29 pts as a tech..can i handle being a nurse? - page 2

The other night i was pulled to a new floor and I was assigned 28 patients. I am a tech and will graduate with my RN in June. I was behind as soon as I had gotten there. There were 4 techs that were... Read More

  1. by   All_Smiles_RN
    For starters, for all those people who replied and said they manage 20+ patients normally, I think they're blowing smoke. That is by far not the norm. Please don't think it is.

    In my most overworked, dumped on days as a tech, the most pts I ever had was 16 and that was ridiculus. Where I work now 6-8 is the norm, even on night shift. In the rare instance that all but one tech calls off and the tech has a floor of 24 pts to themselves, the rules change. The tech does the call lights and the nurses do their own vitals, blood draws, etc and help out wherever else needed.

    It's all about team work. I'm sorry they dumped on you so badly. You're house pool or per diem? I'd let the pool coordinator know how badly you were treated. And I wouldn't go back to that floor either. You're right, no body needs that.
  2. by   EmmaG
    Quote from All_Smiles_RN
    For starters, for all those people who replied and said they manage 20+ patients normally, I think they're blowing smoke. That is by far not the norm. Please don't think it is.
    That would depend on the hospital and specifically the floor. Our unit was heme/onc with med/surg 'overflow' (meaning, we took care of everything). 34 bed unit, and most nights we had only one tech. Rarely two, and never more than that.
  3. by   lvnandmomx3
    You did your best and that is all you could have dont. Not sure where you work but this is a little weird
    I am not very good at blood draws yet and the other RN's said they didn't know how to draw blood.
    . I think they just may not have wanted to do it, were in the mind set of (hey we have a tech let them do it), or they were extremly busy with other tasks.

    I worked in an ER as a admitting rep and there were a few nurses that when there was an EMT on that day would sit and bark orders to them from the nurses station and get mad when they would not get the blood draws and ekg's done in a timely manner..... UMMMM they would get done faster if you got up and did them instead of constantly passing the ball. I know I will step on a few toes with the lazy nurse opinion but I have seen it first hand, and know that there are a fair share in every hospital on every floor. I will NEVER be that nurse. I'm glad I started just about at near bottom, I will never loose the respect for cna's, ma's, aide's and tech's. They play a very important part of caring for the pt's.
  4. by   Always Learning, RN
    Quote from All_Smiles_RN
    For starters, for all those people who replied and said they manage 20+ patients normally, I think they're blowing smoke.
    With all due respect I must inform you that you are making an incorrect assumption. I am a tech on a very busy telemetry floor and I frequently have two halls (10 patients per hall) all alone all night (1900 - 0700)!

    I am responsible for VS, OTBS, Labs, EKG's, Standing Weights (with a huge scale that has to be drug around) Baths, ice pass, stocking the nursing stations, stocking linen carts, keeping up with I/O's, toileting needs of patients and answering call bells (even the walkie talkies who just got up to use the restroom and forgot to turn off the light or wants me to adjust the head of the bed; like it takes more effort to hit the button for the bed than for the call bell -- yes they are all taught to use the controls when they are admitted).

    It is very overwhelming, especially when there are usually 3 day time techs and there is always trash left in the rooms, usually two or three food trays and many times I find Foley's so full that they look like they will pop if I touch the bag (so I have to get the I/O's for the day too - don't know how the day nurses are charting it).

    The only time I sit is while I am charting, I often do not even take a lunch (but believe me I have learned to file a time adjustment!)

    When I get home, I feel as if every muscle in my body is on strike, after being on the go and so busy for 12 1/2 hours (required to clock in 15 min early and stay 15 min late for report) sitting in my car driving home causes me to stiffen up and can barely get out of the car when I get home.

    It took several months of working but I finally found my groove. I learned how to cluster tasks, learned to set priorities, learned what could be done in advance and what could wait. But am still dog tired, because I refuse to compromise patient care just because of staffing issues.

    I feel that this job has prepared me very well, as I will graduate on Dec. 8 of this year and hopefully be an RN by Feb or Mar.

    Yes -- this is a true account of my responsibilities and is the norm on my floor! This is why I will only work 1 night each week while I am in school.

    To the OP -- I am sorry for what you went through, I know how difficult 20 patients are and can only imagine what 29 would be like. Just know that if you can handle the patient load of a tech you can easily handle the smaller load of a nurse. Please no flames -- I did my preceptorship on the floor where I work and was required to handle the 4 patient load the same as the RN's -- yes I had an RN to back me up but I still did the work myself and still was not dead to the world when I left there.

    --------------------------
    :mortarboard:Graduating Dec. 8, 2007
    NCLEX - Here I Come!
  5. by   Lovely_RN
    I can't understand why any reasonable person would feel obligated to learn how to deal with so many patients! I mean if it rarely happened then fine, stuff happens, but to work at a place that is consistently and dangerously understaffed is risky and nonsensical.

    I DO NOT encourage the OP to learn how to deal with that many patients. It's unsafe and if something goes wrong SHE will be the one who gets blamed or gets really hurt.

    Trying to pull up a 425lb patient alone could cause a person to be permanently injured and trust me you will get no satisfaction from management if it happens to you. They will "slyly" ask you- because they know the ratios are horrible- why you didn't ask for help and tsk tsk over your foolishness.

    The reason why LTCs and Hospitals are understaffed is because there is always someone who is willing to be a martyr! At least for a little while until they end up with an injury because they just had to prove that they could do everything; like they are going to get an award at the end of their shift or something.

