I used to be a pretty darn good M/S nurse. I haven't worked a floor in 4 years and wouldn't begin to presume to know how to do a M/S nurses job now.
A floor nurse isn't expected to walk into my SICU and be able to competently care for patients- why is it assumed that I can go to their world and practice safely?
Besides the fear of a lawsuit for taking an assignment I am not competent to handle, there is a profession- alism and morale issue. I don't think I should be expected to help another unit out unless that unit is able to help me out, too. If I volunteer, then fine. But most hospitals assume they can use ICU nurses as house floats but leave the ICUs short routinely because other areas can't cover us. Makes no sense.
I am in favor of closing units or at least working in clusters- e.g. float to MICU/SICU/CCU only. Most places include ER and sometimes PACU in those groups- but they shouldn't.
Don't mean to come across as disgruntled- I really love what I do. But our employers
wouldn't expect to cover a sick call in HR with a float from accounting. Why are we expected to work outside OUR knowledge base?
Hmm- there's a possibility- we should have a nursing exec cover accounting or HR for the day. We could tell them "you use similar equipment, the corporate rules are the same... the other accountants are there for as resources.. I don't know why you're complaining...." Ahh, in a perfect world...