Quote from NurseLoveJoy88
I used to be a sitter but I was I also a CNA. I did all vitals signs, adl care, kept patients safe, and reported abnormalities to RN or LPN on staff. It was a great job. Just would not advise night shift due to it being hard to stay awake.
Back in my nursing assistant days did the same, basically as outlined above.
Tasks varied from normal assistant duties (feeding, bedmaking, vital signs, observation, adl care, etc...), to doing nothing more than literally *sitting* there for eight hours. The later usually involved attempted suicide patients, and the elderly especially those whom were confused/prone to walking off. There were also plenty of cases where the family simply wanted 24/7 private duty nursing care, but couldn't (or wouldn't) spring for a LPN or RN. In which case it could feel like several hours of being a glorified "lady in waiting" at best, or simply "step and fetchit".
Nights can be tough because it it hard to say awake when all the lights are out, televisions are off and if you are on the floors or a quiet unit, there isn't anyone to interact with once your patient has gone to sleep.
Keep in mind at many hospitals "one to one" as it is now called, means just that (as it did in my day). Be your charge in the ER, CCU, or on a floor most times policy means you must stay sit sitting *right there*. If you need to go to the powder room, take your break/meals etc, you must wait for the nursing staff to arrange coverage.
Funny this should come up; was just at local NYC hospital ER with a friend earlier this week, and the elderly gentleman on the next stretcher had a 1:1 aide (provided by the hospital). Apparently the man was confused, and also had tried to leave the ER, so not only was he restrained (tied to the stretcher), but an aide was engaged and a not long after a dose of Klonopin was given.
Around mid-night my ears prick up hearing a male voice screaming "she should be written up, .... she abandoned her patient, ... get the nursing office on the phone..). I looked around and noticed the aide who as sitting with the above patient was no longer sitting next to me (small quarters in this ER), later from the aide was seconded down from another floor that she simply walked out and went home because her shift was over. No good-bye, no reporting off, just got her gear and went.