anxious about being the only nurse on the floor

  1. Hi ya all, I am new to this forum, and fairly new at being a nurse( 1 year hmm) I am so embarresed about this issue! I HATE BEING THE ONE IN CHARGE! I hate being the one held responseble for 42 patients on a shift. I get soo anxious. I absolutely love nursing! I just donīt like the responsibility that comes with being the only nurse at night. I have been on my ward for six months now, and it should get better but it dosenīt. I feel a pressure and dread making stupid discissions. I canīt sleep at night after being on a shift and think of every little thing that I should have done. I wonder..should I leave my job( wich I love and are good at, if I didīnt crack under pressure of being the one in charge..) or....well I sure could use some help..!;-)

    the anxious nurse
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would be anxious too. That is a LOT of accountability on your shoulders. I would not be able to do this. Good luck.
  4. by   daisey_may
    Welcome!

    Why are you embarrassed that you feel anxious about being a charge nurse? And I'm curious--where do you work where you are the only nurse for 42 patients!

    My stress level would be through the roof! You have a lot of responsibility for so many patients...

    Have you spoken to your manager about your concerns about being the charge nurse?
  5. by   ulmaulma
    thanks u for replying:-) Now donīt laugh I work at a geriactic ward. This is not an normal one though, we receive patients 65+ in an acute state... heart and lung failure, bleeding, post op psychosis u name it...I am embarresed because the other nurses do it ( the pretty much all flet from intensive and or care and thought they were going to have the time of their life in geriatrics..so did I)they thought they could handle the shift but left crying. Still some of the nurses r fine. In this ward some evenings r fine( well not for me cause I deal with anxiety) still my head nurse wants to "build" me up so I am comftable.... DON`T THINK SO ... the point is that I love the field love the ward and my colleages just donīt do well on my own with this load. I have said that I donīt want to be alone. The board has agree that they we need two nurses, but itīs hard to get nurses. If I donīt want to be alone it means my colleages will have to work even more..sh... what can I say or do???
  6. by   daisey_may
    I would personally be nervous being responsible not only for 42 patients, but 42 acute patients alone. Remember if you are uncomfortable, it's probably not right. It is your license that will be on the line. I would speak to someone about having more nurses on staff. If two nurses are what's agreed are needed, then there should be two nurses at least. It's not your job to find someone to work with you, it's your supervisor or manager's job. If another nurse is not available, then the manager or supervisor should work with you until someone else is available.

    Just my
    Last edit by daisey_may on Oct 3, '07 : Reason: clarification!
  7. by   cheshirecat
    Do you have a professional body or union that could help? 42 patients is way too many for one registered nurse. I have been nursing for 26years and no way would I accept an assignment like that, it has to be illegal.
  8. by   leslymill
    Mine would be too. Very seldom was I left alone as the only nurse in a small Hospital. Usually there were two of us and the others were over 50y/o diploma nurses with exceptional decision making skills. I learned how to do it FROM THEM. I learned so much from questioning them and getting reassureance than my thought processes were prudent.
    I frankly would go straight to the DON tell her your conserns somehow . Trial and error is not a good way to go through a shift. Isn't there anyone you can call if your unsure about strategy. Are you the only RN in the facility?
  9. by   dekatn
    I would run, not walk, to the nearest exit!!! I never accept an assignment of this magnitude on my own.
  10. by   cmo421
    Quote from ulmaulma
    Hi ya all, I am new to this forum, and fairly new at being a nurse( 1 year hmm) I am so embarresed about this issue! I HATE BEING THE ONE IN CHARGE! I hate being the one held responseble for 42 patients on a shift. I get soo anxious. I absolutely love nursing! I just donīt like the responsibility that comes with being the only nurse at night. I have been on my ward for six months now, and it should get better but it dosenīt. I feel a pressure and dread making stupid discissions. I canīt sleep at night after being on a shift and think of every little thing that I should have done. I wonder..should I leave my job( wich I love and are good at, if I didīnt crack under pressure of being the one in charge..) or....well I sure could use some help..!;-)


    the anxious nurse

    A RN,42 pt's and would imagine and LPN and an CNA at least? All in all it is way to much in a actute setting. I do not know what the BON in ur country states as acceptable, but nevertheless it is unsafe. Way too much could happen at different ends of the ward and what then? As a kid,thats the way it was on a 40 bed ortho ward. Three of us some nights,RN,LPN,CNA. Pt are so much sicker on the floors these days too.Sometimes u would get to the other end making rounds, and find someone had bled out or just damn died....lol Scary. I learnt so much in those days,but knew no better. Within a few short years, that practice was banned. Two RN's, per shift,at least, at all times. Talk to other nurses at different hospitals, find out there pt/nurse ratio and go to ur DON . Then run,,,lol Good luck,,,keep us posted!
  11. by   teeituptom
    Try a little country hosp with 20 beds, and 2 bed ER. And being the only RN there. If your lucky you have an LVN with you.
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    if another rn is not available perhaps a lpn could be hired..you would still be in charge but if you had someone more experienced to bounce your concerns off of it would be much better
    don't let them trim the cnas if they hire an lpn impress tptb about your NEEDS if you cannot find a satisfactory solution then tender your resignation

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