CRT-critical response team. At our hospital it's a Seasoned nurse (the charge from ICU or ER) a Resp. Therapist and a house supervisor. They are called when a patient hasn't coded yet but has had some downward turn or when something just doesn't seem right. That way the nurse is not alone.
I've called 2 CRTs in the past month, my first 2. The first one was when I had floated. The patient's BP dropped suddenly into the 70s over 30s.
The other was last week. My patient with Liver Disease had an Ammonia level in the 200s (Outrageously high) and became unresponsive and had periods of Apnea. The night nurse had done nothing about this but I was not comfy handling this situation on my own and I thought he needed a higher level of care (ie. a monitored bed and a floor where the nurses had less then 6 patients each)
The first CRT made me feel foolish, all we did for the man was get a reliable IV in him ( a PICC) and started pushing fluids into him. The fact that this man looked like a hospice patient seemed to escape the team. The second one was different. Good things happened. The team agreed with me and had him transferred to one of our Critical care floors. I like that we have this Pre-code system.
In the old days a nurse was left alone to deal with a gradually crashing patient and couldn't "call a code" until the pt stopped breathing.