Where do you draw the line in finishing work that should have/could have been done on the previous shift? I can understand to a point, but when I get put behind several hours finishing up stuff the other shift didn't get to do (ie. tallying I&O's, etc.), it puts my shift's work behind too. Is this just the nature of nursing? Just wondering how other people handle this, or if I should get used to it.
Sep 20, '02
I usually make sure "all my ducks are in a row" before the next shift comes on. Especially stuff such as recording I & O's, VS recorded and so on. I don't think it is fair to leave that stuff to the oncoming shift. I have had in the past nurses who were notorious about not restarting IV sites, leaving dry bags, not completing an admission. If it becomes a problem, I will address it with them one on one. Fortunately, most of the nurses on our floor (all shifts) are great about not leaving unfinished business for the next shift. Have a couple though that need to be re-educated about finishing stuff. If it does become a major problem, our managers are pretty decent about addressing the situation. My pet peeves are nearly empty IV bags, and bad IV sites.
For pete's sake, if there is less than a 100 to count in the IV bag with an hour of the shift left, change the bag. And don't leave the questionable IV's. If it is bad, it is bad and needs changed. Period. Well, now that I have that off my chest back to the question at hand. No, I would not get use to it. Ask your managers how they would like it if the previous shift left stuff undone. (I bet none of them work the floor anymore, correct?) Document it. Kind of hard to argue when it is documented. Good luck and hang in there. No one can take advantage of you without your permission.
Last edit by deespoohbear on Sep 21, '02
Sep 20, '02
To tell you the truth, if the previous shift didn't chart VS, I/O, do their nurses notes it becomes their problem, not yours. I certainly have enough to do without having to do their charting too. I believe in "team nursing," but when it gets to the point where you're always doing their "leftovers" it then becomes "sucker nursing." I personally used to do previous shift work, but not anymore! When the Doc is looking for VS from evening shift and they're not there, he/she runs to the NM and tells on them. The staff then hears about it from NM. I can't be worried about them anymore b/c there's just too much to do. I can just about get my own work done in 8 hours. (Wish we had 12's some days) Besides, a responsible person will see that every VS is charted and every note is written even if they have to stay over to finish their work.
Last edit by night owl on Sep 20, '02
Sep 21, '02
There is a difference between appropriately turning over the shift at the point left off and leaving unnecessary work for the oncoming shift. It is this second situation that is addressed in the first post. As a nurse or CNA gains experience, they learn to determine what was deliberately not finished and what is legitimately the stopping point of the previous shift. Prime example in LTC: NOC shift nurse arrives 20 min prior to start of shift and notices: CNA's scurrying out of rooms where they leave the chairs, blankets, and pillows they were using in front of the TV set the sleeping resident is paying no attention to, and a check of the resident's condition reveals urine, feces stains that have "rings" and are starting to dry. You can figure out who has not been attended to more than two hours prior to the end of shift. The nurse, finds six dislodged Foleys and residents lying in drying puddles of urine (some coincidence that it happened right at 10 minutes to 11PM for six different residents!) The offgoing nurse tells the oncoming nurse absolutely nothing about any dislodged Foleys she didn't have time to correct. Walk into a room, find an expired resident. Well, how far into the previous shift did he/she expire and the offgoing asst or nurse did not even check or better yet they knew and pulled a fast one on you because you hear through the CNA grapevine that they knew he/she was expired? There are many more obvious examples. With experience, you can learn to determine what is legitimately left. A dead giveaway: when the offgoing personnel can not get something done or even started, they have the professionalism to inform you about the situation in report. They own up to it. There is no deliberate leaving of "surprises".
In Eastclif's post: my background is LTC, there are parallel scenarios, although not as critical. Requiring one shift to start taking on tasks previously reserved for the next time frame, such as getting people out of bed and bathing them at 4AM so day shift has less to do. Is it appropriate to expose someone to showering and shampooing at 4AM? Not hardly. Toying with pt abuse, if you ask me. Listen to them scream and cry as it happens. Particularly when someone comes down with pneu and everyone wonders why. DON's rationale (she is the proponent of this) "They don't know the difference between night and day anyway".
A smaller example: if it is the resp of NOC shift to tally I & O totals, how can this be done when the majority of the entries from the other shift(s) are blank? All it takes is a simple "Hey Sue I didn't get time to get to the I & O's this evening, can you try to find the time?" is all it takes.
Cheerfuldoer eloquently states how it should be from shift to shift, unfortunately what is being addressed here is when individuals deliberately slack off and cause more work for their co-workers on other shifts. There must be supervisory intervention to insure that smooth turn over takes place and a few conscientious employees are not allowed to be dumped upon by those who don't care to do their fair share.
Last edit by caliotter3 on Sep 21, '02