CHATTANOOGA, TN – Veteran ICU nurse, Susan Billings, has been working in the ICU for over 25 years now and she is fed up with inaccurate and dangerous orders written by new medical interns. She has taken matters into her own hands.
“On day one, I approach the new interns and I lay the law down,” said Billings. “I look them straight in the eyes and tell them the only way they will survive this rotation and get any sleep is if they give me their username and password.”
Billings says usually the interns are very hesitant at first, but once they see the beauty of it, they embrace it.
“Basically, I will enter all the correct orders and what I need to take care of the patient. Anything that they discuss on rounds that I don’t think is necessary or would inconvenience me, I can change or omit that order.”
“Q2 hour rectal tube output… Yeah, right. I’ll change that to weekly, thank you very much,” said Billings. “Oh, and you wanted to order 400 meq of potassium for that patient. Nope, changing that to 40 meq. Patient saved, go get some mandatory ACGME rest, intern.”
Sources say brand new doctors, otherwise known as interns, actually love it. One intern that wishes to remain anonymous told reporters, “I used to respond to my pages with, ‘What do you think we should do?’ and then just do what the ICU nurse suggests. Because honestly I had no clue.” Now the interns are excited to avoid the awkward conversations followed by two or three call backs after some Google research.
Hospital ICU mortality has decreased since Billings started taking interns usernames and passwords, but the hospital has no clue why. “They think survivability has increased due to new strict infection control policies, increased charting, and mandatory no-talk zones while taking out medications at the Pyxis,” said Billings. “They have no clue that it is from ICU nurses entering correct orders instead of interns.”