Sitters, give 'em a break! - page 5

You want to know why you're complaining that the world is ending because you have to take your own vitals? Because your aides are sitting. You want to know why your aides are sitting? 'Cause your... Read More

  1. by   jojotoo
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    Our orders are for 24hrs. So I can take them off and put them on as many times as I want within the those 24hrs. Otherwise, people wouldn't want to take restraints off because they wouldn't want to have to re-initiate a new restraint order.

    We have two kinds of restraints: hard restraints (leather) which can only be used in the ER, ICU, BHU and soft restraints (cloth) that can be used anywhere in the hospital. Hard restraints are for patients with behavioral problems and are used to either protect the staff or the patient from himself. These restraints can only be ordered for 4 hours at a time and they must be checked q 15min for as long as the patient is in them. The soft restraints (and this includes a posey) are considered non-behavioral and are what we use for intubated patients,demented patients, mainly to keep the pt from pulling out tubes or lines. These can be ordered for up to 24 hours and the pt only needs to be checked q 1hr.
  2. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from kurosawa
    You want to know why you're complaining that the world is ending because you have to take your own vitals? Because your aides are sitting.

    You want to know why your aides are sitting? 'Cause your sitters quit.

    You want to know why they quit?

    'Cause nobody took 10 minutes out of every 2 hours to let 'em pee/smoke/get a Coke.

    'Cause they know if they don't get those 10 minutes every 2 hours esp. 7p to 7a they're gonna fall asleep and get fired.

    'Cause they were PRN aides who didn't offer to do a 12-hour shift sitting, they just got grabbed and whereas they could keep themselves awake running around the floor all night, they aren't physically prepared to stay in one darkened room all night without breaks and not nod off.

    You can't get them to come back because they quit working PRN and went dedicated labor pool in a unit that doesn't use sitters.

    'Cause the RN couldn't be bothered to call the doctor to get an order for Haldol PRN, or for effective pain meds, or to order restraints when it was really, really needed. Or couldn't be bothered to give PRNs that *were* ordered.

    You know one night I got tired of watching all the RNs drinking coffee and complaining in full view of a sitter who hadn't had a break for 4 hours. I ran and bought her a Popeye's fried chicken dinner. Me, on $7.50 an hour.

    2 nights ago for the first time after a hundred sitting jobs, I had a kindly old RN give me 2 breaks Q2H, told me to take my time, and guess what she did, she charted, no skin whatsoever off her nose.

    Compare that to the countless times I really needed some help or supplies in the room and had the call bell ignored for 30 minutes or more. Or the 4+ nights I had it cancelled on me repeatedly. Repeatedly!

    Got a sitter shortage? Fix it yourself. You can do it.
    That is your experience. My experience with sitters is quite different.
  3. by   JoeyDog
    When I worked as the primary sitter on a MSICU floor I usually only got a 30 min. lunch break. When ever the nurse came in to do an assessment or hang meds or do a dressing change or whatever I would ask if I could use the bathroom. They never had a problem with that. It worked fine for me and for the nurses that I worked with. I never complained about not getting potty breaks b/c I took them whenever the nurse or RT came in to do something.

    I understand why so many nurses dislike the sitters though. I have worked with so many that really were bad sitters. They would keep the patient restrained, perform no patient care, and just watch TV or read their whole shift. I personally don't like TV that much so I never watched TV. But more than that I was being paid to do a job, not to watch TV or sleep. I always felt uncomfortable having the TV on unless the patient wanted it on b/c I felt like the staff would think I was one of "those" sitters.

    Anyway I worked hard took wonderful care of my patients and always helped my nurse when I could. As a result I was treated well by the staff and was always given a choice in my patient assignment. My nurses were also willing to listen to any input I had, and were more willing to medicate my patient if I asked them to. They knew that I was not asking for haldol or ativan b/c I was lazy and didn't want to deal with the patient but b/c my patient was uncontrollable.

    All in all I think if you work hard, do a good job, and are curteous to your nurse they will respect you and treat you a heck of a lot better!!!
  4. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from JoeyDog
    When I worked as the primary sitter on a MSICU floor I usually only got a 30 min. lunch break. When ever the nurse came in to do an assessment or hang meds or do a dressing change or whatever I would ask if I could use the bathroom. They never had a problem with that. It worked fine for me and for the nurses that I worked with. I never complained about not getting potty breaks b/c I took them whenever the nurse or RT came in to do something.

    I understand why so many nurses dislike the sitters though. I have worked with so many that really were bad sitters. They would keep the patient restrained, perform no patient care, and just watch TV or read their whole shift. I personally don't like TV that much so I never watched TV. But more than that I was being paid to do a job, not to watch TV or sleep. I always felt uncomfortable having the TV on unless the patient wanted it on b/c I felt like the staff would think I was one of "those" sitters.

    Anyway I worked hard took wonderful care of my patients and always helped my nurse when I could. As a result I was treated well by the staff and was always given a choice in my patient assignment. My nurses were also willing to listen to any input I had, and were more willing to medicate my patient if I asked them to. They knew that I was not asking for haldol or ativan b/c I was lazy and didn't want to deal with the patient but b/c my patient was uncontrollable.

    All in all I think if you work hard, do a good job, and are curteous to your nurse they will respect you and treat you a heck of a lot better!!!
    joeydog, your experiences as a sitter mirror mine. I was an agency CNA/sitter at several acute care facilities from 1990-1992. I took my job seriously, and the nurses were always great to me.

