Helping the goof offs

  1. As soon as I get to work, I like to get report, start seeing all my patients, check off the charts, and start passing meds as ordered. During these first several hours, I don't dilly dally around just in case something more time consuming pops up that could put me behind. (Sometimes things will happen anyway to put you behind though.) Well, trying to stay organized and get my work done in a timely manner is starting to seem more like punishment for not dragging my feet as some do. Since I'm often the first to be caught up, I end up getting asked to go do things constantly for other nurses' patients because I'm the only one already starting their charting and all the other nurses/techs are busy with patients. I do NOT mind helping out and do prefer to stay busy. But if the other nurses and techs wouldn't spend so much time after report and in between everything else talking, they'd be caught up too (most of the time). Some of these times it feels like I get taken advantage of for using my time wisely. It's like I not only take care of my patients, but everyone else's too sometimes. But when I am caused to get behind, where's everyone else when I would like some help? They're too busy with their patients.

    Last night, for example, just because I was caught up, I was asked by the charge nurse to take someone else's admission. I took them, got all the info entered into the computer (after assessing the patient, of course), checked off the orders, got the blood transfusion started, etc. THEN, the nurse who was supposed to originally take that patient asked if she could now take that patient and me take the next admission. I just laughed at her as I said NO THANK YOU! It's one thing to try and help her out by taking the admission while she was busy with another patient. But don't think I'm going to do all the work and then give them up after doing all the work no one else wants to do, only to have to take another one.

    When no one else is in the nurses station, the CCT (secretary/monitor tech) is always asking me to go help so-n-so to the bathroom, check their leads, take them water, see why their IV is beeping, etc because the nurse/tech is helping someone else. But then doesn't ask someone else to help with my patients while I'm in someone else's room. Instead, she'll call in that room and tell me to go check my patient.

    Thanks for letting me vent! Really, I don't mind helping. But dang it, don't take advantage of me and keep me running for everybody else because I didn't goof off at the beginning. I do have charting of my own to do too, ya know?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   LeahJet
    Is there any way you can chart somewhere else? Like maybe put the nurse's notes part of the chart on a clipboard and take to a pt's room. Preferably a pt. that is sleeping or "out of it".
    This way, you are in a pt's room and not so available.

    I totally know where you're coming from. When I worked the floor long ago, I ran into this problem too. You begin to resent it after a while. You basically get punished for being efficient and organized.
  4. by   Lacie
    I used to have the same issue when working telemetry step-down. It was a 29 bed unit so I would do as the previous poster mentioned and find a room where the pt was just out of it and do my charting with a light pen. It seemed sometimes the only way I could get any charting done without being interrupted. I would let the unit clerk know where I was though and why as if something was to go wrong they shouldnt have to search out the unit to find you to tend to your own pts. Also when I was a NCM I frequently encountered this issue with my staff and periodically did give short inservices related to time management to touch on these very issues regarding bogging your co-workers down. Maybe suggest a time management inservice to your manager.
  5. by   mercyteapot
    Don't you ever feel like the squirrel in the story that collected all their acorns for winter and then had to share them with the squirrels who just goofed around all summer? I feel that way at work a lot these days.
  6. by   GardenDove
    These are the same people who in nursing school wanted to copy your homework because they didn't have time to do the work due to having been 'busy' with their boyfriend the night before. They seem to think that socializing at the nurses station is the main goal at their day.
  7. by   gentle
    scrn1,

    thank you for venting. I have been one of those goofballs - uh goof offs on occassion. Then at other times, I am the one who gets run wild by everyone else. Can you please help me start or do . . . ? Our staff is very nice and they do help me by doing one of my tasks, which usually only takes 5-7 minutes tops. I on the other hand am doing a procedure which takes 15minutes at least. Oh my feet hurt these days.

    And then the teaching!!! Heck, my discharge teaching is involved. I don't just send someone out the door. I gave 7 handouts for my buddy's last discharge. Oh, wait. . . . .

    AHHHHH, that's better. I just got my eyes to rotate back down toward the computer screen.

    Anyway, I apologize for being one of those goof offs. Hope it helps to hear that we do indeed get big time payback. Oh dear . . my eyes, its hard to see. I am typing with my eyes closed. wait .. Okay, I need to go.
  8. by   PurrRN
    Hmmmmm, I'm having trouble figuring out whether Gentle is trying for sarcasm or falling asleep at the computer.

