Duties other than nursing?

  1. Does your nurses station ever get cleaned?

    In the hospital I currently work and the previous one, I have never seen housekeeping come into the nurses station to clean. Well, maybe a couple of times to mop (twice in 3 years at only one of the hospitals). But that's it. At both places, you would not believe the dust that accumulates behind the computers and racks where papers and such are kept! Being allergic to dust, each week I have to clean the area where I do my charting. Let me tell you, it gets nasty!

    Also, night shift is responsible for cleaning the messes made in the break room, cleaning out the refrigerators, etc.

    Plumbing problems...

    The other night, one of my patient's commodes was not flushing. I asked the CCT to call Environmental Services. They told her to call the Supervisor. The Supervisor said to call Environmental Services. Finally, I made that last phone call myself. Environmental Services told me to find a plunger and they didn't have one. WHAT?? I told them, "look, I am not a plumber and don't have time to be one right now either. I have a patient who has been given medication to clean him out for a procedure in the morning and will be needing his commode all night so someone needs to get up here ASAP and fix it." I also informed them that the Supervisor had said to call them. Come to find out from another nurse, it's pretty much the norm for us to have to use a plunger when commodes back up. I told her I had a plumber come out to my house a week ago to replace some stems in a bathtub faucet that cost $300-something that only took an hour to do. The cost for labor was $225. So, if they're expecting me to add plumbing to my list of duties, I'll gladly accept the same pay as a plumber!!:icon_mrgreen:


    Is there anything else you can add to the list of things you never thought would be a part of a nursing job?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   flashpoint
    Our night shift does laundry and all of the sweeping and moppping in areas other than resident rooms. The charge nurse has to help dietary clear tables after meals and the night charge nurse has to fix breakfst for two residents who have to be in dialysis by 0600. The CNAs are responsible for all housekeeping and laundry duties in assisted living (we don't have separate assisted living CNAs). The only part that is really bad is the table clearing and all of the cleaning in assisted living. A lot of times, I am busy after meals, so dietary doesn't get any help from me clearing tables...most of them understand and don't say anything. The assisted living cleaning is a pain in the butt because there is just so much to do and so little time and staff. We have a lot of kids come in to do community service and they do a lot of the cleaning in assited living.
  4. by   LargoLPN
    where I use to work on third shift, the aids were responsible for cleaning bed side tables, and drawers. The nurses were responsible for the nursing station, fridge, ect... and if there was a tube feed mess, hate those... I would clean it if I had time, if I didn't I would delegate it to my CNAs, they didn't like that much. If there was a clogged toilet, I would plunge. If there was an overflow the CNA would mop it. Usually around the time state was to arrive the DON would leave long list of things to be done.
  5. by   gitterbug
    Worked one place where they wanted the night shift to "patch" linen. Worked a place recently where rooms were supposed to be cleaned by night shift if discharge was after 2100. Two nurses for 20 patients, no CNA most nights, and we were supposed to clean rooms too. Did not stay long.
    Worked one place where physicians expected a staff member to babysit her 3 kids when she made rounds.
  6. by   DusktilDawn
    You will find that whatever is not clearly defined in other's job descriptions gets dumped on the nursing staff. In fact everybody else has the luxury of being short-staffed or "too busy" as an excuse to not do their job or dump it on the nurses. Irregardless of whether nurses are short-staffed or too busy, we are still expected to do our jobs, we are not allowed excuses, nor can we "dump it" onto another.

    Had a housekeeper interrupt me when I was obviously busy to snottily ask whether I stripped beds. I responded that no I didn't when the nurse assistant isn't busy and is sitting at the desk (which was exactly what she was doing). Guess you need a fair amount of education to strip a bed, a task that takes less than 30 seconds to do.

    Had a doc get pissed at me because I didn't know what was wrong with the computer system or how to fix it. I told her that I did not go to ITT Tecnical Institute, nor was computer programing or repair part of curriculum currently being taught to nurses.

    When I have called our IT department to report computer problems, they have taken up plenty of my time prompting me over the phone to fix it. Why am I drafted into doing their job? Perhaps if someone routinely checked this equipment,

    A list of numbers is at each patient's bedside, including one to call if they have problems with their TV or phone. Guess what happens when they call that number? THEY ARE TOLD TO ASK THE NURSE BECAUSE WE SHOULD KNOW WHAT TO DO.

    Nursing station never cleaned unless the nurses do it. The floor will occasionally be washed. I worked housekeeping in a hospital and when I did cleaning the nurses station was part of the job. We're lucky if the staff BR is stocked with TP and paper towels. Guess that's no longer in most housekeepers job descriptions.

    Our NAM thought night shift should clean the break room. I told her that night shift rarely used the breakroom (which was true) and why should we pick up after days and afternoons, shouldn't people clean up after themselves. She agreed and nights was not given this job.

    I've had to deal with prescription issues from patients who are discharged, despite the fact that as a nurse I have no authority in regards to prescriptions. For some reason these calls get forwarded to the staff on the unit the patient was discharged from.

    Had six phone calls from security one night in regards to one patients visitors. I was refusing to allow any more visitors for this patient to the floor because there was plenty roaming around and a small crowd of them had taken over our visitors lounge. I guess there were a bunch of adolescents downstairs to visit, and security demanded that I should find the adult responsible for these kids. Excuse me, but why I am I responsible for finding the adult that brought these kids here?

