Floating? - page 3

by Morganalefey

6,370 Views | 33 Comments

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 (politely) refused, stating that I... Read More


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    Oops..double post. Sorry
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    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.
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    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.
    WeepingAngel likes this.
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    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.
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    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.
    RicRock and sauconyrunner like this.
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    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.
    RicRock likes this.
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    I think, given that they were floating you to a lower acuity floor...this is not a very big problem. I actually think it would not be a big deal to go and do it.

    I think I'd tell your manager that you have reviewed the policy and were unaware that you could float 2 weeks after being off orientation. Being written up may not seem like a big deal, but it will hinder things like transfers etc..

    The only time that I refused to float was when I was hired for the ED as a traveler and the staff nurses decided I should go to the only floor in the hospital every night. I was not trained on the floor system, and I have actually never worked as a floor nurse. I told them I would be delighted to go and task, and turn patients, give med, give bedpans/baths take vitals, but I would not take an assignment. Problem solved. I did go over there a lot though when we were not too busy and turn patients, give bedpans etc... so no one seemed too upset.
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    In 1 1/2 yrs. I'VE floated twice once to oncology good night and post surgical worst night I have ever had. We do not flooat to higher in acquity.
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    The policy in my hospital is we float after 3 months off orientation, regardless if you are an experienced nurse or a new grad. We float within our community as well. We also are lucky enough to have a float pool; they float the numerous medsurg floors and others bounce around the hospital helping with admissions or if they are not too busy they can be pulled and float the floors to just help out. I've never heard of medsurg or tele nurses floating to the ICU, CCICU, Neuro ICU or IMC. They float within their community.
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    What you were told in the interview , no longer applies in the real world.
    You are done with orientation and you will be in the float rotation.

    Floating is difficult/uncomfortable for most nurses. If you take your turn (without complaint), you will stand out as an exceptional team player. When you arrive on the new unit, get a mini tour from the charge nurse and let her know she WILL be your resource person.

    Most important of all... stop thinking/referring to your co-workers as "girls".


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