- The rapid response team (RRT), sometimes known as a medical emergency team in the literature, is a group of nurses and other health-care specialists (respiratory therapists, pharmacists, emergency department personnel, and others) who provide critical-care expertise to the patient’s bedside.
- Physicians may or may not be included in the teams. When nursing staff is concerned about a patient’s well-being, the key notion is to intervene to avert harm. The main goal is to intervene before there is a “failure to rescue” and a patient goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest.
- The evidence for RRT adoption is contradictory. Many hospitals, however, have recognized the necessity for such a team to respond to urgent patient needs while physicians or house staff are unavailable. Several facilities that have used RRTs have reported fewer cardiac arrests and deaths, as well as fewer ICU and hospital bed days among cardiac arrest survivors.
- Despite these findings, only one complete negative experiment on the effects of MET/RRTs has been published. Eleven hospitals continued to operate normally, while the remaining used the MET system. The researchers determined that, while the MET system increased the number of calls to the team, it had no significant impact on the incidence of cardiac arrest, unexpected ICU hospitalizations, or death.
When Should You Contact a Rapid Response Nurse?
- Heart rate over 140/min or less than 40/min
- Respiratory rate over 28/min or less than 8/min
- Blood pressure greater than 180 mmHg or less than 90 mmHg
- Oxygen levels less than 90%
- Severe change in mental status
- Decreased urine output more minor 50c over 4 hours
- Staff concerned about the patient’s condition
- Chest pain
- Airway obstruction
- Unbearable pain
RRT nurse – Responsibilities
- Respond to emergencies
- Follow-up with all patients discharged from ICU
- Proactively evaluate high-risk patients
- Educate ward staff and act as a liaison