Refusing to be trained for "Charge" - page 2

Can we refuse? Can we state that we prefer not to do charge and not be black-balled? Should I feel guilty after stating my preference not to?... Read More

  1. by   DutchgirlRN
    I've been a nurse for 29 years and in the hospital where I work now they had been asking me to orientate for charge for at least 3 years. I refused each time because I prefer floor nursing and patient care. They told me I needed to do charge for the advancement of my career. I told them that was not my idea of advancement that I simply would rather do patient care. About 6 months ago our charge nurse had to leave because her daughter had been in a car wreck and I got put in charge, orientation or anything, I did the best I could and the next day the Sup the CNO and NM raved about how well I had done. I decided to give it a fair shot and agreed to do charge once a week. It is a much needed break off of my feet. I find charge very hectic and more of a paper pushing job. I definately would not like to doing charge 3 days a week. I'm not sorry that I finally agreed to it the one day a week. I think you have the right to refuse or to limit what you'll do as I did.
  2. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    I told them that was not my idea of advancement that I simply would rather do patient care.
    Where I am, charge nurse does patient care (and charge responsibilities!!) Most of the time, it's not a big deal, but like others have said, it depends on who's in charge. Some people like to act like a mother hen. Most of the time, charge is just an asterik next to someones name, in case someone needs something. Depending on the staff scheduled, everyone works together, and solves problems as a group.

    We don't really have a choice in the matter. When there are not enough senior nurses on, you get it by default. And there is NO charge pay.
  3. by   begalli
    Is a charge nurse really in "charge" of other nurses? Each person works under their own license, right? To me, a charge nurse is more of a resource person. And actually that's what the charge nurse is called in my hospital - Resource Nurse - we don't use the term "charge." It doesn't mean that the person who's Resource that shift has more senior status or has more experience than any other nurse on the unit for that shift. As a matter of fact some who fill the role of Resource Nurse come to the staff for opinions, answers, and HELP!

    Like I mentioned earlier, the staff RN who does Resource does so by choice.

    Our Resource does not have a patient assignment, ever.

    Our resource sits at the desk and does staffing, acuities, accepts or denies admits from the floors, the ed, and or, and s/he keeps the nursing supervisor of the hospital updated on what's going on in the unit. They do a lot of family teaching and have a lot of contact with family. S/he also is present during codes, calls docs (if we can't for some reason), does rounds, and is there to ask questions. If S/he doesn't know the answer, they will find it either from another staff RN or from where ever the answer can be found. They also do what seems to be the most redundant paperwork around!

    So my point I guess or it's more of a question...do you really see your charge nurse as being your "*boss" for that shift or do you work automously and in concert with other members of the healthcare team? And does this position really need to be filled by "senior" nurses?

    *Assistant nurse managers are the primary Resource Nurses for our unit. And they are "bosses" in a way. They do performance evals. They NEVER have a patient assignment. Unlike the all of staff RN's who fill in, the asst NM's are a bottomless pit of information, experience, and knowledge not only about what we do on our unit but also about the entire hospital.

    I think what's nice is when I go to work, I go to work to accept my patient assignment. I don't go to work to do the paper-pushing management side of nursing. UNLESS, I'm in the role of Resource.
  4. by   Tweety
    Begalli, it's a bit of both. We use our charge nurses as resouces too, but they are the "boss" when a patient or family member wants to speak to a higher up, or when they give me assignments.

    However, when given an assignment I autonomously under my own license work.
  5. by   begalli
    Yep. Thanks Tweety. That makes total sense.



    I guess we don't get that many complaints. I can see where someone who's green might have a little trouble handling that situation.
  6. by   BETSRN
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    a little off-topic, but is anyone else working in institutions where the 'charge' nurse has been a nurse for 6 months?? of course, it is by default (except for the fact that i am per-diem, and have a lot more experience than the charge newbies). i just think it's a bit scary, that they are the ones who ultimately make the decisions. and it's getting to their little heads...
    no, we do not orient anyone to charge (experienced or not) unless they have been with us probably at least a year and they feel comfortable with all aspects of ldrp.
  7. by   tiredfeetED
    As Charge of a ED, I am not suppose to take patients....I do breaks, put out fires (complaing families, nurses, etc.), all the doctors come to me an whine about something, my supervisors come to me..If a problem pops up on a patient then I go helpout or assess the stituation, so it seems that I am assigned to all the patients...Some days I would rather have just patient care, since i could just focus on a group of patients.
    At our facility you can deny being charge which many RNs have, thats the wierd part. I have been a RN for 3 yrs, I have nurses that have 20-30 yrs as RNs with skill levels of MSNs. But these RNs dont want the HA of charge.
  8. by   msonurse
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    When we accept our positions as RNs in our unit, it's understood that RN mean's charge capable. I would think if one accepts the position and then later says they won't do something that is in their job description that wouldn't be appropriate.

    Some of us however, have expressed an extreme desire not to be charge and they no not to assign us unless there is no one else.

    I think however, most people who refuse to do charge are really just lacking confidence and are fearful of the position, when in reality there's no big deal to it.

    I hate doing charge.

    No, don't ever feel bad for standing up for yourself and what you need and believe.

    Good luck.
    At the hospital where I work there are lots of nurses who refuse charge. Not because they are lacking confidence but because they are smart. They know how short staffed we are. They know if something happened on the floor due to understaffing that administration would NOT stand behind them.
    This is the case at many, many facilities. No one is going to take up for you BUT you. And no one is going to cover your butt but you. I do not blame ANY nurse for refusing charge.

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