3rd shift always leaves on time... I never do

  1. Ok I know there have been like 1,000 threads on this topic.... But... I'm just so frustrated at work. Every single day 3rd shift is out the door at 7:05am... however no one from first shift ever leaves until after 7:30pm.. usually 7:45pm... We are always there.. tying up loose ends.. making sure our patients are squared away for when 3rd shift arrives...

    But yet... I walk out of report (we tape report) at 7:05 this morning and the 3rd shift nurse hands me 6 labels for blood draws that were due at 6:30 and tells me that this patient needs pain meds... and this patient needs nausea meds..... and then I go down to see a different pt and their IV is BEYOND infiltrated!!!

    Not a great way to start my shift.... However this evening as they dilly dally in report I medicate my patients at 7:20pm.... and suction a pt that isn't even mine at 7:40pm until they come strolling out of report.. Heaven forbid they do anything if it is after 7:00am... We come out of report every day to beeping IVs.... Bed alarms blaring... call light ringing off the hook...

    All I'm saying is... If my patient needs to be medicated, or loses an IV at end of shift... I stay and do it while the next nurse is getting things ready for their shift. They never return the favor! I get sick of it! I'm not even going to go into the fact that I had 2 admissions at 1800. I make sure everything that I can possible do is done before the next shift is out of report. And they still find something to complain about!

    I'm not trying to start another shift vs. shift war because it isn't about that... it is about lazy coworkers who don't give a crap about their patients or their fellow coworkers:angryfire
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Dec 18, '07 : Reason: Implied profanity
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   NurseCard
    Just remember that nursing is a 24 hour job. You know, it's great that you try not to leave anything undone, but at the same time it's really okay to leave SOME things for the next shift if you need to, especially if they are leaving EVERYTHING undone, for you to do, in the mornings. Like, you know, if Mr. Smith's IV infiltrates at 6:50 pm.. you just noticed it as you were finishing up your shift and tying up OTHER loose ends... in my opinion, it's perfectly okay to say to the oncoming nurse.. "You know, I apologize, but Mr. Smith is going to need another IV... it just now infiltrated, I just now noticed it."

    (Of course that's provided that Mr. Smith is not receiving anything critical, necessitating an IV start right then. In that case, there may be other loose ends that could be taken care of on the following shift)

    The other shift should really try to get SOME things done for you so that you don't have to do all of their work. And at the same time, you don't HAVE to stay until EVERY single loose end is tied up. It's okay to say every now and then "You know, I just wasn't able to get it done... I'm sorry".
  4. by   jnrsmommy
    There are some really lazy co-workers out there, unfortunately. I always try and make it a point to get what I can done before next shift arrives, or to at least make it as few things as possible that I leave behind.

    On the other hand though, administration is usually not there at 7p to see the nurses staying over finishing up their stuff. But for the morning crew, they're usually breathing down the nurses necks telling them they need to hurry up. Not saying that all managers do that, but this does happen more often than not. One of the last places I worked, constantly had the DON on my case because I was staying until 8am to finish up my paperwork, because I was catching up the previous shifts leftovers. It got to the point that they threatened to take me off my hall and got several write-ups (I loved the rehab, did not care for the ltc part, plus waaay too many pts on nights). I got to the point where I would tell the on-coming nurse, I did what I could, but they're on me, and I can't stay and finish. I hated myself and that facility for making me feel like that.
  5. by   lvlissl2ebecca
    I know how you feel. I work in a LTC facility and work evening shift. One particular day shift nurse I work after always leaves me empty feeding bottles and doctors and POA's to notify. I don't mind if its every now and then, but its always after this one nurse. I don't mind to do it if I have time, but what bugs me most is if I don't get time to call this POA for them, I am the one who goes home feeling like the lazy one. I know I shouldn't as it was something they could have done. I can't do things like that on evening shift, as midnight shift cant call this and that person and will only call the doctor if its a true emergency (which is understandable). I'm a new nurse of 3 months and I work my arse off trying to get everything done as honestly as possible and I (knock on wood) usually do. I have gotten good remarks, and that makes it worth it.. even if I do others work as well.
  6. by   cdm.rn2006
    Quote from TigerGalLE
    Ok I know there have been like 1,000 threads on this topic.... But... I'm just so frustrated at work. Every single day 3rd shift is out the door at 7:05am... however no one from first shift ever leaves until after 7:30pm.. usually 7:45pm... We are always there.. tying up loose ends.. making sure our patients are squared away for when 3rd shift arrives...

