but they know what questions to ask. They know how to communicate the patient’s needs to the appropriate clinical staff. This is how an adverse event is prevented. Had the monitor tech not spoken with the patient to ascertain why he or she were restless, the patient may have taken matters into her own hands. This could potentially lead to a fall if the patient would then attempt to get out of bed to use the restroom.
In addition to the ability to predict behaviors, a basic knowledge of medical terminology can be key to communication with the clinical staff. When the nurse calls to give the monitor tech report, they will be providing a reason or reasons why the patient needs monitoring. They also will provide additional items for the monitor tech to watch over. The clinician may say, “They have a PICC line in the left arm, a foley catheter and a G Tube.” What does that mean to an AMT who has never worked in a hospital and has no clinical experience? After receiving report, the AMT then asks, “What is a PICC line,” “What is a foley” and, “Where and what is a G-Tube?” When this conversation happens between the AMT and the clinician, the trust is immediately damaged. Inherently, the clinician will avoid important details in future reports to the AMTs because they think, “Why bother. They don’t know what I’m talking about.”
At AvaSure, our customers frequently report scenarios like this. Many times, we hear our customers state that they wished they would have required a CNA background for the monitor tech role. Having the ability to clinically observe, having a good knowledge base of medical terminology, and prior experience in the hospital setting will ultimately set the AMT up for success. This in turn builds strong trust between the clinical staff and the AMT. Both are key to having a strong AvaSys program.
Pam Werra, RN, Director of Clinical Services at AvaSure
Looking to enhance your monitor tech skills, or get your monitor techs more in-depth training? We are offering a FREE Advanced Monitor Tech Training Course at our AvaSure Symposium! Find out more and sign up here!