i'm a new grad on a tele floor (i've been working since february, on my own for 3 months now). since it's my first job i can't really compare to a regular med/surg floor but we do occasionally have a fair number of med/surg (non-tele) patients. in our whole hospital there are only 2 or 3 units that are not tele capable so we tend to see everyone mixed up. we don't get many ortho patients at all, and relatively few surgical patients though.
so--it's a 30 bed unit and our usual assignment is 5 patients. my unit specializes in heart failure, lvad, and post-transplant patients (once stable enough to come out of icu). a nurse with a transplant or lvad patient only has a 4-patient assignment.
what is a typical shift like? i work days, 7am-7:30pm. i come in, and depending on how early i am, print ecg strips, check labs, and look over my patient care summary for the day. i try to get my brain sheet organized before taking report. report is usually done by 7:30, i check to see who needs insulin/8am meds, and assess those patients first while passing meds. then i see the rest of my patients, try to chart assessments on 2-3 of them, participate in interdisciplinary rounding (with the case manager, social worker, head nurse, and sometimes physician advisor), and start working on 10am meds. after that i try to finish charting on my other patients but it doesn't always work out....then deal with lunchtime meds/insulin. between 1:30 and 2 things seem to calm down and if i had a busy morning i might not eat lunch till then. the afternoon consists of dressing changes, more meds, more charting (try to get education charting done in the early afternoon and then we do/chart a 4pm assessment as well). dinnertime meds and insulin, finish charting, etc etc etc.
how much personal care would you say you do compared to a typical med/surg floor? our floor generally has 3 techs, each with an assignment of 10-12 patients (the unit also has a 4-bed intermediate care unit and one tech will cover that area as well) though lately one tech has been dedicated to a 4-patient group needing more frequent observation (delirious, disoriented patients). they tend to take care of most bathing but if my patients need help getting to the commode or on/off the bedpan, i *think* i wind up doing it most of the time. i may be wrong, they don't always tell me if they helped a patient with that, but i tend to answer the call bells very quickly and i just do it if i'm already in the room.
how mobile are your patients? depends on the day; the majority of our patients are
elderly and come in with chf exacerbations or pneumonia and for the first few days they seem to be bed bound/chairfast. we do see a good number of post-cath patients and a lot of them were ambulatory and in good health before coming in; they tend to get up and walk the halls asap.
what are the main tasks you do during your shift? see above, i think i covered that :-)
do you feel like you are always running around, behind, or that things are more manageable? usually running around, but manageable. on mornings when i have patients with a lot of early requests or procedures or lousy vitals i tend to run behind but everything does get done...eventually....
does that help? quite a dissertation...