    As a nurse, I had one sitter who watched TV and ate Cheetos in the pt's room all noc. The pt was an elderly, demented man who'd just had an ORIF of the hip. The pt's pain seemed to be well controlled. The problem was him trying to get out of bed, insisting that nothing was wrong with him and that he was going home. Besides the fall/safety issues, I had asked the sitter to watch the pt's foley bag. I marked the urine level with a sharpy when we first went in. I told the CNA/sitter to notify me if the pt did not put out 60cc urine/hr.
    I was going to be very busy with two TURP pts on CBI, a very pregnant teen with status asthmaticus, and lots of anxious family members, a s/p intracranial bleed, and a couple other pts. I knew I wouldn't be able to spend much time in the ORIF pt's room.
    Later on in the noc, the sitter got annoyed with me when I lifted the pt's covers to check the pt's incision, saying "you'll wake him up!" The pt had dug out all of his staples. He was a horrible bloody mess. Not only that, the urine level in the foley bag was the same as it had been on my inital assessment earlier.
    Last edit by Hellllllo Nurse on Nov 23, '06
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    'Cause nobody took 10 minutes out of every 2 hours to let 'em pee/smoke/get a Coke.
    Let's see, if i were doing 12 hr. shifts....and gave the sitter a break every 2 hours for 10 minutes...

    Odds are that would be more of a break than i'd ever get on a med-surg floor.

    (And yes, i've been a sitter before)
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Nov 23, '06
  6. by   vamedic4
    To the OP...you have sooo got it spot on!!! As a tech I DREAD the times when the nurses need a 1:1 sitter for a patient. There are times when I'll call out to no avail for a bathroom break, or just to tell people "hey, I've got to get up or I'm gonna fall asleep"...and usually they're pretty prompt.
    Our sitter assignments are usually psych kids on the floor for medical reasons, and they have to be charted on q15 minutes...ridiculous IMO, especially since they're asleep most of the night.

    And for those of you who've never had to sit with a patient for 12 hours, 8 hours..consider yourselves VERY lucky. I'd rather be busting my butt running from floor to floor to code patients, draw blood, do VS...anything but sit. Ugh.

    vamedic4
    working tonight
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from vamedic4
    And for those of you who've never had to sit with a patient for 12 hours, 8 hours..consider yourselves VERY lucky. I'd rather be busting my butt running from floor to floor to code patients, draw blood, do VS...anything but sit. Ugh.

    vamedic4
    working tonight

    No one said it was easy, and I certainly couldn't do it. I'd rather be overwhelmed with work than sit. I would go insane.

    You still aren't getting 10 minute breaks q2h from me. :chuckle
  8. by   Jo Dirt
    Vamedic, if you don't like sitting why don't you do something else like CNA? Is someone twisting your arm and pressing you in that chair?
  9. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from vamedic4
    To the OP...you have sooo got it spot on!!!
    Quite the contrary. I think the OP's post was disrespectful and rude and a little naive. I think we've all been a sitter before. It's not that hard of a job! As a tech, we fought over who got to be the sitter that day, and it usually went by senority. But, then again, I didn't feel entitled to an hours worth of breaks throughout the day.

    Prepare for your day and ask for what you need.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I think the OP's post was disrespectful and rude and a little naive.
    Have to agree. When i read the first post on this thread, i had to wonder if the sitter was in the pt.'s room with the door closed to everything else happening on the floor.
  11. by   JoeyDog
    I think the OP although a little insensitive in their post was just expressing their frustration. Being a sitter is hard work IF you take your job seriously and you care about your patient. It is difficult to be stuck in a room for 8-12 hours with a patient that you cannot rationalize with, comfort, or let alone controll. It is emotionally draining and physically exhausting.

    I think what the OP was getting at (with the whole break Q2h) is that as a sitter you have no escape. You cannot step away and go chart, you cannot talk to a fellow coworker, you cannot take a quick swig of coffee, you cannot go see another patient who is alert and oriented. You are basically isolated from everyone except for the staff that come in and out occassionally and they are always in a hurry and cannot make a social visit out of it. Furthermore, cabin fever tends to set in after about 2 hours, and 5 minutes starts feeling like 3 hours.

    If you end up sitting in an isolation room things are even worse. Every time you have an itch you have to deglove/demask, scratch reglove/remask, oh and wash your hands before and after for the next 8-12 hours. Forget about not pitting out, you are sweating 30 min after getting all your gear on, those isolation gowns don't breath at all. If your patient is incontenent, or extremely agitated and hard to comfort you will be wishing you had brought a sweat band with you.

    So I understand the OP's frustration and yeah it would be nice to get a break Q2h but it just isn't realistic. Which is why always asked to use the restroom when the RN or RT came in the room to do something. It worked for me. But I have to be honest...I hated being a sitter.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from JoeyDog
    I think the OP although a little insensitive in their post was just expressing their frustration.

    I agree, the initial post seemed a little like nurse-bashing and inflammatory, but after some later posts of clarification, it does sound like this unit would be a very frustrating one to sit in.

    It has to be frustrating to be stuck in a room relying on others to relief you. Especially when the reality is that the nurses are able to probably get a few minutes to themselves every couple of hours.

    I still stay expecting ten minutes every two hours would be asking too much on the unit I work on. Other units, other shifts perhaps, not not mine.

    Each of us brings our own unique perspectives and frustrations and we should be respectful and mindful of that.
  13. by   BSNtobe2009
    I agree with the others. Yes, it's a boring job, but sitters actually go and apply for the job, so they shouldn't complain at having to stay awake, etc. I think a break every 2 hours is over the top. What other job would you get that many breaks? I personally, couldn't do it no matter how much you paid me. It would drive me nuts.

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