Someone talk me down!!

  1. I am the only nurse that staffs our small ER on a regular basis. I act as manager. I work with nurses that work the acute floor and cover ER when I am not there. Most (almost all of them) could care less about ER (I don't get that). I have tried to orientate, educate, assist even beg to get these people to learn the equipment. But what makes me the ANGRIEST is the fact that I have tried to explain to these people that when they take equipment from ER, they have GOT to replace it or leave a note telling the location. I had two potential serious patients today (we have a very small ER) both potentially needing suction---the suction had been taken from one ER and the cardiac monitor from the other. I was FURIOUS!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, my temper is not a quiet one---and I blew up in front of a nursing student. I felt terrible about setting an example like that. I love my little hospital---but I don't know if I can take this (this was just the icing on the cake!!) I called the nursing student at home this evening and apologized for my behavior, but I am still upset at the staff at my hospital for so little regard. They have no regard for ER equipment, they have even taken pulse oximeters off of the monitor in the cardiac room--and not told anyone. Am I just being a bag or do I have a right to be upset??????? And how do I control my temper??? I care about the patients, and about the job I do----but I don't see anything changing no matter how hard I try. It's to the point that I have thought about leaving!!!!!!!!!:angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   lindalee
    I have learned I must check all equipment at the begining of my shift. Unfortunately I have the same problem. I also find dirty suction equipment some mornings. It drives me crazy also but have found that checking my emergency and bedside equipment first thing helps make a better day. Good luck. Maybe a policy where each shift must check these pieces of vital equipment and sign that they are in place and in working order would help???
  4. by   petiteflower
    Usually I do find these things first thing in the morning--today, I ended up going on an ambulance transfer so my usual routine was disrupted and I had patients coming in before I could get to it. A policy is a good idea----I will bring that up to DON.
    thanks! I am just so FRUSTRATED right now!!!!
    Last edit by petiteflower on Apr 26, '03
  5. by   canoehead
    IMO equipment should not be removed from the ER unless it is a true emergency. You should have at least one bed equipped and ready for a full code coming in from the field no matter how small a facility you work in.
  6. by   jnette
    Geeeeeesh !!! I ditto that ! And a signout sheet including what was removed, date, time, where taken to, and by whom.
  7. by   BadBird
    Of course you have a right to be mad, but let's look at the other side, it is obvious that your little hospital is lacking in necessary equipment for the floors. Instead of taking out your frustration on the nurses, take it out on administrators that make 6 figure salaries but won't purchase much needed equipment. When a patient crashes and you need a pulse ox or suction equipment which is basic equipment and should be readily available on all floors you just grab and go, you don't have time to fill out a form when your patient is blue.
  8. by   Scotty
    If you have time (ha ha) fill out a critical incident report (or whatever your equivalent is) each time you find vital equipment missing. Maybe it will work if you make it your manager's responsibility in writing.

    Don't feel too bad about losing your temper in front of the student. S/he will probably have learned a lot from this, i.e. the importance of essential equipment always being available and always being located in the same place. S/he will also have learned that removing essential equipment and not replacing it or communicating it, is unprofessional behaviour. The fact that you apologised is setting an excellent example to him or her.

    Good luck
  9. by   angelbear
    I agree you have good reason to be upset and concerned. I also agree that it sounds like you are mad at the wrong people. The high ups are responsible for making sure that every area has the needed equipment. One thing we do where I work is we have several cabnits in each area with necessary crash equipment in them. Each one is clamped with a white clamp so that each shift can tell at a glance if the clamp is intact. If so nothing has been removed. Works great for us. I hope this helps it can definately save alot of frustration not to mention lives.
  10. by   CCL"Babe"
    I agree with most of the above. Nothing could get my BP up more than missing or broken equipment.

    The idea of going to administration is a good one especially coupled with an incident report. That could cover your tush in the future.

    We used to have an equipment log, not that anyone really kept it up. Daily written room checks for all shifts. Gives staff accounability.
  11. by   gwenith
    At the moment the real problem is the lack of proper equipment causing the staff to borrow form ED. While they can do that lack of equipment is your problem not theirs. No-one else is going to get upset over the missing equipment because it IS your problem.

    Make it policy that NO equipment is "borrowed" from the ED. Cite sentinel events such as today to get the policy enacted. Then lack of proper equipment becomes their problem. If in the meantime they scream because they do not have all the equipment they need just say NMP - not my problem.

    Now Excuse my ignorance but why take a cardiac monitor? Cardiac monitors are useless unless you have nursing staff who are able to read them correctly. Monitoring a patient on a ward where the nursing staff cannot read the monitor just makes the medical staff feel as if they are doing something without actually achieving anything - it doesn't affect patient outcome.
    Last edit by gwenith on Apr 26, '03
  12. by   susanmary
    You are getting excellent advice here. Please go up the chain of command, make it a priority to check off emergency equipment at the beginning of your shift (either by you or a nurse's aide) no matter what -- this is a policy that needs to be initiated. I would fill out an incident report every time that equipment is missing ... document. Your facility needs to provide safe care to all patients -- and needs to spend the money to have the equipment to do so. Otherwise, they are guilty of negligence & malpractice. This is serious -- I don't blame you for being upset. But listen to what the posters are telling you and follow through immediately.

    Sue
  13. by   MandyInMS
    Geez...do we work in the same hospital ? lol..same problems with equiptment here too...would be nice if management would give us what we need...nothing pisses me off more than to need something NOW and not have it..not only is is a danger to pts but embarrasing as heck...makes you look/feel unorganised....try not taking report from out-going shift until a checklist of mandatory items is available to you..we have had to do this r/t 'missing' equiptment...the outgoing nurse makes sure everything is there cuz she/he wants to go homeeee...lol
  14. by   Rapheal
    I hope you don't get angry with me for saying this but I think what really may be bothering you is that you could not control your temper. From what you've said it seems that their will probally always be a problem with missing equipment and even with your best efforts, this may be an ongoing problem.

    If you could not control yourself from blowing up then maybe you should examine the amount of stress you are under and ways to reduce it. Are you taking time out for yourself? Can you accept the fact that at work people will be inconsiderate and that you may not be able to effectively change that? Are you having trouble accepting the fact that people you work with do not seem to care about the ER in the way they should?

    I am not trying to play therapist with you but I sense the frustration of trying to make changes that other people do not seem interested in doing. And since losing your temper bothered you it appears that you are a person who does not easily or routinely lose their temper. That's why I thought you might try to reduce your stress, because I think at your hospital you may find yourself in the same situation again.

    I sometimes try to remind myself of the serenity prayer when I am really angry. Goes something like this: God give me the serenity to change the things that I can change, accept the things that I cannot change, and the knowledge to know the difference.

    Hope this helps, and I really feel for you. Being human is tough and we have all lost our tempers at one time or another.

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