Hello everyone! If you work on the "dump" unit, you can probably relate.
This is my second year on a very busy med-surg unit of a 500+ bed hospital. We have 8 dialysis beds, 4 bed step-down, soft tele. Most of our patients are heavy, they are VERY ill and at any given time I have at least 1 patient who is on the verge of being transferred to ICU. We get patients that noone else wants - like our GI floor will send bleeds to us, pulmonary floor will send unstable patients to us, cardiology will send MIs to us if they don't need nitro or cardizem, plus we get all vascular and all neuro patients, all detox and all psych patients. We get the older folks and many on isolation. We get infected ortho patients (who most of the time have to room in with AAAs and other clean surgeries
Many times we get patients sent to us from the ER with serious problems, because ICU has no beds. Our patient load is 5-6 patients a piece when we are fully staffed.
The issue is that the patients are getting more complex and more sick, the care is suffering - I do not sit down for 2 seconds during my shift - running from rom to room and I still can't turn someone q 2 hrs. My nurses' aids are exausted and they work really hard. My supervisor is brand new at managing a 43 bed unit and my unit is a total disaster. The patients' families are absolutely rediculous - last sunday we had to remove one of them by 2 security officers because she was irate at how terrible the care is on our floor. If I only had to deal with one family per day I could manage, but I have usually at least 2 that are telling me every 2 mintues what a terrible job we are doing. Many doctors do not want to talk to demanding familes about what's happening to the patients and I end up being stuck in the middle of the controvercy. (Yes, I did speak up about this to MDs
As far as I can tell nothing is going to change. I have talked to my boss about what's been going on ( it has been a year already of this nightmare) - and I made her cry! Can you believe this? I feel bad for her, but I also feel that I can not stand this any more and I am constantly living in fear of losing my lisence because the situation on the floor is unsafe and med errors are constantly made.
Everyone on the unit is miserable and say that they hate their jobs. I've tried to be positive and I try supposrting others, but it is SO hard when everything and everyone around you is a mess.
I work with a Gulf war veteran, who was a medic during the war. He is finishing nursing school in May (he is going into emergency medicine) and he is constantly telling me how great I would be in the ER, how much I could do for my patients and how well managed ER is in our hospital.
I know that ER has their own issues and if I left Med surg I would be losing a good weekend trak position, but I feel like I am not getting anywhere.
I am excellent with assessments and IV therapy skills, I know tele like the back of my hand, I know how to deal with families and like a fast-paced environment, I am not afraid to get down and dirty. Plus, I can use my native langauge to translate as needed. ED/critical care is something I wanted to do for a long time.
I applied to ED and waiting to hear from them.
what do you think? If anyone has experience with ED work or med surg, please give me some pointers.
Feb 15, '07
What do you get for "sticking it out"?
Sounds like you are in a near DESPERATE situation. It also seems that you have a goal (ER or critical care), some great skills (IV and tele) and 2 (TWO!) YEARS of experience caring for a range of acute patients - and you have DONE YOUR TIME! You are READY for a change. I sense a bit of near desperation in your post!
Maybe you should be PAROLED!
GOOD LUCK in the ED! I think you will do just fine!
Never pass on any OPPORTUNITY to learn - take all the classes, ask questions! I will caution you that the ED does have its own problems, but compared to what you relate - I think you will be so much better off! GO! NOW!
Last edit by Medic/Nurse on Feb 15, '07