They aren't 'real' charge nurses..vent

  1. 0
    The other FT Charge Nurse heard the unit secretary tell this to a new secretary on orientation. She didn't say anything to her at the time, but called me (the other FT CN) to vent. I'm so wanting to say something to this secretary, but I will refrain.

    I guess the secretary told the orientee that we *only* discharge pts. WTH? How can someone be that clueless on what we do when they sit right next to us??

    I arrive an hour after the day shift and assign post ops, assign rounds time for each nurse, I do staffing assigments and lunch times, discharges, education to pt's, mentor new grads, problem solve pts that are circling the drain. Throw in service recovery for family and pt's, go to meetings with management on pt flow and handle the flow from ED and PACU. Anyone has a problem, they take it to the charge nurse, who it seems is me, because I'm the bloody point person for 12 hrs. My badge says charge, I'm paid as a charge and I signed a job title that says charge, but evidentally I do nothing that warrants the title. :icon_roll
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  4. 4
    lots of people on the street (which includes your new ward secretary) couldn't tell you what you do if you gave them your title. part of orientation for a new ward secretary should include a brief overview of the various titles and job descriptions. why not write it up in outline form, minus the (completely understandable) indignation, and offer it to the nurse mgr as a resource to be handed to new hires, since somebody is obviously clueless?
  5. 2
    Oh girl, you are SINGIN' MY SONG!!!

    I work alongside the unit secretary all day as charge nurse. She has been the unit secretary for about 20 years, and she still thinks that charge nurses have it easy. When I am busy trying to coordinate cases in the OR while answering a question from a surgeon, trying to listen to the staff member who is IRATE over something (take your pick: can't work with the surgeon; doesn't like their teammate for the day; states that they can't do the case because they don't know how, even though I have records of competencies and know daggum well that the staff member can do it; insists on being relieved at 1300 because they scheduled an appt with their doctor during working hours because they didn't want to use their day off to go to the doctor; venting because there is no instrumentation available to do the case; wants to know why Susie got a break and why can't she have a break too even though she was offered a break and didn't take it; complains about their assignment and wants to know why they are constantly "picked on" because they have to relieve a day shift staff member who has been scrubbed in for 4 hours), the secretary gives me the evil eye because I didn't answer the constantly ringing phone while she is chatting it up with her friend/sister/daughter/brother. Nevermind that my trauma pager just went off and I have to go to the ED in 3 minutes.

    One unit secretary that works per diem filled in while the main secretary was on vacation. When the phone rang, she answered it, then took the handset off the hook. When it rang again, she looked at me and said, "Your turn." I was confused and asked her what she meant. She said, "I answer one call, then you answer the next call. That's fair." Ummm...huh?

    I feel your pain.
    JustBeachyNurse and xoemmylouox like this.
  6. 3
    Thankfully I'm no longer in the toxic environment of an acute care hospital unit. Which means that I no longer arrive an hour before shift change to see a unit clerk rolling her eyes and complaining that "SOMEONE just SITS AROUND while *I* have to ANSWER the phone".....referring to the evening charge who is desperately trying to pick up the orders on the dozen or so charts crammed into the rack before shift ends, while simultaneously getting updates on patients barked at her as the nurses run by, trying to finish their meds, etc.---all, of course, while having a doctor holding on Line 1 and an irate family member hovering at the desk.

    No, the REALLY 'put upon' person in the unit is the poor clerk, who has to answer the phone.

    Lord I don't miss that.
  7. 0
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    Oh girl, you are SINGIN' MY SONG!!!

    I work alongside the unit secretary all day as charge nurse. She has been the unit secretary for about 20 years, and she still thinks that charge nurses have it easy. When I am busy trying to coordinate cases in the OR while answering a question from a surgeon, trying to listen to the staff member who is IRATE over something (take your pick: can't work with the surgeon; doesn't like their teammate for the day; states that they can't do the case because they don't know how, even though I have records of competencies and know daggum well that the staff member can do it; insists on being relieved at 1300 because they scheduled an appt with their doctor during working hours because they didn't want to use their day off to go to the doctor; venting because there is no instrumentation available to do the case; wants to know why Susie got a break and why can't she have a break too even though she was offered a break and didn't take it; complains about their assignment and wants to know why they are constantly "picked on" because they have to relieve a day shift staff member who has been scrubbed in for 4 hours), the secretary gives me the evil eye because I didn't answer the constantly ringing phone while she is chatting it up with her friend/sister/daughter/brother. Nevermind that my trauma pager just went off and I have to go to the ED in 3 minutes.

    One unit secretary that works per diem filled in while the main secretary was on vacation. When the phone rang, she answered it, then took the handset off the hook. When it rang again, she looked at me and said, "Your turn." I was confused and asked her what she meant. She said, "I answer one call, then you answer the next call. That's fair." Ummm...huh?

