I'm not a charge nurse and don't aspire to be. I am a telemetry nurse, but as everyone knows, we also take patients with other disease processes including stroke patients. Of course nurses that are not stroke certified are not assigned the stroke patients.
I have always been curious as to how the charge nurses (and/or whomever assigns the patient load for the next shift ) conclude or come to a conclusion as to what nurse is going to get what patients. Is there some kind of standard method. In some places I hear it's done in the level of acuity of the patient. In other places I hear they do it by keeping each patient load at close proximity to each other roomwise. Where I work I think they do it by trying to keep the nurse with the patients close to each other so she doesn't have to run around so much. On the other hand, I 've had nights that I have 6 total care patients or patients that require constant monitoring, or 6 patients with Peg tubes ( we allknow how long thattakes), etc. On patient loads like that, it seems like the patient load has not been evenly distributed.
If there are any charge nurses out there, I would enjoy hearing from you.
I'm in charge orientation right now, and let me tell you making assignments is much harder than it looks. A lot of the time if you have a hard assignment, the floor might just be really heavy, and everyone has a crappy assignment.
When I am making assignments I am thinking about how stable the patient is first. Then I look at if they have feeding tubes/trachs/Q2hour T+P's. If they are back-breaking patients, confused on bed alarms/1:1's, or needy I try and spread that evenly as well. Then I ALWAYS make sure that discharges on the day shift are going to be evenly distributed. Other things go into play as well like neediness, psych issues, and location.
Last edit by beckster_01 on Dec 3, '11