unsafe

  1. last night i had an awful evening. our staffing sucked and it is only going to get worse. i have seen many posts about writing your concerns for patient safety down before hearing report and bringing this to the attention of your supervisor. i was wondering if there were specific forms that anyone used or if anyone could provide me with a format or a sample of a write up form.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   cargal
  4. by   Kayzee
    I have just done orientation on a med-surg floor. I loved all I was learning, but it became so hectic I couldn't comcentrate. I'm 50 and maybe my bod just can't take that abuse anymore. Now looking into other positions with less stress, and more time to spend with pts. And your absolutely right..it is unsafe..not only for the pt, but also for the nurse.
  5. by   Jenny P
    Shannon, you don't say what state you are in, but here is the site for Minnesota Nurses Association;
    http://www.mnnurses.org/
    go to the Nursing Practice sidebar and click on it; there are directions on filling out a form that you can download also there. You don't have to fill this out BEFORE the shift, but you should notify the supervisor ASAP about it. There is a difference between heavy patient loads, unsafe staffing, and dangerous nursing practice. MNA has 2 different form on this site to fill out; check and see which is appropriate for you.

    If you come on the unit and find that you have an assignment that will put your nursing license in jeopardy, DO NOT ACCEPT REPORT! Call the supervisor right away and say that you cannot take this assignment because of this and if she doesn't find extra staff for you, you WILL LEAVE. You are not abandoning your patients because you have not accepted the assignment; you will not be putting your license at risk (I've read through most of the Nurse Practice Acts about this, but you might want to review it for your state; go to
    http://www.NCSBN.org and type in "patient abandonment" in the search area, then find your state.). Please read your Nurse Practice Act and also the information at the NCSBN site so you know your rights.

    I'm always amazed at how fast an extra body is provided when this is done; your co-workers probably will be very angry with you if you do leave, but tell them how they can do it also and then ENCOURAGE them to do it to get help also.

    If nurses would band together on just this one point, we could do away with most understaffing problems.
  6. by   shannonRN
    thanks for the responses. i'm in indiana. last night i was the only floor rn. we had 2 float rns and an gn from our floor...for 33 patients. no aide!! it was awful. midnights was staffed better than our 3-11 shift.

    i can't imagine walking out in a situation like that. i spoke with our supervisor and she basically said deal...it is like that housewide and by the way here are 3 admissions. in addition to our 4 fresh surgicals. gotta love med-surg.

    i will definately check out all of the sites that you guys have mentioned. if anyone else has any words of wisdom please share!!
  7. by   Jenny P
    Shannon, THAT is dangerous staffing! I'd walk out before I agreed to work like that! I have never had to walk out before, they always found extras for me because they knew that I would leave if I didn't get the staff. My supervisors know I don't bluff. 3 RNs and a GN for 33 patients is asking for trouble (in my book at least); and 2 of the 3 RNs being floats is even crazier! With that supervisors' attitude, I'd find a new job!
  8. by   shannonRN
    jenny, that is the problem. we just had 3 nurses leave including our manager. so right now we are in the midst of a change...which is why i said that it was bound to get worse before it got better.

    i tried checking out indiana's website but could find nothing. if any of you computer savy people can find a link, that would be wonderful. i do have a copy of my practice act. requested it the day i found out that i passed boards! will have to find it and wipe the dust off.
  9. by   Jenny P
    Shannon, the NCSBN site is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and they have the Indiana laws listed there. I hope you have the most recent Indiana Nurse Practice Act; if it's dusty you may need a current copy!

    Maybe you could call a staff meeting of the nurses on your floor and together sign a petition saying you will refuse to work short staffed from now on, especially since you do not have a nurse manager to help you at this time. If all of you sign it and turn it in to Nursing Administration, they might start paying attention to your needs. I'm sure that they won't fire a whole floor of nurses; it sounds like they need all of their floors functioning at full capacity.
  10. by   cargal
    Once again, at the Florence Project......


    http://florenceproject.org/links2/Nu...e_Acts_Online/

    More power to the nurses on allnurses.com for we have found one another!!!
  11. by   shannonRN
    my state isn't listed on that link cargal!? oh well, that is indiana for you! thanks for posting the link tho!!
  12. by   sjoe
    we just had 3 nurses leave including our manager. so right now we are in the midst of a change...which is why i said that it was bound to get worse before it got better.


    This is NOT your problem (unless you are the DON or the owner of the facility). If you choose to pick up the slack, you can expect that slack to continue, and other "slacks" to emerge. If YOU do not take care of yourself, protect your own interests and license, NO ONE ELSE WILL.
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 30, '02
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    They only want the money.

    The less staff that can do more procedures = more profit

    It's nothing personal, but why should they be "fair" and adequately staff when you're giving them the money. That's what they are staffing for.

    When someone says "I will not make you that much money" and the cashflow stops, they have to get the cashcow(sorry,just an expression:kiss ) well again to produce thier life-sustaining cash.

    They won't care that you refused, only that you can't make money if you're not doing procedures. They may choose to express that frustration with phrases like "you're just not a team player" or the nurse-manager bonding strategy, "you can see we are short today, we all just need to pitch-in (to make us more cash than we ever dreamed of ) and we'll get through this together "

    If your coworkers are not motivated by management's greedfest at thier expense, then you must be motivated to save your own ass. The fact is that they let management get away with it for one more shift when they accept a dangerouse assignment, and you reinforce those behaviors when you take report.

    You're telling them it's ok.

    They're just taking the money you're giving them.

    It's nothing personal to refuse an assignment either................just sound business practice on your part. You are selling them your services. You should never sell them services that you can't deliver.
  14. by   Youda
    As Rusty said, staffing isn't your problem.
    It will become your problem, though, if there are any avoidable problems CAUSED by the staffing. I've never seen a place yet that couldn't get staff when they wanted it bad enough. Fill out the Assignment Under Protest (you might want to take a stack of them to work for the others on the unit). And don't forget to keep a copy for your records.

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