    Not even close, it's much more likely that when it comes time to float they will be the one consistently selected because they go meekly and suffer in silence.

    It's likely that you will not even be acknowledged for killing yourself and when your body breaks down they will simply fill your spot with the next eager beaver.
    Last edit by Lovely_RN on Nov 21, '07
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from All_Smiles_RN
    For starters, for all those people who replied and said they manage 20+ patients normally, I think they're blowing smoke. That is by far not the norm. Please don't think it is.

    In my most overworked, dumped on days as a tech, the most pts I ever had was 16 and that was ridiculus. Where I work now 6-8 is the norm, even on night shift. In the rare instance that all but one tech calls off and the tech has a floor of 24 pts to themselves, the rules change. The tech does the call lights and the nurses do their own vitals, blood draws, etc and help out wherever else needed.

    It's all about team work. I'm sorry they dumped on you so badly. You're house pool or per diem? I'd let the pool coordinator know how badly you were treated. And I wouldn't go back to that floor either. You're right, no body needs that.

    I respectfully beg to differ with you on this. In long term care, it is common for an LPN to work alone with as many as 60 patients, and 3-4 aides and is responsible for it all in my side of the earth. I am AFRAID of LTC for this reason. And, from what I read (at least from here), LPNs are being cornered into LTC, making this a frightening reality.
  7. by   swee2000
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    And, from what I read (at least from here), LPNs are being cornered into LTC, making this a frightening reality.
    I'm not "being cornered into LTC".

    In fact, I would return to nursing school & finish the RN program in a heartbeat quicker than what I'm doing right now, or change careers altogether, before I would ever be forced to take a job in a LTC facility. Spending six weeks at one for clinicals was quite enough for me. Just like alot of people don't like working in Med/Surg, I don't like the idea of working in LTC. No way, no how.

    And I'm sorry if I offended anyone with that. I'm just stating my opinion.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from swee2000
    I'm not "being cornered into LTC".

    In fact, I would return to nursing school & finish the RN program in a heartbeat quicker than what I'm doing right now, or change careers altogether, before I would ever be forced to take a job in a LTC facility. Spending six weeks at one for clinicals was quite enough for me. Just like alot of people don't like working in Med/Surg, I don't like the idea of working in LTC. No way, no how.

    And I'm sorry if I offended anyone with that. I'm just stating my opinion.

    You didn't offend me one bit. I don't wish to become an RN, so, I would probably change careers or go into home care before I work in a nursing home for any reason. They are horrible! In my area, thus far, LPNs are still being utilized. Some hospitals are opting not to use us, but, that door does not seem to be closing for me, just yet. But, I am watching trends, in case I have to prepare for something else.
  9. by   All_Smiles_RN
    Quote from Career Student
    With all due respect I must inform you that you are making an incorrect assumption. I am a tech on a very busy telemetry floor and I frequently have two halls (10 patients per hall) all alone all night (1900 - 0700)!

    I am responsible for VS, OTBS, Labs, EKG's, Standing Weights (with a huge scale that has to be drug around) Baths, ice pass, stocking the nursing stations, stocking linen carts, keeping up with I/O's, toileting needs of patients and answering call bells (even the walkie talkies who just got up to use the restroom and forgot to turn off the light or wants me to adjust the head of the bed; like it takes more effort to hit the button for the bed than for the call bell -- yes they are all taught to use the controls when they are admitted).

    It is very overwhelming, especially when there are usually 3 day time techs and there is always trash left in the rooms, usually two or three food trays and many times I find Foley's so full that they look like they will pop if I touch the bag (so I have to get the I/O's for the day too - don't know how the day nurses are charting it).

    The only time I sit is while I am charting, I often do not even take a lunch (but believe me I have learned to file a time adjustment!)

    When I get home, I feel as if every muscle in my body is on strike, after being on the go and so busy for 12 1/2 hours (required to clock in 15 min early and stay 15 min late for report) sitting in my car driving home causes me to stiffen up and can barely get out of the car when I get home.

    It took several months of working but I finally found my groove. I learned how to cluster tasks, learned to set priorities, learned what could be done in advance and what could wait. But am still dog tired, because I refuse to compromise patient care just because of staffing issues.

    I feel that this job has prepared me very well, as I will graduate on Dec. 8 of this year and hopefully be an RN by Feb or Mar.

    Yes -- this is a true account of my responsibilities and is the norm on my floor! This is why I will only work 1 night each week while I am in school.

    To the OP -- I am sorry for what you went through, I know how difficult 20 patients are and can only imagine what 29 would be like. Just know that if you can handle the patient load of a tech you can easily handle the smaller load of a nurse. Please no flames -- I did my preceptorship on the floor where I work and was required to handle the 4 patient load the same as the RN's -- yes I had an RN to back me up but I still did the work myself and still was not dead to the world when I left there.

    --------------------------
    :mortarboard:Graduating Dec. 8, 2007
    NCLEX - Here I Come!

    So maybe that is your reality. Why subject yourself to an abusive employer like that? Why do employers continue to understaff? Because people allow it by continuing to work for those abusive employers. I hope you choose to move on to a safer environment. Not only for your patients, but for your health and well being also!
  10. by   swee2000
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    You didn't offend me one bit. I don't wish to become an RN, so, I would probably change careers or go into home care before I work in a nursing home for any reason. They are horrible! In my area, thus far, LPNs are still being utilized. Some hospitals are opting not to use us, but, that door does not seem to be closing for me, just yet. But, I am watching trends, in case I have to prepare for something else.

    May I ask where you're from?

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