Here I am, it has been 6 days, since I have been off of orienation, I am disgusted. I took boards yesterday, keeping fingers crossed, but actually I'm a little worried about having the RN title, because that means more things that I have to do. Which that would be no problem, besides the fact that today alone I had a 9 patient assignement! Come on 9 patients? A experienced seasoned nurse shouldnt be taking care of 9 patients. I am a new graduate with 6 days under my belt, by myself. We are on a med-surge unit specializing in orthopedics and gynecology, due to the recent close of our OB/Gyne floor that is our newest addtion. My head is spinning, I cant keep up, I am trying like heck to get everythign that needs to be done, but I am not even coming close, I do not feel that it is my inability to do things quickly, I am moving at a very quick pace but, here is the question i pose, Why is it that a new graduate nurse or any nurse for that matter should have to take care of 9 patients on a daylight shift? Why do we allow these things to happen. I am curious to know from the California RN's how the patient:staff ratio is working out, does it work to have mandatory Ratios? Make no mistake it was not an easy patient assignent load either, I had 2 patients on complete bed rest, which were complet cares, I had 4 post ops, which besides PCA's, Foleys, dressing changes, and routine meds, have to be down for Physical Therapy twice a day. Also you have all your routine meds, pain management for the other patients, I was lucky if I say 2-3 of my patients once in the 9 1/2 hours I was there, and that was to give them there medications and give them a very brief once over, which is complety inadeuquate, but what are you to do... I was still passing medications at noon, of course no breaks, no lunch, and the 2 RNs, and Myself along with the LPN whom which all carried the same load today were sinking. We have a charge nurse who was taking off orders ect, and another RN that got mandted due to not having a unit secretary. Another RN came out at 11 to take over for the mandated night shift nurse. Why are these things happening, I feel fortunate enough that I am able to keep my cool and keep moving and doing the best job I can do. I feel that this is such a joke, and such an inadequate way to do nursing, THIS IS NOT WHAT THIS PROfESsion is about , I feel like im doing TURBO nursing. You walk in the room, and are trying to keep moving you cant talk to the pateitns, your in their for only 5-10minutes at the most, how are the pateints getting good care, why is our patients not getting excellent care! Why are we not able to do what we are taught a nurse is suppose to do? Doctors are coming in and out writing orders that you come and find or are told about 2-3 hours later. You simply dont have time, I did not sit down today, until 4pm 1/2 hour after I should be on my way home, I sit down to chart, and try to look at my hands my papers, and sort through and see who had what going, and what I need to chart, I finish that after about 45minutes, and I am not satisfied with it, but hey its 5:15, I am exausted my feet ache. One of my co-workers come to me and says, do you have heart burn yet? Dont worry you'll get it, and turns to our other co-worker and asks what do you take, prilosec or protonix? I sit and wonder to myself, they are serious aren't they? This is so sad. I love this profession, I love what a nurse is suppose to do, I want to help people and I want to go to work everyday and do the best job I can possibly do but this is rediculous, I am managing for the moment but I do not know how long this will last, until it catches up to me. I knew this was a tough profession, and that is one of the reasons I got into it becuase I wanted a challanging profession, BUT i didnt want a unsafe, tiresome, work yourself into the ground, barley remember your patients names at the end of the day. On account of HIPPA, I can not paint a complete picture of my patient assignment, but believe me when I say, It was definitly not an assignment anyone should have. My manager and charge nurse, knew it was bad they were trying to help, I can't complain about my co-workers, they try as hard as they can to help you, but they have 9 patients a piece, and their own problems to worry about, I cant blame them for not being a little annoyed, but again why is this happening?
I know this is not new, I know this is not a new concept, I also know this is happening all over the US. I just am very disgusted. My question to all of you out there is, WHat can we do to change this? Or has anyone encountered this at their hospital or facility and took a stand and decided to do something about it? I know that my co-workers want these things to change, but nobody knows what to even do about it. We dont even have time to think about it, we cant even stop for a moment to think, wereway to busy trying to give our patients 1/10th of the care that they deserve. Were doing our best, I am doing my best. I just cant keep asking myself WHY, and What can I do to make a change?