    I certainly draw the line at plumbing.
  7. by   sweetielin
    i don't know if it is just part of working in a small hospital but most of our ancillary staff isn't even there when we come on at night. laundry and housekeeping leave at 2:30p. rt and lab leave at 7p on weekends. rt stays until 11p during the week. lab until 12a.

    it is definately frustrating having the jobs of other departments while they are still there. most of the time i just go ahead and do it because in the time i spend trying to get someone, i might as well have done it myself. it's so aggravating to call resp for something and have them say "can't you do it?" i don't call unless i really need something and am very busy. i'm rushing around trying to get all my meds out among other things and they are sitting around reading the paper. why should i have to do your job when you are sitting there relaxing and i am swamped? we have to do all ekgs and treatments after they leave. not all are like that but it's one of my pet peeves. housekeeping used to clean the nurses station but they don't anymore. not that i see anyway. that has become the night nurses' job. our report room is also the break room. when we come in, there's so much stuff on the table you can't even see the table. we clean up after ourselves and everyone else. we are all supposed to be adults and should not leave our messes for others. we cannot change the sharps containers when they are full because we don't have the key. same with paper towels and soap. i have reported full sharps containers to the housekeeper that comes in right before we leave only to come back that night and it still be full. on the weekends, it is the worst. the floors are so sticky and nasty that you have to mop them to be able to stand walking on them sometimes. we have to clean rooms after discharge only if we are short on rooms, thank god. we don't have pharmacy during our shift either. more than half the time, the meds on the cart are not filled correctly or are not there. piggy backs are missing or mixed incorrectly. it used to be good and the pharmacy used to even mix the iv fluids that needed kcl or mvi for bags due to run out on our shift. now this is never the case. our don told us pharmacy had asked that the night supervisor bring the orders that were written throughout the night and put them in pharmacy. she told us that she would tell him "no". the next thing we know, there is a memo up saying it is to be done. the supervisor goes through them and even puts them in order. i would not think so much about this if we could actually depend on pharmacy to have our meds right. when i worked days, every time i went down there they were looking at pictures, the computer, and chatting.

    also, i didn't think you could refuse to come back if you were on call. this happens with some of the lab and pharmacy personnel. they expect us to call the md to get it changed or held until they come in. i think that is just ridiculous(sp). sorry this is pretty long but we have been having more problems with ancillary dept lately.
  8. by   banditrn
    Dusktildawn - we must have worked at the same place!! Our supervisor told us to clean the break room, which I never used. It would be full of half empty glasses, coffee cups and dishes.

    I told her that I wasn't anyone's mother that worked there, and I wasn't cleaning up after them - if they didn't clean up after themselves, it could just stay there!

    I also had a snotty doc one nite mad at me because I couldn't fix the computer system. He told me that having been there all those years, I should know how to do it. I told him that he was supposed to be a smart guy, and had some 'snow' on his roof too - maybe he could figure it out.
  9. by   MsPiggy
    Hmmm, yes.. Housekeeping,plumbing, fish tank cleaner & feeder, plant waterer, security, dietary, receptionist, spreader of salt & snow shoveler in the driveway & sidewalk in the winter, appointment setter, data entry for the appointment setters that do not answer their telephones....I could go on & on. I think most people (unfortunately) around here think Nurse means= Maid service...sad but true.
    Ms.P
  10. by   TiffyRN
    My theory of What is the Job of Nursing? Anything and everything that all other departments either cannot or will not do.

    A few exceptions;

    There are a few things that even nurses just won't handle, then we call in the social workers. They get the privilege of educating the new 14yr mom on appropriate behavior in the waiting area of the NICU. (I.E. We know what you were doing under that blanket with your new boyfriend).
  11. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from banditrn
    Dusktildawn - we must have worked at the same place!! Our supervisor told us to clean the break room, which I never used. It would be full of half empty glasses, coffee cups and dishes.

    I told her that I wasn't anyone's mother that worked there, and I wasn't cleaning up after them - if they didn't clean up after themselves, it could just stay there!

    I also had a snotty doc one nite mad at me because I couldn't fix the computer system. He told me that having been there all those years, I should know how to do it. I told him that he was supposed to be a smart guy, and had some 'snow' on his roof too - maybe he could figure it out.
    Are you sure were not related? I had the same attitute about not being anybody's mother over the breakroom issue. Our supervisor threatened to lockup the breakroom if staff didn't start cleaning up after themselves instead of delagating it to nights.

    What's up with docs thinking that nurse=computer programer?
  12. by   Hoozdo
    ..........and I thought I had it bad because I am expected to empty the trash and dirty linen basket out of my ICU pt's room at my new hospital. I thought, and why am I doing the janitors job?

    I guess it is a non-problem after reading these other posts!
  13. by   sister--*
    Is there some agency that comes in and checks the cleanliness of actual pt. care rooms/areas? Sometimes they are just teeming with "yuck"! I know that if I have a spare minute or two I find myself wiping things down in pt. rooms and disposing of the trash.

    It seems that other than being called to a pt. room with a specific request such as, "please mop the sticky floor, please clean the B.R., please change the sharps out, please change the handsoap dispenser, please replace the paper towels....." that the only housekeeping pass they get are a once-a-day to empty trash containers.

    Between patients housekeeping does clean.. During a pt.'s stay it's another story.
  14. by   CoffeeRTC
    I won't even go into what some of us do in my small LTC facility (50 beds small). LOL. I will tell you that I know how to restart the generator and boiler....the things you learn on an 11-7 shift.

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