    I feel your pain.
    Oh geez, your poor thing. I would be throwing sharp instruments at those nearby, lol.

    This girl is in nursing pre reqs, she will will understand in a few years. Until then, I thought about printing out the job description and posting it nearby.
    This girl also sits and texts under the desk and if anyone calls even with a tiny problem, she refers it to the 'charge' nurse.
  8. 2
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Thankfully I'm no longer in the toxic environment of an acute care hospital unit. Which means that I no longer arrive an hour before shift change to see a unit clerk rolling her eyes and complaining that "SOMEONE just SITS AROUND while *I* have to ANSWER the phone".....referring to the evening charge who is desperately trying to pick up the orders on the dozen or so charts crammed into the rack before shift ends, while simultaneously getting updates on patients barked at her as the nurses run by, trying to finish their meds, etc.---all, of course, while having a doctor holding on Line 1 and an irate family member hovering at the desk.

    No, the REALLY 'put upon' person in the unit is the poor clerk, who has to answer the phone.

    Lord I don't miss that.
    Don't blame you. The other secretary lets everyone know how she handled a busy day singlehandedly. Yeah right. I'm answering phones, putting out fires, helping with orders, trying to stem the flow of admits and she takes all her breaks. I usually don't get off the floor until I have worked 8 hrs minimum.
    MedChica and RNsRWe like this.
  9. 6
    It's been my experience that it's the NURSES who work 12 hours with no lunch and stay over an hour to finish charting. The day I see a secretary or ward clerk skip THEIR lunch is the day I eat my hat.
  10. 1
    I work on postpartum nursery. We have 2 charge nurses. The ideal situation is that 1 takes the floor which consists of 30 beds and the other oversees the nursery....that is the ideal world....what really happens is that 95% of the time both charges are in the nursery going to c-sections, working on sick babies and helping out however they can because we are shorthanded always....when we have floats, we will get an admit and the first thing they do is look for the charge nurse to do orders and assessment, doesn't matter if LPN or RN....when told our charges don't have time, they ask why.....they say that is their job...what they don't understand is that babies are patients too and that you don't have the luxury of puttting them in a room and get a set of vitals until the charge gets to them.....It never ceases to amaze me how many RNs are incapable of doing an admit assessment....I am a LPN...worked nights 3 years...no admit team....shorthanded....learned to get admit, do assessment, have Charge RN check behind me, orders in computer, and chart opened in an hour....have worked days now for 2 years....I appreciate when I float....the other floors Charge nurses actually do assessments, put in orders, and help out as much as possible.....I respect my 2 charge nurses....delivering babies, taking care of sick ones, assigning rooms and sorting out messes that invariably come up on the floor....You could not pay me enough to be Charge....takes special nurses to be able to get everything done and still have braincells that work at end of 12 hours.


    SN...we do not have unit clerks, 6 patients apiece....sometimes an aid and sometimes not....we get a ton of medsurge overflow....most times you have more medsurge than postpartum
    tokmom likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from marda
    I work on postpartum nursery. We have 2 charge nurses. The ideal situation is that 1 takes the floor which consists of 30 beds and the other oversees the nursery....that is the ideal world....what really happens is that 95% of the time both charges are in the nursery going to c-sections, working on sick babies and helping out however they can because we are shorthanded always....when we have floats, we will get an admit and the first thing they do is look for the charge nurse to do orders and assessment, doesn't matter if LPN or RN....when told our charges don't have time, they ask why.....they say that is their job...what they don't understand is that babies are patients too and that you don't have the luxury of puttting them in a room and get a set of vitals until the charge gets to them.....It never ceases to amaze me how many RNs are incapable of doing an admit assessment....I am a LPN...worked nights 3 years...no admit team....shorthanded....learned to get admit, do assessment, have Charge RN check behind me, orders in computer, and chart opened in an hour....have worked days now for 2 years....I appreciate when I float....the other floors Charge nurses actually do assessments, put in orders, and help out as much as possible.....I respect my 2 charge nurses....delivering babies, taking care of sick ones, assigning rooms and sorting out messes that invariably come up on the floor....You could not pay me enough to be Charge....takes special nurses to be able to get everything done and still have braincells that work at end of 12 hours.


    SN...we do not have unit clerks, 6 patients apiece....sometimes an aid and sometimes not....we get a ton of medsurge overflow....most times you have more medsurge than postpartum
    Sounds familiar. The other day we had a crazy psych pt that took my time and the MSW's time to get him to a psych unit. I had a nurse come to me and want me to do the med rec from a SNF because she was too busy. By then it was 10 hrs into my shift. I was hungry, tired and had to pee. She just got back from break and was mad at me because I gave her an admit.


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