:yeahthat: OK - let's get back to basics here. If we're going to talk about losing a license, then it's best to think like a lawyer!
First thing is this - Request a written copy of the hospital policy on floating nurses to other units. Also, ask if there are policies for the specific units that you would be floated to.
I have heard that nurses that go to different units can act as "nurses". If they are not trained in a specialty, then yes - it would seem logical that you would be assigned a nurse to report to in the case that something came up that you did not know how to handle or if there was something that you were not trained to do, then that nurse would handle the procedure, assessment and determine how to handle the situation. But I wouldn't assume anything. I would want to see the policy for that unit in writing, otherwise, you don't know how to operate on the floor.
Another note - If this happens, I think it would be best to NOT FREAK OUT ABOUT IT. I think it would be best to go back to the basics of nursing. You do your assessment, you pass the meds you are trained to pass (obviously, you can't give chemo if you are not chemo-certified) >>>>>
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY > > you are a patient advocate. If something goes wrong, you do something. If you don't know what to do, you go to a senior nurse or the nurse you are directed to go to for help (charge nurse). If her solution remedies the problem, you are fine. If it doesn't, let her know you are uncomfortable and want to notify an MD to cover eveyone (most importantly, your patient). If you can't get a doctor, get the AOC (Administrator on call).
Above all, I would remember that your title is Nurse, Registered Nurse. It's not Super-nurse. It's not "Nurse - Alone Nurse", nor "Nurse that acts in a vacuum nurse". Healthcare is a collaborative practice. You are out there to monitor your patient. The decision was made to float you to an unfamiliar unit, therefore it is only logical to expect that you would need to lean on your ability to collaborate with other staff RN's, doctors, administators, when you are put in this situation. Whatever it takes maintain the health and welfare of the patient.
Now, there is nothing wrong with giving feedback to people about how your assignment went. If you are telling people you are uncomfortable and they are giving you feedback that your performance was OK, then it's probably just your own jitters that you need to keep under control. If they think your performance was rotten on that unit, then make a written request for training in that specialty. You might want to request the training if they thought you did fine or not.
Sometimes you have to be assertive and exercise your rights as not just a nurse, but as a basic employee in a hospital setting If you put something in writing that requests training and the hospital floats you without the training, then it makes the hospital look more liable than you, basically revealing that they make a practice out of making innappropriate float choices. Put them back in the legal hot seat. Believe me, they will understand when paper comes to them to deal with, but it's a position they put themselves in and the ball is in their court. They may not like it, but you can just tell them that you feel you need more training to properly care for patients on this unfamiliar unit. No more, no less, don't get bated into an arguement that could cost you your job if you want to keep it. Sometimes, if you say the same thing over in different ways, they might stop asking you the questions. You can always say, "I'm looking to expand my abilities as a nurse and I see this float situation as a perfect opportunity. I think it will only help me to be a better nurse on my current unit and a more experienced team member on any unit that I work on for this hospital. It's the best way I can serve my patients".
If this prompts the hospital to re-evaluate their own floating policies, so be it and I'm sure patients will be safer in the end. If the situation gets to uncomfortable, I'd ask to transfer to a different unit. If you want training on that unit, ask to transfer to that one, because then you'll get the proper training.
Always good to peruse the job ads and it never hurst to network and go on interviews, whether you intend on leaving or not.
Hope this helps some. Word of caution - Be careful about boat-rocking too much if you can't afford to be out of work. But if you were to lose your job unexpectedly, I think another hospital would respect your choice. You just have to tell the story properly to make sure you look responsible and wise in your choices made.