Refusing to be trained for "Charge"

  1. 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?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   JBudd
    What is your hospital policy? What does your job description say? Does everyone automatically rotate charge duties? Everywhere is different. Did they mention eventual charge duties when you were hired?
  4. by   elkpark
    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?
    There is no simple answer to your question. Everything JBudd said applies -- what did you agree to when you took the job? I have worked in settings where there was an "official" charge nurse on each shift, and you applied for a charge position if you wanted it when one was available, and I have worked in settings where we all rotated charge responsibilities from one day to the next, and everyone was expected to take her/his turn. Are you just being offered an opportunity to pursue a charge position if you want to, or is this an expected part of your job?

    If you took the job with the knowledge that you would be expected to be charge at least part of the time, you are not in much of a position to refuse. If it's not part of your job description but is just being offered to you as an "optional" possibility, then there is no reason why you can't politely decline the position, and no reason why you should expect any kind of negative response from administration for doing so.
  5. by   TiffyRN
    Yea I guess it depends on the policy of the floor you work on; however, I've never worked a floor that MADE anyone do charge who didn't want to do it. Certainly all RN's were expected to take charge in a pinch, but not required to do it on a regular basis. After my first stint as full-time charge I was "cured" of that desire and have refused everywhere else I've been (of course except in a pinch). I remember as a relatively new nurse (about 1 yr experience) when I was pulled to another floor to be charge. They had an RN there that worked that floor full-time but she didn't feel comfortable being charge. I thought that was messed up but didn't have enough confidence then to stand up for myself.
  6. by   ProfRN4
    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...
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    what others stated are good points..how would you feel if someone else was not doing this also...would you feel that they are not pulling their weight..go ahead and be trained sometime they may really need you anything you know will come in handy
  8. by   Tweety
    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.
  9. by   Tweety
    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...

    i was oriented to charge after six months on my unit. i thought that certainly wasn't enough time. but your right, sometimes being put in charge is an ego trip for people.
  10. by   begalli
    It's up to the individual RN whether or not they accept the offer to be charge. It's not in our job description as it is a management position.

    When a staff RN does do charge, we get a differential for doing it and it counts toward our staff nurse level.
  11. by   nursbee04
    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...
    i did charge as a newbie...about four months after graduation...and don't think i didn't have the supervisor on the phone anytime i was unsure about something---nine times outta ten the supervisor was more than happy to answer my question, but the one time one of them got irritated because i asked a question, i just reminded her that this is what happens when your charge nurse is a four month old and all the other nurses working the same shift are less than a year old also. scary. i loved working with experienced nurses. just the fact that they were there to ask or help made me feel so much better.
  12. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from nursbee04
    but the one time one of them got irritated because i asked a question, i just reminded her that this is what happens when your charge nurse is a four month old and all the other nurses working the same shift are less than a year old also. scary.
    very scary. but apparently, it's not just where i work. and i'm sure the sup gave you a hard time, like it's your fault that you are the senior nurse on
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from begalli
    It's up to the individual RN whether or not they accept the offer to be charge. It's not in our job description as it is a management position.

    When a staff RN does do charge, we get a differential for doing it and it counts toward our staff nurse level.

    I think that's the bottom line the op needs to find out. Is it in your job description. Unfortunately where I work it is. Glad to hear it's not that way every where because we should have a choice, imo. Fortunately too, as I said those that strongly object and refuse are usually not forced into it. But usually, it's just fear-based and we try to over come that.
  14. by   Peg804
    In the ED where I work many nurses refuse to be Team Leader (charge), amd there is no problem with that. As you know just because someone is charge tonight, doesn't always mean that they are the one who seems to be the one with actual control of the unit. We have some nurses that do not fulfill the charge role as they should. Some don't have the personality for it, some just don't have the confidence. It seems that at every department meeting someone else is refusing to be charge. Some nurses do things better than others, and I think this is one of those things.

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