No patience yesterday, now I feel like crap

  1. It was my 3rd day working as a contract for a small, but busy hospital.

    It was a 12 hour shift, and I was on my feet for 10 hours, the other 2 hours remaining I sat down from time to time to chart.

    I had 13 Pt's when I came on, but then had 2 discharges in the late morning, which left me with 11 by the end of the day. One CNA, and just me. Things probably would have been fine had I had more help with the discharges. The paperwork was a disaster, but I made it and so did the Pt's that got to go home. They went home a little later than they hoped, but they were understanding.

    Yes, I called another nurse for help, and she came to help.....2 hours after I called her.

    Anyhow, by the time my shift had ended, and the next nurse was sitting there ready for report, I was still passing meds to 2 people. Of course, the med passes on all of these pt's was phenomenal. That morning alone, I must have passed at least 100 pills. Probably 60 for my last med pass. The dinner time meds were suppose to be done being passed by 17:30, and I was still passing them at 18:10, but sorry, I don't consider that to be too bad...and the nurse that I was to give report to wasn't upset.

    The reason why I was runing late wasn't b/c I was not organized...it was b/c many of the patients want me to "do this, do that, go get me this, I have to use the restroom." I am normally very apathetic, and I always "treat others like how I would want to be treated," but by the time my shift was ending, and I was still not done yet, and had another nurse waiting for report....I became very frustrated with one patient. God love her, she's 93 years old, and HOH, but very sharp. I gave her the dinner time meds, and she took them. She then told me that she needed fresh water b/c her water tastes stale. I told her I will be back with it, and when I returned, she started to tell me more stuff that she needed...I walked out as she was still talking, and I heard her say "Hey, don't you leave."

    But, I did. At the time, I was so upset by how my day went, that I just wanted to get done with my already late med pass, give report and go home (home is 1.5 hours away). I feel so badly that I am going to go to confess it to a priest. If someone walked away from my grandmother, I would be livid. I did it to someone elses grandmother.
    Last edit by raindrop on Dec 18, '05
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   HappyNurse2005
    Is this a hospital? Or LTC?
    11 patients????? That sounds insane.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    11 patients is an awful load in the hospital. NO wonder you feel so bad.
  5. by   honeyb111
    :icon_hug: Raindrop :icon_hug:

    You had a bad day, you were rushed, it was only your 3rd day etc.... You have to remember we're only human and can only do so much in 12 hours. You said this is a small hospital - you had 11 pts and only 1 CNA???? That's just insane right there even all the pts were stable. What you can do the next time is simply say that you're getting ready to go home but you will let the CNA or the nurse know what they need. That way you're not walking away from them but you can finish up your work and still make sure they're being taken care of.
  6. by   raindrop
    Thanks everyone. Yes, by the end of the day I had 11 patients in this hospital. One CNA, no unit clerk. I was stressed, but that is not the patients fault. She needed me, she needed something, and I ignored her. I really feel like a horrible person. I would probably die in my sleep tonight if I would have walked out like how I did, and then her try to get up on her own and fall and break a hip. I'm glad that wasn't the case, but thinking that it could have been is the reason why I will never do that again, no matter how busy I am. She was in her 90's, she desevres way more respect than what I gave. The reason why I didn't take the time to tell her I will have someone else help her is B/c she is sooooo HOH. It would have taken me 5 minutes before she understood what I was saying.

    The other end of the hospital has the ICU, 10 more med-sug rooms, and the ER. On this particular unit, there is only 2 nurses, and 1-2 CNA's. The nurse that has ICU also has the ER. The other nurse takes care of the 10 med-surg rooms. Then there is *my* hall, which is also med-surg. No tele though. On my hall, 14 is the maximum amount of pt's it can hold. It doesn't matter whether I have 13 or 5 pt's....I will be the only nurse, and I will only have 1 CNA.

    Small hospital, small town, but VERY busy. They do everything there....it isn't a "bandaid" center like how mst people dubb small hospitals. When I took the assignment, I thought it would be a breeeze, HA. I am learning more there than what I did working on the Burn ICU at a big hospital.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    rural nursing is so very challenging. Been there, done that. Hang in there, what can I say?
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    11 pts.??????
  9. by   LeahJet
    Please don't spend too much time beating yourself up over this. We all strive to be virtuous and long suffering but in reality, most of us fall somewhere between Courtney Love and Mother Theresa. The very fact that you are tormenting over this proves the point that you are a wonderful caring person.
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    Hugs to you. Hope things are better soon.
  11. by   Tweety
    I know the feeling. Best wishes.
  12. by   GooeyRN
    I also work med/surg in a rural hospital and have taken 15 pts myself. One CNA to 30 pts. I know how overwhelmed you can become. Give yourself a hug. You were stressed. If you get a lol that is hoh again asking for many things at shift change, can you write her a note saying someone else will be in shortly to meet her needs?
  13. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from GooeyRN
    I also work med/surg in a rural hospital and have taken 15 pts myself. One CNA to 30 pts. I know how overwhelmed you can become. Give yourself a hug. You were stressed. If you get a lol that is hoh again asking for many things at shift change, can you write her a note saying someone else will be in shortly to meet her needs?
    Done the note writing thing with HOH people, it is a lot less stressful at times to write a note than to keep repeating what your trying to say in these circumstance.

    I also find explaining to patients/families about shift change and the times they occur also helps. When I first see my patients, I introduce my self, tell them I will be their nurse, and how long I will be there.
    The other end of the hospital has the ICU, 10 more med-sug rooms, and the ER. On this particular unit, there is only 2 nurses, and 1-2 CNA's. The nurse that has ICU also has the ER. The other nurse takes care of the 10 med-surg rooms. Then there is *my* hall, which is also med-surg. No tele though. On my hall, 14 is the maximum amount of pt's it can hold. It doesn't matter whether I have 13 or 5 pt's....I will be the only nurse, and I will only have 1 CNA.
    14 patients for 1 nurse and 1 CNA, not very safe. I would not work nights at a former facility because it was 2 RNs (and that's all) for 30 patients, med-surg.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am amazed places do get away with staffing like this. I would not want to be a patient in one of them.

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