I work on a medical/surgical ward in Australia as a AUM ( Associate Charge nurse this means I'm in charge on my shift but answer to higher up) I need some help, advice as to what i should do.
I have worked now with a particular Division two nurse (nursing aid) on several shifts, her job is to attend to her 5 or 6 patients on the 3pm to 10 pm shift, she does not give out any medications that is one job which is allocated to me.
She spends most of her evenings at the nurses desk reading magazines or phoning home at least three times per shift while her patients go unattended, their buzzers seem to go off others answer and at the end of the night the rooms are a mess, the patients look like they have not been touched and she goes home happy to collect her pay.
Where is all the basic care, tidying the rooms, straighting the beds, if patient has been in bed most of the day, offer them a face washer to wash hands, face and maybe even give back a rub, brush their teeth or offer a bowl of water so they can do this before settling for the night.
I have spoken to this nurse and have said would you mind just giving them a freshen up and see if they want to brush their teeth she tells me she has (sorry i have checked up, tooth brush still dry)
I have spoken to nursing co-ordinator, this just falls on deaf ears
What next, why did she become a nurse, and some times it is not just her, nursing seems to be about doing the pills, doing observations and paper work.
am i being a perfectionist wanting my patients to be comfortable at the end of my shift?????????
Nov 20, '07
I too am a Div 1 in Australia, and yes, I have noticed that there is a drop in the care offered to patients/clients. I also was an AUM on a medical ward in a public hospital. The staff did not see that the ward needed to be tidied for the night staff, or that patients needed to be settled for the night.
I had asked the Div2's to get a trolley to collect the empty cups on the patient overbed tables so the night staff wouldn't send them flying, with no success. I also went to my unit manager about it and was told that it wasn't their job, it was the domestics job and the cups could sit there until the domestic staff came on in the morning. I told him it was on OH&S risk to the night staff & patient, but he wouldn't budge.
I also tried to get them to offer toothbrushes etc and was told by staff that if the patients asked for it they would give it to them.
Absolutely insane, and it can only be put down to the fact that nurse training doesn't have basic patient care, their safety & comfort emphasised in the courses. Whether or not nurses are trained in a hospital or not doesn't come into it, you can't change the system we have, but the courses lack a lot, and the clinical exposure is inadequate.
The educators I had as a student and the unit managers I worked with as a student would be turning in their graves if they knew what had happened to nursing.
Last edit by joannep on Nov 20, '07