I can't stop crying... need encouragement...

  1. I work at a long term care facility on the 11-7 shift, and tonight's shift has been a nightmare. I am the only RN in the building with 156 residents and 5 LPNs. Any emergency or crisis is my responsibility, and tonight has been nothing but. I'm at work right now and I only have aminute but since I don't want to leave my office until I can stop crying, I wanted to go ahead and post (I also don't have a workign computer at home so please forgive if after 7am or 8am I don't respond again until Sunday night...

    We have had SIX falls tonight. Count 'em, SIX! Including one where the poor man broke his hip. Another sweet LOL fell asleep on her bedside commode (she never called for assistance to get on it or we would have helped her on it and stayed in the room with her until she was finished) and pitched forward, striking her forehead on the floor and opening it up. The other four were minor, all cases where the resident did not call for assistance before getting up, and the alertmates went off when they fell. In addition to that, I went into one of my favorite little lady's room (she was recently put on Hospice care d/t failing health) and found her with a pool of blood next to her head where it was running out of her mouth, I called her hospice nurse and family and she doesn't look like she's going to make it through the shift... I am so overwhelmed right now and I can't let my staff see me crying, I have to keep it together somehow... the most falls I have ever had on my shift was two.

    I don't know what to do... I feel so incredibly sad right now...
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  2. 90 Comments

  3. by   HONEYBEAR
    Lori,
    I am so sorry you have had such a terrible night. I also work in a LTC facility, and when it rains it pours.....the most falls I have had on my shift is 4....and that drove me to tears......b/c on the 11-7 shift we do not have a supervisor..it is me and another nurse who works the other wing, and that is it.
    Let us know how things are going...when are you on duty again? Remember cya....document, document, document.
    And your All nurses buddies are always here for a shoulder to cry on.
  4. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Thank you Honeybear... I am here until 7am normally but this morning will probably be here far later, since I still have to do all the paperwork concerning the falls and the sweet lady who is dying... I don't work Fridays or Saturdays, so I will be back to work Sunday at 2300... I just can't seem to pull myself together. How did you handle the four fall shift that drove you to tears?
  5. by   luvltc
    Lori,

    So sorry you are having a rough night.

    We are all here for you to cry on. Hope things get better.

    Sending lots of hugs your way!
  6. by   oxyjen
    All I can say is I sympathize. What a horrible night. It isn't your fault, Take your minutes to cry out this frustration and day shift will be there soon to help you in any way they can.
  7. by   HONEYBEAR
    Lori,
    Like you I was at work until 10am finishing up the paperwork on those falls..........I was able to talk to my DON that morning also and that really helped. Two of my falls were preventable....1 pt had been left on the toilet so long she decided to try and walk back to bed without assistance......luckily there were no broken bones........but I was livid at the STNA who was assigned to her.......many complaints in the past on this STNA.....after the investigation, and I feel from the family pushing at the facilty this STNA was let go.......I must say that 95% of the STNA's that I work with are wonderful. At times you cannot help the falls that happen, these pts are going to climb, and do their own thing even with all the bed/chair alarms on......to me once you hear an alarm it is usually to late the pt is already attempting to be mobile, and that is when they are found on the floor.
    Just remember you can only be in one place at a time, try not to beat yourself up. Have a good cry, I know it always helps me.
  8. by   Jessy_RN
    Wow, that's a lot of patients. You have lots on your plate. Will be praying for you and hope you never experience anything like this again.
  9. by   Cute_CNA
    I am sorry you have had such a weight to put on your shoulders. I don't think it's reasonable for that facility to endanger your license by giving you that much responsibility and additionally be expected to act strong during times like this.

    Something needs to change. Perhaps you could go somewhere else? Administration should already know what a danger it is. But I would definitely say something to them anyway. Aren't there any call lights around? How about CNAs? It would also be a good idea to educate all the patients, especially the ones who are pretty susceptible to falls, to ASK staff for help any time they need to ambulate for their own safety. Emphasize it!

    I'm glad you have a safe place to cry right now. :stone Sometimes crying helps you feel better.

    I would seriously consider first reporting the problem of understaffing, and then if nothing changes, find another place of employment.
  10. by   redwinggirlie
    Too little people for too many patients. Sorry you had a rough and sad night. Chin up. Talk with your manager, talk with your techs.... if someone's up and on the pot, so to speak.... someone should be there to help them off.
    I feel for you. I just can't imagine juggling your responsibility.
    Be well.
  11. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Thank you everyone for responding... it helped a great deal. When I finally was able to leave work that morning, I went home and ate brownie ice cream, watched Big Fish with DH, and slept pretty much all weekend long. I was exhausted. I do get overwhelmed by my responsibilities, and this is made worse by the fact that there has been no 3-11 supervisor for the past 8 weeks (they keep quitting because of the amount of work/responsibility) so I am having to do the RN paperwork and meds from that shift as well, plus all the admissions (try to do that at 3am with a confused woman). I called my DON Friday and told her I am about at the end of my rope. She promised to get me some help from day shift, but I won't hold my breath.
  12. by   Tweety
    I'm sorry I missed this post and didn't get to off you support then. Sounds like a very stressful job. I hope your DON appreciates your hard work.
  13. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    I wish you very many uneventful nights ahead.
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    Thank you everyone for responding... it helped a great deal. When I finally was able to leave work that morning, I went home and ate brownie ice cream, watched Big Fish with DH, and slept pretty much all weekend long. I was exhausted. I do get overwhelmed by my responsibilities, and this is made worse by the fact that there has been no 3-11 supervisor for the past 8 weeks (they keep quitting because of the amount of work/responsibility) so I am having to do the RN paperwork and meds from that shift as well, plus all the admissions (try to do that at 3am with a confused woman). I called my DON Friday and told her I am about at the end of my rope. She promised to get me some help from day shift, but I won't hold my breath.
  14. by   FranEMTnurse
    Oh sweetie,:kiss
    I'm sooo sorry. Sounds like Satan is working overtime against you. Here's a big shoulder to lean on, a bended ear for you to speak into, and a great big hug, hon. :icon_hug: Remember, we are a caring bunch. It's what we do. And if we don't care for and support one another, than nursing has gone down the tubes. You can PM me any time you'd like.

    :kiss Fran:redpinkhe
    Last edit by FranEMTnurse on Nov 21, '05

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