Floating? - page 2

I've been a nurse for a year. I've been at my new job 4mos, and out of orientation for about 6 weeks or so. I went into work the other day, and they wanted me to float to another floor. I... Read More

  1. by   brokenroads27
    where i work, i was told it would be 6 months at least before i would float. and that was correct. i got floated for the first time no earlier than 6 months after i started orientation. someone else on a different unit however got floated after only 4 months, which was wrong....its even stated in our employee handbook that we cant get floated before 4 months. i know that my manager and charge nurse will NOT let anyone from our unit get floated early, though. it was the right thing to do to refuse, though. i mean, it wouldn't have been fair or SAFE to let you float anywhere when you havent been there long enough to feel comfortable.
  2. by   LDRNMOMMY
    Quote from beeker
    I got floated last night to a critical care unit. I have been out of orientation for 4 months. I was told I could only be floated to other med surg places. I was horrified. I told the charge nurse on the unit that I had only been out of orientation for 4 months and had no critical care experience and she agreed I could not be there and sent me back to my unit. I was then sent back by the supervisor who demanded I go back or the staffing numbers would be bad. I asked them to call my nurse manager at home (by then it was almost 9pm) but she did not answer. I refused to take any patient on a drip, any patient whom I could not properly care for, or with any equipment I could not properly handle.I ended up working as a helper. I did a lot of the paperwork, chart checks, gave out pain meds, did some tech stuff, and helped out where I could. The nurses all had so many patients they were grateful for the help. I am pretty angry with my charge nurse and the supervisor. I am not willing to kill people to make their staff numbers look better. I left a voicemail and sent an email to my unit manager, who in turn left me an apology voicemail with a promise to never let it happen again. I told the supervisor to take some patients if he wanted to fix the numbers.
    A couple of years ago when I was working at an L&D unit at a military hospital I was asked to float to the ICU. I told the charge nurse pretty much the same thing and offered to help out in any way I could that did not involve taking a patient assignment. I had only worked L&D in my career at the point. The charge nurse was miffed and asked me if I was a nurse. I told her I most certainly was a nurse, an L&D nurse not ICU. She didn't want that kind of help and asked the bed manager to float someone from a different unit.
  3. by   wannabecnl
    This is very timely as I am negotiating for a per diem PACU job, and the job description includes verbiage about floating. I am a new grad with plenty of PACU time but little experience outside the PACU: just nursing school clinicals and a VERY brief stint in progressive care afterward. It had just crossed my mind that I need to ask the hospital what their time-frame is for new hires/new grads to float, so this has been a helpful thread to help me frame my discussion with them. In theory, I don't mind floating if I have some support, but if I went to the ICU or ED, I wouldn't even know where to start!

    I find the whole concept interesting, because nursing looks completely different from one floor to the next. L&D nurses don't do what med-surg nurses do. Rehab nurses don't do what oncology nurses do. Heck, even time in the ICU (often quoted as the ideal place to grow wanna-be-PACU-nurses) doesn't teach you how to move a patient through the PACU, and PACU (considered by some to be critical care or at least acute) has little to do with the flow of the ED or the ICU. If floating is going to be a regular part of the job, shouldn't hospitals invest in cross-training?

    My hospital has a float pool, but it feeds the med-surg and geropsych units. Is it time to develop specialty float pools for critical care (ICU/PACU/ED/cath lab) or periop (pre/post/OR) or something? Hmmm...
  4. by   hgrimmett
    I think you did the right thing.. though it truly sucks that what you were told and the written policy were so far apart.. and the written policy is what will take precedence. :-\
  5. by   canadian_nursling
    I'm still a student, but I managed to find a job as a nursing attendant a few months ago. Oddly they only hire students as floats - something I think is dangerous. Granted its not the same level of care I'd provide as an rn, it's still throwing green experience in a new area every day. I think the worst part is I am not to have access to any patient information aside from what's on the census. A huge part of my job is sitting constant with a patient all shift but not being allowed to access information that can impact their care makes me queezy - I've been turning down shifts because of this coupled with th fact that I'm always on a different unit. If places are going to insist on floating, there should only be a small number of units each person is able to go to...say 3 or 4 max, and all should be similar types of patients. All I can think is "UNSAFE" when it comes to floating all over in areas you're not familiar with.
  6. by   jennyw1978
    Where I work, it is common practice for everyone to experience floating quite often. I was even told when I was given my assignment that I couldn't be promised I would always be there, that and time I could come in and have to float.
  7. by   bewilly
    wont happen,integrity cost money and decreases the administrators bonus's
  8. by   Aurora77
    Oops..double post. Sorry
  9. by   Aurora77
    I floated for the first time a few weeks after I got off of orientation. It was terrifying, but I think beneficial to my career. I just went to the floor, told the charge nurse I've been a nurse for "x" number of weeks so I was probably going to be asking lots of questions. It went well. Now they've changed the policy that you have to be at our hospital for 6 months before you can float. I think this is reasonable and a good change.
  10. by   Miss Lizzie
    We get floated pretty often on my floor whenever we have a low census. I'd prefer being floated to being sent home. They keep a record of when each of us was floated and we take turns. I don't mind being floated because it gives me the chance to learn something new and to see which floors I might want to work on in the future. I work on a remote tele/med surg floor and I love getting floated to CCU because that's where I eventually want to work. If I'm floated to someplace I'm not familiar with I just ask a lot of questions. I have no problem asking for help when I need it.
  11. by   nrsyann
    At my hospital we float within our "community" anytime during the first 6 months off orientation. After 6 months we are expected to float anywhere. Obviously not to an OB or ED or ICU floor since that is outside of our expertise. I almost had to float the other night to the neuro floor but we went up in census on our floor just in time and I didn't have to. I don't think I'll mind floating too much. It's sure to be uncomfortable at first. That being said, all the nurses from the float pool that come to our floor say that the lovelovelove being strictly float nurses.
  12. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from Morganalefey
    I do feel like I did the right thing...
    I don't know... I don't really see the problem with stepping onto a med-surg floor a few months after orientation. Of course it would've been a bit bumpy but I'm not really seeing this as a patient-safety or even CYA issue.

    Personally, I don't think you're justified in your anger at the situation.
  13. by   Morainey
    If you've been there 4 months, and have been a nurse for a year already, it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal. Floating definitely can put you out of your comfort zone but it doesn't seem like they were throwing you to the wolves on your first day or anything.