The clinical ladder council at our hospital is in need of a chairman and the CNO decided to appoint the respiratory therapist to chair the council. Is this ethical or professional? How can a respiratory therapist peer review an RN when we oversee RTs?
Dear Nancy replies:
It is difficult to respond to your question without more information about the clinical ladder at your facility. As examples, does the ladder include just nurses or are other healthcare professionals included? How does one progress up the clinical ladder and what criteria are required?
It is assumed that other health professionals would have the same objection to having a respiratory therapist chair the council. Have you spoken with the other healthcare professionals about this? It would seem that a change would be quite possible if others had the same objection that the
Even if other healthcare providers are not included, you need to voice your concerns to your chief nursing officer. Your state nurse practice act and its rules needs to be consulted and could be the basis for a change in the chairman of the council. Remember that a change of this type is better achieved with a unified front that includes many voices.
Another point of emphasis, as you point out, is that respiratory therapists know respiratory therapy, but they are not knowledgeable about nursing practice, nor do they supervise nurses.