    In my opinion team player shouldn't equal team doormat.
  9. by   RunningWithScissors
    There are some nurses who will suck the living life out of you. They never can seem to get anything done, are always running behind, etc.

    Avoid them like the plague. You will end up doing all their work and they will run you into the ground. I agree with the previous posters, go hide somewhere and do your charting. It's no worse than what these other nurses are doing to you!
  10. by   gonzo1
    scrn1, You need to learn how to look busy even when you are not. By being organized you have earned the right to some down time. Perhaps you could find little things to do in your pts rooms, or just round more often, that way you might not be so easy to find. Also be sure to share your organizational skills with anyone needing them because some of those goof off nurses might just not knkow how to work smarter. I am always trying to role model off the better nurses I work with.
    Enjoy the fruits of your labor and don't be so easy to find.
  11. by   KIAN
    SCRN1, Thank-you for putting the patient first. Sometimes the goof-offs forget this. I know it doesn't help your frustration any but, the patient that you helped with appreciates that you were there for them. Keep up the good (excellant) work.
  12. by   Aprilmist_99
    I used to work with a bunch of goof offs and did my work AND theirs. I did not get any extra compensation, and they didn't get any less. So...I started to report their behaviors and lack of finishing their duties..I am an RN and they were LPN's...5 of them...banded together...don't get me wrong, I'm not picking on LPN's at all...just this tight group who bullied their way around things. Long story short...I WAS ASKED TO LEAVE!!...talk about not fair...Management said it was easier to get rid of one (me) rather than five (them). That was really tough. Went through a lot of turmoil losing all my residents at one time, having good people wander what I "did". Tough times made me tougher and realize just how bad management really was there. I am now in a much better place, and those friends and family who DID believe in me...still do...and comfort me more than they know when THEY tell me how unfair the situation was.

    What did I learn? Take care of myself no matter what. If those LPN's or any other member of the team goofs off...I don't worry about it..That seems callous...but the low down is this: The resident will complain or their family will and then those that are goofing around will get in trouble. Still isn't fair to the co workers or even the residents...but isn't it sad management doesn't listen when the charge nurse reports in an appropriate manner...and she's the one who gets cut down at the knees?
  13. by   ZootRN
    I remember once sitting at the nurses station, gulping my lunch, and another nurse was charting. CNA approached her and said her patient is on call light. She turned around and asked me to check on her patient. I left my lunch and came back with the news that her patient wants her diaper to be changed. She asked me: So why didn't you change it? I was a very new nurse at the time, and I left my lunch again and changed her patient's diaper. But from that day on I also made sure to take my meal breaks in cafeteria, four floors down. If her charting was important to her, my food was even more important to me, and those of us who work 12 hours straight without being able to sit down probably know exactly what I mean.
  14. by   Antikigirl
    I have my patiented "Don't you EVEN" look that I can use for just such occasions! However, it only works because I am known for helping out whenever I can...and when I get that look...it means I am burried and trying to dig out! Takes time knowing eachother on the floor for that to work...but I have rarely had to say no to helping (cause that hurts me, I like to help because I know I will need it next!).

    When unit secretaries start paging me like nuts for things CNA's or another RN can do...I talk to them right away. I don't complain (or try not to...not their probelm!), but I ask them to please ask what the patient needs and get a person accordingly since I am running more than getting things done to a stopping point. My US know me, know I respect them and help them too...typcially it stops right away...or slows down.

    Just last night I got paged 3 times in 15 minutes as I was doing a blood transfusion (we monitor for 15 minutes with VS machine watching for reactions..have to be in the room for that entire time). I was getting angry since I hit the call light and explained this each time...I said "as soon as I am done I will get right up to the desk and be happy to hear my messages because I can NOT leave this room right now". GRRRRRRR!

    OH man...one time this happened and the US said "it is a doctor on the line for you"...now I know you must answer those, but I was busy...so I laughed and said "tell him I am in surgery..I will call him back" (it was a surgeon I know well). Guess he laughed too because he heard me, and I called him back in 3 minutes! LOL! Don't try that at home folks..LOL, but that was fun!

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