Being a nurse bites big time (well for today anyway)! - page 2

Sorry, don't often dump here but I have had two days from HE$% or two days that make one wonder why nursing, and not flipping burgers? I work on a CC "step down" (yeah right) unit. Because we are... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    I think the first two patients alone was more than enough. Definitely more than I could have coped with. That was terrible.
  2. by   shudokan-RN
    Connie I hope it gets better.some times it helps to vent and on avarage there are at least 34 pairs of shoulders on this board at any given time Hang in there
    Marci:kiss
  3. by   Youda
    Originally posted by canoehead
    I think the first two patients alone was more than enough. Definitely more than I could have coped with. That was terrible.
    I sure do agree with that. Either one of them sounds like they were close to needing 1-1 care. I agree that you need to document, too. An assignment under protest seems to be in order.

    As for you, take care of yourself, Connie. Do whatever you need to do for yourself to dump the stress, tension, frustation, and guilty feelings of those two days. :kiss :angel2:
  4. by   kittyw
    You almost want to stick the student in the room with the interfering wife... since you probably can't get mgmt to back you up on getting her out of the room.


    <handing Connie a glass of wine> Let calgon take you away!
    Kitty
  5. by   shannonRN
    so sorry to hear about your awful shifts. unfortunately, most nurses can relate. just one question...did they give you a heavier load because you were with students? i have seen this done. well there are two of you so you should be fine. yes, 2 people but not 2 nurses...there is a huge difference. i agree with cactuswren...find that bubble bath with your favorite beverage in hand and prune away!!
  6. by   MICU RN
    Been there many times when i worked in a level one trauma ER , many times times we were totally overwhelmed. The solution for me after 3 years of that was to find an ICU with 2pt. to one nurse ratio and good staffing. I now work in much better conditions and can't image going back to the other job. hang in there and good luck!
  7. by   RNConnieF
    Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement, I needed to hear them. In response to some of the comments here:
    Yes, my nurse manager is not only aware of the staffing problems but is fighting the system as hard as we are to try to get the staffing guidelines changed, but you know how it is with the suits, they only see $ and not costs without $ signs.

    My notes reflect EVERY task, intervention, assessment, and just about every-time I stepped into the room, esp. with the pt/wife pair. I have documented EVERY time I stepped into the room, what I saw, what I did, how I did it, and who was the nurse witness- I have taken to having everything I do witnessed and documented by a fellow nurse to protect myself and my patient.

    No, I was not given a higher acuity because I had a student, that is one thing that the suits haven't been able to change, the students are not there as far as the suits are concerned. I don't even think they know we have nursing students, med students yes because they get generous financial support for providing "educational opportunity" (read slave labor) to student doctors.

    Our staffing numbers call for 4:1 on 7-3 with 5:1 acceptable; 5:1 with 6:1 acceptable on 3-11 (which I usually work); and anything goes on 11-7. My nurse manager calls in agency to fill any vacant slots but the problem is with the acceptable staffing levels she has to work with. This unit is not written to be staffed to ICU levels yet the acuity I described above is not at all unusual. Imagine having 4 pts. one vented, one psych, one on a dopa gtt, and one on a heparin gtt. Our patients are so compromised that the resp. "red box" is NEVER in the bottom drawer of the code cart, it's right on top we use it so often. All of our pts. are on 24 hour tele monitoring and docs can order q 15 min vitals x 2 hours then q 30 min x 2 hours and then q hour and still be within the parameters for the unit. This intensive monitoring is not possible with a 4:1 let alone a 6:1. I don't mean to sound like I need some cheese to go with this wine, I took this job for the opportunity to learn a lot in a little time, remember, I only graduated in May and this is my first hospital job, it's just that I am having a hard time knowing that I didn't do the best I could for my patients and the students following me. If I had seen this as a student nurse I would have run as fast as I could have away from nursing and all the students I worked with are in BSN programs, they finish the first 2 years this May and will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX then (if any of them stay after seeing this week). I just have to remember that I took this job to learn, get what I can from it, and then move on to something better suited to my way of providing care and thanks to all of you I am better focused, more aware of the issues, and feel ready to tackle Monday (of course it doesn't hurt that this is my weekend off and that I am doing the breast cancer walk with my 11 yo son either). Thanks to all the broad (and now tear soaked) shoulders on the board. THIS is what nursing is supposed to be about, not about what the suits force us into. Thanks again.
  8. by   semstr
    Connie, feel better? hope so, some days are just yuuucccckkkkk!
    Take care, Renee
  9. by   Youda
    Staffing ratios!
    Staffing should be based on acuity, not a body count.
  10. by   globalRN
    That patient workload and level of patient acuity is WAYYYYYYYYY too high for one nurse to handle 5:1 when you are IT!

    I agree with several of the posters....document+++ cause it isn't possible to provide good or even safe care at that staffing level!
    THAT is a day from HELL!!
    LOL
  11. by   RNConnieF
    Originally posted by semstr
    Connie, feel better? hope so, some days are just yuuucccckkkkk!
    Take care, Renee
    LOL, thanks for putting it in perspective, I needed that. :kiss :chuckle
  12. by   Scavenger'sWife
    Connie: I feel for you, Girlfriend! :kiss Were the planets in some wierd conjunction or something?? I just spent two days like yours also! Except my floor is med-surg-tele. Day was awful PLUS I was the Charge nurse for both days. <sigh> Fortunately, I had WONDERFUL NAs working with me. (I also had the student nurse thing going on...)

    I came home last night ALL bent outa shape and spent 2 hours venting to my husband and son while we pigged out on pizza with everthing...and a big ole glass of beer. (Nah...I am on a diet...I only had ONE piece of pizza and drank Diet Coke...worked for me!! ) But the "venting" worked. I hope you had someone who you could "dump" on in your home.

    I am glad you have the weekend of. And GOOD FOR YOU - You and your son going on the breast CA awareness walk. I read your post about that. You must be sooooo proud of your son! What a good mom you are! ENJOY that walk and treasure the time w son!!!
    They grow up way too fast.
  13. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by kittyw
    You almost want to stick the student in the room with the interfering wife... since you probably can't get mgmt to back you up on getting her out of the room.


    <handing Connie a glass of wine> Let calgon take you away!
    Kitty
    I am a student, and that was my first thought. I would not have minded staying in the room with that patient to make sure his wife was not mucking him up. Even if I wasn't "taught" a lot that day, I would have learned just by being there! I would gladly have monitored it just so someone could be there advocating for the patient. If that many things were screwy, then things were going on in that room and it sounds like it would be more than enough of an assignment for a student!

close