I'm a "floating" RN... sometimes I feel useless...

  1. Okay, after reading this, tell me if you've ever been in a similar situation...

    I'm currently working for an agency, and I primarily work in an inpatient psych facility. I was given a week of general orientation (classroom stuff), and then only two nights of orientation before I was "set free". Basically this is because I'm agency; the facility doesn't want to pay for agency nurses to have the full orientation, which is understandable.

    I was told that I would never be the charge RN on the unit to which I am assigned (I float from unit to unit), and so far that has been the case. However, let me use my last night of work as an example... besides myself, there was another RN (charge), an LPN, and 4-5 MHA's. The charge RN didn't need me to do any assessments... the LPN was checking MARs and giving meds and doing finger sticks. What I ended up doing all night, was one treatment.. I sat with a patient for a little while... I did a couple of bi-hourly rounds... I helped do vital signs...

    I felt like I really didn't DO much, and certainly didn't do hardly any RN work. It seems like it is going to be like this everytime I work. I guess I'm there to help the other RN, and certainly provide relief for the other staff on the unit.. and that's certainly fine... I'm just so not used to this type of role. I'm used to being in charge, and working my rear end off on strictly RN type work... assessments, care plans, charting, supervising...

    With this job, sometimes I feel like I'm not DOING anything. It's an uncomfortable feeling!

    It's not a bad job so far and I suppose I'll get used to this new role eventually...

    And let me clarify, there's nothing wrong, to me, with helping my MHA's do things such as sit with patients, do vital signs, and what have you. There's nothing wrong with that at all! It just feels... strange. Here I am, an RN, getting paid RN wages; I feel like I should be doing more RN work, and I'm paranoid after my last job/experience. I'm paranoid that I'm going to get in trouble, and asked never to come back... for not doing enough!
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  3. by   xtxrn
  4. by   TriciaJ
    When you're a nurse who's used to running your butt off, it's hard to not feel guilty when you have a lighter load. Just ask everyone at regular intervals if they need help with anything or if there's anything you should be doing. You'll soon earn a reputation for being a worker even if there's not much work.

    If no one needs anything done, just smile to yourself and think "Easy money".
  5. by   carolmaccas66
    Welcome to agency work. I think what u have posted is why I feel so bored and frustrated lately - I can't access any extra training thru my agency at all, and I got treated as 'just another employee' today. It has ruined my whole day.
    But I'm pretty hard-headed and grounded, so I've already applied for other jobs.
    I always ask other staff for help when I'm in this position. Some nights, I get to spend more time talking to my patients (after checking work is done, asking others if they need help, etc). It's nice to have that extra time and, since I work a lot of psych, it's very important to sit & listen to patients & their concerns.
    You have to realise that sometimes you are called in cos you cover people on their breaks, are there to double-check narcs and other duties only RNs can do.
    If u have extra time, talk to the patients - they will really appreciate you! Taling & listening to people's fears/concerns is REALLY underestimated in our society; I had one nurse say to me one night that I was 'wasting my time' talking to a patient who was very upset about something. Told the other nurse that IS part of my job in psych!
    I am so sick of agency nursing now though - I feel like I can't stretch my wings, so I've applied for a few other jobs today in more secure places.
    I'm used to being in charge, & I don't get many assignments like that now, so I have had to learn to bite my tonuge to a certain extent. But there are positives as well - you can take books etc to work and do some extra learning too.
    Good luck hope u find it's all worthwhile in the end.
  6. by   classicdame
    talk to the RN about more duties if that is what you want. I wonder how they justify a second RN in this situation.
  7. by   KeepItRealRN
    These the truths I have learned from agency nursing

    Last edit by KeepItRealRN on Nov 1, '11
  8. by   NurseCard
    Thanks RNforyears...

    I'm basically in the position that I'm in because I was having a hard time finding a job and needed to start working NOW. I like what I'm doing because it does seem much easier, and it's flexible; I work when I can and when I want to.

    I definitely do not want to do it forever though, and hope to find something better before too too terribly much longer...