Is there a slower paced floor to work at in the hospital?

  1. 0 I'm working in med/surg now and it seems crazy but i'm overwhelmed most days. I'm a new grad but maybe this just means nursing is not for me however I really love it. Do you have a suggestion of a slower paced floor? I never get out on time at the end of the day because I have so much charting, but sometimes I have to get help to finish some tasks at the end of the day and this is not how I want to live my life anymore. should i try a smaller hospital would that make a difference?
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  3. Visit  *Butterfly8*} profile page

    About *Butterfly8*

    Joined Apr '09; Posts: 24.

    19 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Pepper The Cat} profile page
    7
    I work in Rehab. We still work very hard - its a physically demanding area -but we are a bit slower paced than an acute care floor. Our pts tend to be more medically stable than on med/surg.

    Is there a chronic floor at your hospital? That also tends to be slower paced - and you'll get a great learning experience as chronic units tend to have pts with trachs, ulcers and g-feeds.

    Or you could just hang on to where you are - as a new grad it takes at least 6 months - 1 year to find your bearings, learn time mangement and organizational skills.
  5. Visit  MBARNBSN} profile page
    3
    another floor and/or a smaller hospital will not make a difference. what will make a difference is the amount of time you remain working in that environment so that you get better. over time you will increase your speed related to tasks and charting. if you quit now, you will not get better. on the other hand, if you are in a toxic environment and/or you have an opportunity to work outside of the hospital setting to pursue another nursing interest, then leave immediately! gl!
    RNJin, bisson, and Skeletor like this.
  6. Visit  iNurseUK} profile page
    2
    Specialist always beats out general. Try for Oncology, Renal, Cardiac, Plastics....whatever floats your boat. These specialities are busy but in a different way. They have a specialised skill base which I find easier to handle than a broader generalised ward.
    WindyhillBSN and Skeletor like this.
  7. Visit  NoviceRN10} profile page
    1
    You might try surgical. I would stay away from cardiac. That is the worst unit I get floated to, a lot going on with the pts.
    jrwest likes this.
  8. Visit  eriksoln} profile page
    0
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    I work in Rehab. We still work very hard - its a physically demanding area -but we are a bit slower paced than an acute care floor. Our pts tend to be more medically stable than on med/surg.

    Is there a chronic floor at your hospital? That also tends to be slower paced - and you'll get a great learning experience as chronic units tend to have pts with trachs, ulcers and g-feeds.

    Or you could just hang on to where you are - as a new grad it takes at least 6 months - 1 year to find your bearings, learn time mangement and organizational skills.
    I was going to suggest this too, but feared backlash from the rehab nurses.

    But honestly, to the OP: I had a friend who had a terrible first experience coming out of school. Worked on a trauma unit with some very vicious nurses. Needless to say, she became stressed out and quit. She also was questioning if nursing was for her at all. She ended up getting a job on a rehab unit at a very good hospital. It matched her personality so well.......she is not charge nurse there for the evening shift.

    Anyway, the way she describes rehad nursing sounds less chaotic than the usuall M/S job.
  9. Visit  eriksoln} profile page
    1
    Quote from NoviceRN10
    You might try surgical. I would stay away from cardiac. That is the worst unit I get floated to, a lot going on with the pts.
    See, I've worked at on "surgical only" unit, and it was hectic. Worse than a M/S unit. You'd walk in, D/C 4 of your 5 patients, get 4 new patients in 2-3 hours...........then that very evening/night 4 of your 5 patiens are going to the OR and most return (with many OR orders written) before you leave (talking about a 12 hr shift).

    I loved that unit, and certainly, not every day was like this, but some were.

    I guess the point is................same unit/different hospital = completely different experience.

    I can tell OP I think this or that about certain specialties, but it could be a completely different story at her hospital than mine. At my hospital, Rehab should be avoided at all costs because the manager is not AOx3 (amongst other personality disorders). Now, at other hospitals, rehab is where a lot of people want to be.
    TheMoonisMyLantern likes this.
  10. Visit  TheMoonisMyLantern} profile page
    0
    Some surgical floors tend to be a little less hectic on night shift. This certainly isn't ALWAYS the case but from my experience usually it's a little less stressful than working a medical floor.

    But I would suggest trying to hang in there, when you're new ANY floor is going to be overwhelming until you get the hang of it.
  11. Visit  Pepper The Cat} profile page
    9
    Quote from eriksoln
    I was going to suggest this too, but feared backlash from the rehab nurses.

    .
    No backlash here. I like rehab because its not crazy busy! However, I do think that some ER and ICU nurses do not realize exactly how hard we work. We had an ER nurse transfer to our unit because she wanted a break from ER. She lasted a month. Went back to ER. Said we worked much harder than she thought - in fact, too much physical work for her! LOL.

    I think one of the biggest problems with the nursing profession is that we tend to think that if you don't work in one of the "intense" areas (ER, ICUs) then you must be either a)lazy, b)stupid or c)both.

