I'm a day shift nurse. I usually handle 5 patients on days on a busy cardiac tele unit. On any given day shift, there are usually ten different tasks on 5 different patients, many more demanding family members with zillions of questions and demands, interns who sit around dreaming up new stat orders to write, never enough techs or techs who want to help, endless lines of little old ladies who need to visit the bathroom 10 times a day . . . managers who seem to rove around, checking out paperwork and whether you've fufilled each and every educational requirement scheduled.
...If I don't get to that ONE urine test, or that ONE timed blood draw ...can you just stop rolling your eyes for once and just HELP me make up the slack? Surely you've got at least a few free minutes at night to do this ...
I've worked nights, too. I know how it is . ..you get busy, too ...but you DON'T, I repeat, you DO NOT have to deal with what we do on days ...diets, tests, procedures,, and many more meds to give. It's likely I am NOT going to get it all done ...not w/ 5 demanding patients, NOT with discharges and admissions ...no way, no how. I am also NOT going to reach every doctor and solve every single problem all day long so YOU can have a "quiet" night and not have to call a doctor once in a while ....
Sorry -- know I'm going to be flamed for this ...but I just can't stand it anymore. Nurses need to work together and stop putting down their co-workers constantly for not completing every single freaking task in one shift.
Nursing is a 24 hour job and no shift is ever going to be perfect. That's the cold hard truth. There seems to be more of a divide and conquer mentality rather than a teamwork approach in many hospitals. Today in my ER one of the nurses I was giving report to refused to take report because I couldn't get an IV on one of my patients. The nurse made me wait until 1530 when they were able to get the IV before accepting report and wasn't happy that I was going to sign out and leave them with a task to do (I had just gotten the patient 5 minutes before change of shift, had gotten labs and urine but the pt's veins kept blowing). I'm sorry but I thought these tasks were the reasons we WANTED to be nurses - the thrill of getting that IV, the knowing the rationales for the interventions we perform, etc...I believe you do the best you can do for your patients within your shift. Take care of the critical things and task down from there. If you have to pass something on, so be it! We have all been there, done that, on both sides of the fence. Nursing isn't about having an easy shift, I think we all knew what we were getting into by entering into the healthcare field. It's a dirty and sometimes thankless experience. I NEVER get frustrated with nurses who can't leave me with a blank slate at the end of the shift (unless it's a habitual thing, which is a whole other story) and I never go into my shift expecting it to be easy or quiet, and I'm never disappointed that it never is.
Each shift has its own unique set of challenges. Days has all the things you mentioned above, but nights is filled with patients who tend to crump vs. seeming fine on the day shift, doctors who get angry when you wake them, residents who don't return pages and the only one above them is the doctor who gets angry that you woke them up, a full house and nowhere to put patients because you can't discharge them in the middle of the night, a lack of resources, less helping hands, so on so forth.
The debate can go on forever. The bottom line is we are all supposed to be on the same page. We're all in this together to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. We also experience stress and compassion fatigue together and need to take care of each other. I truly believe if there wasn't this battle of the shifts nursing morale would be much higher.
Last edit by NeoPediRN on Aug 29, '11