I am all for teamwork. In fact I believe that without teamwork its makes my job as a nurse very difficult. As part of a team, sometimes we have to do things we don't want to; such as taking on extra patients when there are sick calls and being the "in-charge" during nights or for the last few hours of the day. I hate having that extra responsibilty (I am a new(ish) nurse with less than a year of working experience) but I do so for the sake of sharing the workload and working as a team.
Last night we were extremely busy, so busy that I and several other nurses couldnt even take a break. Two of our patients were going sour and the call bells rung all night for the usual things like toileting, analgesics etc. As the pcc last night I was in charge of the unit and staffing for the day shift. It so happened that we needed to get a constant for our extremely demented and potentialy violent patient, a replacement LPN for a sick call and the regular PCC on days was sick but not replaced. As of 5am this morning, I had no one not even a single staff member on overtime to be fully staffed. To top it off, one of our LPNs needed to be off the floor from 11-2 but would at least be returning.
Without our regular PCC, I needed to have someone in charge of coordinating patient care. We have a clinican who used to be a PCC until just recently and due to circumstances on the floor I thought it was more than appropriate to ask her to take on that role for the duration of her shift. However when our clinican came onto the floor she flat our refused to be the PCC citing "management" as her reason that some else had to do it. I asked her to explain further, and all I got was a head shake and "No, I will not be the PCC it has to be one of the RNs. Thats per management".
I am nearly agaste. This is the same nurse who told me the day prior how important team work was. Now I feel as if I and the rest of my team mates have been slapped in the face for our naivity. We needed a PCC today more than we need a clinician. I needed her to step up to the plate like the rest of us have to. In the end I had to pull an RN off the floor instead and further the load of each remaining nurse for a total of either 6 or 7 patients. Our standard ratio is 4:1 for acute medicine.
It just boils my blood that while the rest of us are expected to make consessions to provide care for our patients, those in more "elite" positions, such as that of the clinican, are exempt. It doesn't say in my job description that I have to be "in charge" but I do it even if I don't want to. This episode has made me loose respect for this nurse. I know that the PCC I chose to be in charge will still help out the rest of the floor nurses, which will be much appreciated because she a senior nurse who will be leaving for the ICU soon. And while she is helping out one of our sick patients, the clinican can continue to make sure that our fluid balance sheets are done correctly, that we've updated our care plans and reading through charts while the rest of the "team" is being run off their feet.
Thanks for letting me rant my frustration.