    Another suggestion OP - see if you can shadow on other units (on your own time) just to see if a slower paced unit is what you need, or if you just need to work on your time management skills.
    Orange Tree, MBARNBSN, casi, and 6 others like this.
  12. Visit  sunnycalifRN} profile page
    11
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    *clip*
    I think one of the biggest problems with the nursing profession is that we tend to think that if you don't work in one of the "intense" areas (ER, ICUs) then you must be either a)lazy, b)stupid or c)both.

    *clip*
    My observation has been that every unit thinks that all other units have it easy. For example, med-surg thinks that ICU nurses just sit around filing their nails with their two patients and conversely, ICU thinks that med-surg does the same with their walkie-talkie patients.

    The reality is that ALL nurses work their ***'s off!
  13. Visit  jen33336} profile page
    1
    I disagree that moving to a smaller/private hospital and or staying longer will help. I spent 4 years on an acute organ transplant and trauma surgery floor and it never got better. I switched last summer to adult psychiatry, a floor with 8 beds reserved for eating disorder patients. It is MUCH easier and slower paced. I never thought I would like this sort of unit but I can't believe I get paid the same!
    WindyhillBSN likes this.
  14. Visit  bisson} profile page
    0
    med surg is crazy, but trust me, you get used to it, especially since youre a new grad. even if you were on a specialty floor, youd go home crying because youd feel like you couldnt do it, like you dont know anything. not true, it just takes time to get used to it.

    i started out in med surg as a new grad. i had 8-12 patients, often time geriatric patients, who had 20 meds each, then you had to feed it to them, they're confused, they're lonely and you want to spend time with them, they're trying to get out of bed and falling. i wanted to quit every single day. but months went by and before you knew it, i had my own routine, i managed my time well, i had great critical thinking skills, everything i learned in school finally started to make sense.

    med surg is hectic. nights are slower, of course, because there are less people/ phone calls distracting you from your work. but trust me, once you get into your grove and you develop your own style and routines you will feel more confident and manage your time better.
  15. Visit  Wise Woman RN} profile page
    2
    Again, no backlash here.. I work in acute rehab, and have for close to 20 years. I feel that if you have never worked in a rehab unit in a hospital, that saying it's slower paced and more relaxed reinforces the thought that it's easy. Yes, our patients are "medically stable," or at least they are supposed to be on admission per medicare regs, but in truth, many times they are not.
    Also, with the new regs, ortho patients are more often referred to subacute units. The patients that we admit have many medical comorbities, and can fall into the "unstable" group within minutes or hours. But because of the general view of rehab being less intense and "more relaxed," the powers that be staff us with less than the staff we need to accomplish what we need to accomplish.
    We have no unit secretary. There is a central unit coordinator that we can fax orders to, and they enter them, but we still need to go back to check, so it isn't a time saving thing for us. We have paper charting, so, lacking a secretary, nurses are printing the forms for the chart, then putting the chart together, prior to doing the admission, which, on a good day with a super efficient nurse, takes 2.5 hours. Discharges are similar. After printing out all the discharge forms, filling them out, going over them and the med sheets with the patient, we copy them. The chart gets one copy, the patient gets one copy, and one copy goes to the nurse that does follow up calls. We fax the discharge info to the home health care or subacute facilities.
    Our patients are up and dressed every morning, and eat at the dining table in the middle of the unit. Many require 1:1 assistance. Many require two people to transfer to and from bed and wheelchair. We have nurse's aides, but they cannot be expected to perform all of the transfers, answer all of the callbells, dress all of the patients, etc. etc. Team work is essential here.
    Consistently, if we need more help because of the medical and functional acuity of our patients, we are told, "sorry, the medical units need the staff."
    I think that the general idea is that our job is easier because the patients are all in therapy, so we can sit around and play on the computer. Not so. The patients are all scheduled at different times, so at no time is the unit empty of patients.
    We don't use bedpans. Every patient is assisted to the bathroom for elimination, every time, even if it's the LOL who has to go every twenty minutes and needs 2 people to assist with clothes and hygiene, or the patient that has to be transferred with a lift and assist of 2.
    Time is the thing that we need to assist the patients in achieving increased functional ability, but, because the thought is that rehab is easy, time is what we are not allowed to have. Rehab is not task-driven. Most of our patients have, in effect, lost their lives, and their families have lost the mother, father, or other family member that they knew and loved, and need to learn how to adapt to the devastating effect of the loss of function that has occurred.
    That is what is the driving force of a rehab nurse, the education and support given to patient and family members. It's not getting the vital signs, passing the meds, doing the dressing change, changing the catheter, or flushing the ports, although we do those things, it's providing opportunities for practicing skills learned in therapy, for families to learn how to care for the tubes and lines after discharge, how to care for a family member who might not be the same cognitively that they were, and to give hope to patients and families after the loss of life as they knew it.
    I'm not saying that the nurses in the other units don't provide the knowledge and support that we do. I'm just saying that when they are in the general hospital, the patients are in the bed. I don't know of any area of hospital nursing that is "easy," and we nurses in all areas have to acknowledge the expertise of our peers in their respective specialties, and how hard we all work.
    pedicurn and qt_rn like this.


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