    [snip]

    I'm not trying to start another shift vs. shift war because it isn't about that... it is about lazy coworkers who don't give a crap about their patients or their fellow coworkers:angryfire
    That is completely the opposite of where I work. I work nights and we are always there early and get report starting promptly at 7 pm. When we give our morning meds, we always ask if there is anything else that we can do, such as pain meds, bed pans, etc., so we won't have all the bells going off during report. Now the next morning, the day shift comes in at 7 am or later, gets their coffee first, chit chat with each other, write the patients names down on their sheet, check to see if their kid got on the bus alright, etc. Report in the morning rarely starts at 7 am for us and we are rarely out before 8 am. It is what it is.
  7. by   TRAMA1RN
    You are indeed starting a shift war with your title. I work third shift and pretty much always have, my choice. Generally, notice I said generally your most experienced staff work this shift. I always, always leave my patients with care completed. Third shift is the hardest, usually your staff numbers drop but patient numbers vary little. If you are being left with care needing done then you approach those workers with your concern first in acalm manner, if this does not change things then start going up the chain of command. The problem today is that too many new grads are working that have had bad preceptors usually, usually because they have been taught by new or recent grads themselve. DO NOT DO NOT generalize. I have stayed plenty of times until 9:00 am working a code because day shift doens't want to take over a train wreck, but that is the name of the game TEAM WORK. Again you should speak to your team members and get the game back on alevel playing field. Remember third shifters have in general a more difficult shift because of different factors not neccesarily rlated to patient care. Third shift doesn't always have the ancillary depts of Respiratory or CT techs or US techs, and they have to perform more skills at times, such as respiratory treatments and lab draws along with setting up consultations with other services. Please note Night shift in GENERAL has more responsibilty with fewer resources!!!!
  8. by   queenjean
    I work nights, I almost always leave on time. There are a couple of reasons for this.

    1) The busy part of my shift is the first 8 hours; it's pretty slow after that. Once I finish early rounds, put out fires, med passes, assessments, and then all the midnight tasks and the subsequent charting, the hours between, say, 4-7 are mainly just finishing up loose ends, dealing with anything that comes up, and finishing up charting.

    2) I am organized and hustle to get my stuff done.

    3) I am not going to stay and do things that day shift can do on their first round. I expect the same of day shift. If they need to leave some things for me, fine.

    On our floor, no shift stays terribly late. On the floor I used to work on, you would stay late if there was something specific to YOU that had to be done (like charting a dismissal that YOU did, but never charted on--that's not a task that can be left to the next shift). In my experience, at my hospital, only the disorganized nurses stay late consistently. Everyone has to stay late occasionally--but it's the nurses who leave their charting til the last minute, the ones with terrible time management skills who consistently stay late.

    If one or two coworkers are always leaving things undone for me, I make a copy of the notes/screenshot of the task list, etc and leave it for my unit director. Once, three days in a row I followed a nurse who didn't chart crap, didn't finish her work, and left me with a stinking pile to deal with. I made copies of her unfinished work, wrote up a note, and gave a big stack of papers to my director. When it didn't get dealt with initially, I started flat out telling the nurse--I expect you to finish these duties before you leave; I'd give you a break an offer to finish them, but since you lately have always left tasks for me to finish, I'm not interested in holding your hand anymore. Say that once in a loud voice in the middle of report, and amazingly enough, the next time I pick up her patients, everything is finished.

    If the entire night shift leaves things for you, you and the rest of your shift workers need to document everything for a couple of weeks and then turn it over to your unit director. Don't be surprised, though, if in a couple of weeks night shift is able to provide documentation of all the stuff your amazing day shift leaves unfinished. I honestly believe most people don't leave things undone to aggravate others; they forget to chart something, an IV goes bad after the last am round, that sort of thing. And unless you specifically and immediately bring it to the other nurse's attention "Hey, these MARs aren't signed off--here, you can have them to finish up really quick while I look at the Kardex," the other nurse might not even know how much she is leaving unfinished.

    However, it IS starting a war when the entire focus of your post is griping about night shift, and then you throw in this bone of "Oh, it's not about days vs nights, it's about lazy coworkers." Fine, then change the title and the phrases to lazy coworkers. Otherwise, your post *is* about how you, as a day shift, always stays late and never leaves stuff for others; but the night shift is the lazy, problem child. If you and your fellow coworkers all talk about night shift this way, no wonder you find so many things wrong with them. I'll be if you work a night shift, you'll hear the same thing about day shift. It sounds like your entire floor has some real issues, and continuing to play the griping game without addressing people politely, firmly, and directly isn't helpful at all.

