Floating to other units!

  1. I work as a pediatric nurse on an adolescent unit. I fall under the umbrella of "peds" at my hospital, so technically they can float me to other peds units. The problem is that the hospital has no qualms about floating us to the PICU even though I have never undergone any ICU training (or even PALS at this point in my career). I understand that there is a 'comfort level' issue happening whenever you float to another unit, but in going to the PICU I feel that there is a patient safety issue as well. I feel that this is way out of the 'scope of my practice'

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. is this a common practice at other hospitals?
    2. are we just being difficult?
    3. do we have the right to refuse this assignment and who regulates this practice? is it determined by hospital policy, is there a regulatory body that may oversee this kind of thing?

    any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated,
    thanks,
    Margaret
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    I'm used to floating within your specialty.....in other words, ICU nurses can float to ER, PACU can float to ICU, etc. Nurses don't float outside the specialty unless cross trained. I don't blame you for being nervous, and the hospital should be too.....sending a non-critical care-trained nurse into a critical care unit is not a good idea.
  4. by   meandragonbrett
    You could always refuse to take report and page your house supervisor.
  5. by   ginger58
    When I worked NICU we could be floated to PICU or well baby. It was scarey taking care of a PICU pt. I don't think hospitals really care about how we feel, they need a warm body. I guess by policy you are only to do skills that you've been taught and if you're not comfortable with something it should be discussed with the lead.
  6. by   CritterLover
    are they giving you icu patients, or patients still in icu but waiting on a floor bed?

    the first is unacceptable without the proper training and/or experience. the second is acceptable, though rare in my experience.
  7. by   lsyorke
    I'm a med surg float, in the float pool. I frequently get floated to ICU/CCU. I make it VERY clear what I am willing to do and not do. I usually get patients who are ready for transfer and waiting for beds.

    On occasion they have tried to give me drips, or vents....sorry, I speak up and lay out what I'm allowed to take in patient acuity. If you don't speak up, then you are going to put yourself in a illegal situation. ICU patients are in ICU for speciality training..if you don't have that training, then don't care for that patient.

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