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Oxygen Flow Meter Christmas Tree Uses


ERNursey wants to know: What do you people do with the christmas trees off the flo-meters anyway? Why do you take them off?

Not a comprehensive list by any means:

1. Take them off the flow meter, add some beads, and you can make a kick-ass ID Badge lanyard.

2. A naughty little addition to that voodoo doll you made.

3. As, well, Christmas/fir trees for your kid’s miniature doll house yard.

4. They go for about a buck apiece. They’re always in demand. I think patients steal them and sell them on the black market.

5. Respiratory Therapy hoards them.

6. Add a little ball on top, some wings on the back, a little halo: instant green angel finger puppet.

Okay, so the real reason we take them off the oxygen flow meters is so that we can put them on the portable oxygen tanks when the patient goes off the unit. Why don’t all the portable oxygen tanks have them? I don’t know. See above.

The other reason we take them off is because when someone is on a high rate of oxygen (my own personal threshold is about 4L/min) we like to add humidity so the flow doesn’t dry the patient’s nose so much. Adding the humidifier requires us to take the adapter off the flow meter so that we can screw the water bottle directly on to it. The little green tree gets set down and the next RT that goes into the room scoops it up.

It’s like a compulsion for them. Kind of like RN’s and pens.

I hope that answered your question! Anyone else??

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Some patients come with their own tubing (transfers, etc) that doesn’t need the Christmas tree.

At last count, I had 472 at home in ziplock bags. It’s a weird compulsion that I have.

just kidding!

we ICU nurses hide them from the ER nurses. ha!
again, just kidding.

I’m glad you posted about these. I keep getting them from the oxygen supply company, but had no idea what they are for. I guess I’ll start a puppet show! Haha!:-) Bobby, not the liver

the fairies steal it to use as funnels to transfer their perfumes :)

Kind of like RNs and scissors,
See them,
Pocket them.
End the shift and have 10 pair in your pocket and have no idea how they got there….
Really are a strange breed!!!

I admit that we hoard them in L&D as well….When I remove them I tend to tape them to the flowmeter so they don’t dissapear. Now, Why do I have 10 rolls of tape in my locker?

hehe, this article kept me busy for quite some time! Thanks for getting my focus on something else :)

This is a great topic and a Respiratory Care Manager I have to order them at about .50 cents each. Our hospital uses the clear trees as not to confuse people who put green trees on air flow meter and in an emergency inadvertently put the AMBU or NRB on the air flow meter. FOr all the reason above they go missing. KJK has the best solution, tape them to the flowmeter. I teach my RTs to put a couple in their pockets before they go out. FIRST TIME ON YOUR BLOG!!!!

ok. stupid nursing question from a nursing student… how can you tell what the oxygen is set at when reading the flowmeter?? ie; are we to read the line at TOP, BOTTOM, or MIDDLE of little ball bearing thing??? literally cannot find this in the books!!!

It’s kind of arbitrary. I’d say read it in the middle.

So, what brought you to the hospital today?

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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