    Good luck, it sounds like the atmosphere on your floor is really crummy right now. I hope it improves; it can't be fun the way it is, for ANY shift.
  9. by   TigerGalLE
    I'm really not trying to start a shift war with my post. This job is just frustrating and it is like no other job out there. I don't think anyone truly understands what goes on during the other shift until they work it. No I have never worked third shift, so I don't know how hard it is. I'm sure it is hard! Our job is hard! I just get frustrated when I work my butt off to help someone out and the favor is never returned. And yea sometimes I have to leave things undone. But I do make a last trip down the hall at 7:00pm and see if anyone needs anything before I leave. I medicate the ones that need to be medicated.. When the favor is never returned it gets annoying.. I don't see why everyone is so defensive.. It isn't a first shift vs. third shift issue... I'm sure there are day shifters that leave things for night shifters on my floor. All I am saying is that I, as a nurse, work hard to help my fellow coworkers out.. The favor is rarely returned.. Maybe I need to find somewhere else to work.

    I come to this site for support.. I need someone to vent to so I don't gossip about it at work.. Sorry if I pissed y'all off
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    You didn't piss me off. I understand how you feel. But you may be overworking yourself, also. I would do as much as I can, but, then, leave if there is not a dangerous situation going on with one of your patients. Nursing is a 24 hour job, and if you drive yourself into burn out by staying late each day, it will be harder to really care for your clients, and you may unintentionally take it out on your co-workers. Good luck. It does sound like a crum deal.
  11. by   ElvishDNP
    Deva is exactly right - this is a 24hr/day job. I try not to leave stuff for the next shift, but sometimes it happens. And most of my dayshift colleagues try not to leave stuff for us nightowls, but sometimes it happens. Do what you can do, what you should do, and leave the rest.

    As a nightshifter, I don't mind being left with a couple loose ends to tie up, provided it's not something critical (please don't leave me with a 27-week antepartum delivering in the bed) and not something that has to be done by you (like queenjean said, a d/c summary or something). If you forget to give a Colace, for heaven's sake, just tell me. I'll give the darn thing next time I go in. No biggie.

    I don't usually leave til about 0730, if it makes you feel any better.
  12. by   leslie :-D
    i've seen so much of inconsiderate nsg.
    but the bottom line is, what i do, is for the benefit of the pts.
    i try to keep that in mind, while silently cussing my colleagues.
    if it's something that personally affects the pt, i take care of it.
    if it's something that can wait a bit, i leave it for the oncoming shift.....w/o an iota of guilt.
    i know i have an excellent work ethic.
    but there comes a point where you learn to prioritize care, and refuse to become anyone's doormat.
    if they take issue, tough.

    don't let them get you down.
    if a pt needs a pain med, then yes, give it.
    but if a line has infiltrated at 6:55, leave it for the next shift.
    it's all about what is most important at any given moment.

    wishing you the best.

    leslie
  13. by   1studentnurse
    NOTE: I work primarily days.

    I get goodies from the night shift all the time, but I do not have a problem getting them resolved. I know that my night shift co-workers will absolutely, positively draw everyone who needs it before I come on, unless something comes up beyond their control and give all the appropriate meds. I really appreciate that.

    As a result, I try to get every single thing done during the day that is a nightmare to the evening and the night shift nurses, like calling docs, getting certain supplies ordered and getting therapists to do x, y, or z. I even stay over a little bit if it will make things easier. (I showered one of my pts Thursday after my shift because 1) I had an order to do so, and 2) there was no way in Hades that my cohort on evenings could have done it.)

    Thankfully, since our staffing of both nurses and techs is so crappy, our managers never say a thing about OT. I just hustle and know that I do whatever I can to help my pts and my coworkers. And it might actually increase our Press-Ganeys (oh, don't get me started...)

    If we can't respect each other, can we really respect and care for our patients?
  14. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from TigerGalLE
    I'm not trying to start another shift vs. shift war because it isn't about that... it is about lazy coworkers who don't give a crap about their patients or their fellow coworkers:angryfire
    Wow, I never dared leave (I worked 11-7) til all my work was done. People would say that "nursing is 24 hrs" but that was precisely why I had to finish my work - because the next shift had THEIR 8 or 12 hrs worth of work to do.

    On occasion the stuff would hit the fan and I would not be able to complete an admission or something - I would sometimes be an hour or more late. Then the hosp started giving us a hard time about OT - so I'd punch out - and still finish.

    When I couldn't finish - boy did I feel like a horrible person - the day nurse would have to spend 10 minutes consoling me that yes, she could take care of it and yes, it was understandable, and yes, I was still worthy of taking another breath. LOL!

    I did/do hate leaving work for the next shift and usually the PREVIOUS shift did not leave their work for me, either, except when as I said there was a last-minute admission or an emergency or some such. "Do unto others" is the general rule, or it should be!!!

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