Help with solving a Patient Sitter Staffing problem - page 2

by DogWmn | 5,261 Views | 22 Comments

Right now I'm working as a patient sitter and we have 4 or 8 hour shifts, I work the 3-11 shift and all other staff works 12's. The problem being that the middle of my shift is 7p. I understand that is a problem, so when the... Read More


  1. 1
    If you're not getting breaks, you need to make yourself heard. Continue to fill out the time slips saying you didn't get a lunch if you didn't. This is the only way things will change. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    This needs to be brought up to HR. You need to be able to have a break. Another sitter could be a relief per diem and just come in and round to make sure everyone at least has dinner on each unit that has a sitter. Providing that no CNA's on any floor can come and relieve you. I would also make a plan with the Charge Nurse a the begining of the shift. If she can not help you, then the nursing supervisor on shift needs to figure it out. It is a tough gig sitting for hours on end. If the RN is coming in each hour to do an assessment and check on her patient, then would also be a time for a bathroom break. However, if RN is just not coming in, and figuring that you will call her if you need her, then that is an issue that needs to be remedied.
    hiddencatRN likes this.
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    I understand the lunch break might be difficult, as the nurses hardly ever get one themselves(Im speaking as a nurse), but the bathroom break thing is ridiculous-seriously, someone says they don't have time to give you a bathroom/snack break? Even as the charge. I think I could fit in sitting in the pt room for 5 minutes so you can go. wow.


    Where I am , if there are no techs, then the nurse assigned to that pt is responsible for you.Seriously, I'd be happy to have a 1:1 ;otherwise I'd be the one in the room anyway, not providing care to my other patients anyhow. Wow. Excuses!!

    I suppose if you are not getting any breaks, then I would report it to the staffing office.
    GrnTea likes this.
  4. 0
    I did go to staffing and got a less than positive response, since then I've not gotten any shifts even though there is a patient.
  5. 0
    How do you get a gig as a sitter? Is that something the hospital posts for on the usual recruiting page? Never seen a listing for one, but that sounds like a decent way for me to make some extra pesos while I'm in nursing school
  6. 0
    I am a sitter too and I usually have no problem. If I don't get my break before 7P, I just let the new CNA on shift know that I need my break and he/she gives me a break after they take vitals....so you can suggest that to the CNA. I remember my supervisor telling me if a staff member do not give me a break, to let him know right away. You can also talk to the charge nurse on the floor about this issue.
  7. 1
    I also used to do a lot of sitter assignments working as a Float Pool CNA, we were the first to get pulled to be sitter. I would ask the CNA in the unit at the beginning of your shift. If there is no CNA, I would suggest asking the patient's nurse, or the charge nurser, or give the Nursing Supervisor a call at the beginning of your shift to see if they can send someone out.

    Whenever the nurse comes in to do an assessment or give meds, simply tell her "While you are here I am going to take 5 minutes to go to the bathroom" and just start walking out. That's what I used to do and it forced them to stay in the room until I came back. I wouldn't recommend doing that for a 30 minute lunch break lol but they HAVE to let you go to the bathroom! There's no excuses to not allow that.
    jrwest likes this.
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    We sometimes have a "floating" sitter who goes around and relieves other sitters for lunch. But that's on a good day.
  9. 0
    It continues to be a problem, staffing is VERY low, often NO techs. By the time the RN comes around the first time it can be as late as 9:30 or 10. So that's 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours before the patient is even seen by a nurse after shift change. I do my best to work with the staff on scheduling a break but when I'm not seeing them until this late it is a problem. Often times I can't ring the bell as the patient is asleep and I would get chastized for waking them up as it is answered by the front desk via intercom.

    Hourly assessments...LOLOLOL. When I first started a year and 1/2 ago staffing levels were good, we now have new management and they have cut to the bone. Patient sitters in our hospital are considered "non-medical", so we are often ignored when staff comes into the room.

    I am continuing to put down no dinner break and it continues to **** off staffing management.

    Even getting a potty break is difficult and at 62 I just don't have the great bladder I used to.

    I really am trying to rack my brain for a solution that I can put forth and it all seems to boil down to low staffing and high census issues that are chronic.
  10. 0
    If you weren't getting your overtime for no meal breaks and you think they aren't calling you because you reported that to HR, call your state division of wages and hours and ask for their advice. I'll betcha they'll be on them like white on rice-- you can at least get W&H to send you something in writing that reinforces that law. You won't get any more shifts or time off, but you'll at least get OT when you deserve it.


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