My mother in law was in the hospital last week due to an abcess and perforated bowel. She had two emergency surgeries and was placed in ICU. She is 65 yo and between that and the meds she was on became very confused and disoriented (swatted a CNA for trying to change her gown).
There was a night nurse there that told the family that if we didn't have someone stay with my mother in law, she would restrain her, wait 8 hours to call the doc, and that she could do this because she was an RN. My husband stayed that night in the room.
During his stay he had to go out of the room several times to ask this nurse (who was busy talking to another staff member about problems she was having with her boyfriend) to reposition his mother and change her pad (she had a temp colostomy). When I came in the next morning my hubby told me all of this and I went off on this nurse.
As she stood there (chewing a wad of gum) she basically told me that she could do all of this because she was a RN, I told her that #1 My mother in law's care was more important than anything that was going on in her personal life. #2 I was a student nurse and perhaps she should go back to school to take a refresher course in patient care...specifically circulation or lack there of due to not repositioning a patient, and #3 my next stop was the administrator with a formal written complaint. At this point she just gave me more attitude (almost like "they wouldn't dare do anything about it, they need me too much").
After visiting the administrator (this nurse had several complaints about her), this nurse is no longer employed at this hospital. I guess my point is .... never think that just because there is a shortage of nurses that you are not expendable...always remember who you are there for and that their safety and care is first and foremost...before your personal life!