Good Charge Nurses Can Make All Of The Difference

  1. At my hospital charge nurses do not take a patient load. This allows them to be free to help the rest of staff. Some of them use this time to slack off and socialize, most however, use this time to be an excellent resource. I work nights and have few resources at my finger tips.

    The other night was a nightmare. I had a blood transfusion that was needed STAT, I had a mess of a patient coming up from PACU right that minute, I had 3 other same day post ops to be seen and medicated for pain. All right at the start of shift. Now if I was the outgoing nurse I would have stayed and started the blood if nothing else. Now I know not all nurses will or are able to do this, but it would have helped immensely. Thank God for my charge nurse. She stepped up to the plate, helped with the blood, helped with getting my PACU tucked in, and even medicated one of my other 3 patients who was in pain.

    I still didn't get to sit down, go pee, or take a drink until 7 hours into my shift, buuuut I did survive and so did all of my patients.
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from xoemmylouox
    Now if I was the outgoing nurse I would have stayed and started the blood if nothing else.
    ...and then you would have gotten a stern "talking to" about getting out on time by the people who decided to schedule one nurse for every three nurses needed.
  4. by   xoemmylouox
    Good point, however this floor typically does not force that issue unless it is an excessive issue.
  5. by   canoehead
    If you speak up to your charge, and give her tasks...like admit the PACU patient and do initial assessment, they will be more likely to help. Some don't, but the good ones want to help when their hard workers are overwhelmed. Remember that the charge may have just gotten her own disaster report, you gotta speak up. If you ask for help, and don't get it, you have a leg to stand on when someone complains about not getting fresh ice water.
  6. by   AvaRose
    HA..the charge nurses 99% of the time are desk nurses. They whine and cry if they ever have to have a patient or even help with a patient. Half the time I can't even get them to answer a question, like today when I asked how to fix a patient's IV and they didn't answer which led to me following a coworker's advice and making a major med error that required a MIDAS report and got me written up. I'll never ask that charge nurse a question again, or most of my coworker's for that matter. I'll have to look up policies and procedures for everything even if it makes med pass take 2x as long.
  7. by   CardiacDork
    Quote from AvaRose
    HA..the charge nurses 99% of the time are desk nurses. They whine and cry if they ever have to have a patient or even help with a patient. Half the time I can't even get them to answer a question, like today when I asked how to fix a patient's IV and they didn't answer which led to me following a coworker's advice and making a major med error that required a MIDAS report and got me written up. I'll never ask that charge nurse a question again, or most of my coworker's for that matter. I'll have to look up policies and procedures for everything even if it makes med pass take 2x as long.
    When you said fix a patients IV, I thought you meant their IV catheter. I'm guessing you mean the IV solution/IV medication? I'm sorry to hear you made a major medication error. I personally have come to learn who is the nurse that will guide you via the handbook, and who will guide you via the efficient way. It's up to you to discern what modifications and "tricks of the trade" are appropriate and which are not okay. If you have to even second guess someones advice, then I would go with that gut feeling.

    I feel yah on med pass. I'm not sure if you are a new nurse or new to this establishment but when I was a new nurse, I looked everything up until I had nothing new to look up, or very far in between.
  8. by   AvaRose
    Yes it was the medication not the actual IV itself. It was Potassium that was running which is why I never want to administer IV Potassium again (if they can swallow they are getting the capsules if I can at all help it). I'm pretty much to the point where I don't even want to go back to work since I could have easily killed my patient. I actually tried to resign at the end of my shift last night but our new DON wouldn't let me, instead he wrote me up for the error and is going to put me on an action plan to "see if I still have potential as a nurse"...even he doesn't really think I can do this and I don't blame him. Who knows why he wouldn't just let me quit instead of making work even more miserable by basically putting me back in some kind of intensive retraining.

close