Floating?

  1. 1 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 was uncomfortable w/that and that I was still trying to find my way on my unit. My boss sent someone else, but was *obviously* angry w/me. And to be honest, I don't really care! When I interviewed I was told it would be a year before I would float. The girls on the floor told me they usually do it 6mos AFTER your orientation was done. I am so disillusioned by this job, which is quite sad since it's only been 4mos!

    Is this common practice where you all work? Maybe I over-reacted?
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 24, '12 : Reason: spacing
  2. Visit  Morganalefey profile page

    About Morganalefey

    From 'Near the windy city'; Joined Jun '12; Posts: 125; Likes: 106.

    33 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  ENicuRN profile page
    1
    I am a new nurse as well and I was told it would also be a year before I would be expected to float. I think you did the right thing in COA and your license. You need to solidify your nursing practice before they send you all over the place!
    kakamegamama likes this.
  4. Visit  CorazonDeOro profile page
    1
    Depends on your hospital's policy. Per my hospital you must be in float rotation after 90 days (post-orientation). If you refuse you get written up. Its not that bad once you get over the first time. Sometimes I have a way better assignment on the other floor anyway.
    wooh likes this.
  5. Visit  beeker profile page
    5
    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.
  6. Visit  nu rn profile page
    0
    I was able to float once I was off a 6 wk orientation. I've never had a great deal of trouble, but you definitely feel out of your element when out of your home dept. Mostly I go from my ortho floor to med-surg, which really isn't that different in the general scheme of things, and it does give me a good opportunity to care for other types of pts that we don't have in ortho. I've also floated once each to skilled care & the general medical floor which were good experiences for me. Most of the RNs I work with would rather walk over a bed of coals than work the med floor though. They often have 7+ heavy care pts each, do their own admissions, & make their own doctor calls; charge RN does admissions & calls on my floor.

    When you do start floating, I suggest letting the charge RN know if you are uncomfortable with the pt assignment you are given & that you are still new, first time on that floor, etc. They really should not be giving you too many high acuity cases, at least compared to what the other RNs are given, but there are no rules against it either I guess. Ask questions & ask for help.
  7. Visit  All4NursingRN profile page
    3
    I'm finding that alot of places are breaking certain cardianal rules like icu nurses taking care of more than 2 patients, floating med-surg nurses to critical areas and etc??? What's with the breakdown of policy, seems like there's no more morality in nursing and it''s all about getting warm bodies to just do they job!

    If their policy is to have you float after a year then that is the bottom line point blank. These places need to put the integrity back into their ways of doing things. You did the right thing. At the end of the day you have to defend yourself because they won't defend you!
  8. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    0
    Floating for the first time can be scary, but don't let it psych you out. When I was a relatively
    new nurse, I was floated to the renal pt. floor and no one had told me anything about procedures
    there beforehand. I walked through the doors, and was on my way to the nurses' station, when I
    was stopped by an attending. He had a death grip on my arm and asked "Just where the <Bleep>
    I thought I was!" When I came through the doors, there was no sign asking that everyone who entered
    own up and no gown stash was visible.

    When I finally tracked down the charge nurse, she was very kind. Apparently, the sign had fallen
    down and the empty gown rack had been moved, so the floor could be mopped. I got properly gowned
    and observed all precautions necessary the rest of my shift. To think all I had wanted to do initially was
    check in, introduce myself, and ask where the gowns and masks were! I had been told there would be
    supplies outside pt. rooms. Oh well... It turned out to be a good shift!

    After I had worked at a state psych hospital for about 18 months, I was pulled to the maximum security
    level forensic building and, to say the very least, was apprehensive. But you know what? Very easy and
    uncomplicated shift! Staff was friendly and helpful.

    I think once you've been floated just a few times, you'll be much less nervous about it. I soon discovered
    that in a non-psych hospital, things are laid out about the same floor-to-floor. Not necessarily where
    supplies are kept, but how the rooms, utility rooms, etc. are laid out.

    Good luck! You'll do great!
  9. Visit  Morganalefey profile page
    4
    Thank you, everyone, for your responses.
    I guess policy states that they can float you after you have been off orientation for 2 weeks That doesn't seem very reasonable to me, AT ALL.
    It was during the interview w/the NM that I was told 1 year (she is gone now), and the girls on the floor told me it was 6mos.

    If it matter, I work on a cardiac/neuro IMCU and was to be floated to a med-surge floor. So I guess technically I would be going to a lower acuity and a higher pt load.

    I do feel like I did the right thing (even if I get written up over it), but next time, I guess I will strap on my big girl panties and go.
    kakamegamama, hgrimmett, ellienix05, and 1 other like this.
  10. Visit  eatmysoxRN profile page
    1
    Within the 4 months I've been at my current facility, I've floated to the surgical floor, med/surg, oncology, respiratory, psych, 2 ICUs, and the ER. I was uneasy at first but found the staff understanding that I was in a new environment. I don't think I was supposed to either, but I was glad I got my hours. I kind of enjoy floating. I get to experience new kinds of patients and meet more staff. :-) just never be afraid to ask questions and don't accept more than you can handle.
    buffieriley likes this.
  11. Visit  Boog'sCRRN246 profile page
    1
    At my facility, you don't float until you're off orientation for six months. I wish all that was given for refusing to float was a write up - where I work, it's a 3-day suspension without pay.
    biblepoet likes this.
  12. Visit  monkeybug profile page
    2
    We've been threatened with a report to the BON for abandonment if we refuse to float. It didn't seem like abandonment to me, as I had not taken report on anyone (or even clocked in yet), but the house supervisor said that since there were patients somewhere needing a nurse and I was refusing to care for them that it was abandonment. I called the BON and they said that it actually could be, that they let the facility determine that. Talk about throwing the nurse under the bus!
    barbyann and Cold Stethoscope like this.
  13. Visit  readyforachangenow profile page
    0
    How often do you float to others areas in the hospital?
  14. Visit  Kay28 profile page
    3
    I work in a psych unit. We never ever ever float to another floor. If they are overstaffed, then people volunteer to take a vacation day. If we are somewhat understaffed we deal with it. If we are severely understaffed then one of the RN's from the previous shift gets manadated. Everyone seems to like this system on my unit. I would not feet comfortable at all working as a RN on a medical floor where I have no experience.

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