Studies have shown that a majority of the alarms generated by a physiologic monitors turn out to be false-positive. Traditionally, monitor techs have been in place within the units to interpret and triage alarms. More importantly, this services helps to avoid unnecessarily interruption of RNs engaged with patients. However, as hospitals have begun eliminating these invaluable team members from their units, it is naturally falling onto the RN’s shoulders, further contributing to the rise of alarm fatigue.
Why are we requiring our nurses to respond to never-ending call lights? One nursing study found that 48% of calls are for position change followed by toileting assistance (11%), and accidental calls (5%). Over the last few years, hospitals have been eliminating unit secretaries. These resources triage patient needs based on acuity and condition, freeing up RNs to focus their efforts on the clinical needs of patients. When you get rid of unit secretaries all of these tasks fall onto the RN.