Patient Sitter - page 2

Hi ! Our local hospital has started a new position, Patient Sitter, if you can believe it! Anyway, I believe this might be the key to working while studying....apparently the position entails... Read More

  1. by   GeminiTwinRN
    We recently had an OD in the ICU where I work, and there was a sitter in the room. (I work as a tech). Turns out, the sitter was a fellow student in the last semester of school with me. She hadn't expected to be sitting that day, and hadn't brought any of her notes from class with her. I had brought mine, and so I gave her my notebook to study from. Lucky her, she got to read through the whole notebook in the 8 hours she was there.

    Oh, the same pt. later on that day after my friend got off at 1500, demanded that the relief sitter leave the room. She was very hostile, and crying and upset. It took two nurses coming in her room to explain policy to her, and then the sitter had to take a chair to the door of the room and sit there for the rest of the night. It was very difficult for that person, I'd guess. We don't know if the visitor that she had set her off or what, but she really turned a corner that afternoon.

    Sitting can be a strange job. LOL
  2. by   Daytonite
    Many years ago hospitals that I worked for just hired nursing assistants or nurses from nursing registries or agencies to work as sitters. They were generally needed for patients who had committed suicide and needed a 24 hour attendant (per state law) or a confused person who could not be trusted to be left alone for fear of falling or pulling out their tubes or IVs. While you may get some studying done if the patient is resting, do not be surprised if you are often kept busy attending to these patients. They are needing constant vigilance for a reason. That aside, it's a good job in that you only have one patient to deal with.

    Something else to consider is that if you are an employee of the hospital you may also be subject to being floated or assigned as a nursing assistant to a unit if there are no patients that need a sitter for a shift you are assigned to or the hospital is short-staffed. Make sure you ask about that if you go to an interview.
  3. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Daytonite
    They were generally needed for patients who had committed suicide and needed a 24 hour attendant....
    LOL! I read this sentence and thought "well, if they've already committed suicide, how EASY could a job GET???

  4. by   RNsRWe
    My hospital almost exclusively uses volunteers as sitters. Pretty rare to find a care tech doing it, or anyone doing it for $. But, they just SIT. They can holler for help if they see a patient is attempting to climb out of bed or yank out something important, but that's it. No assisting with anything.
  5. by   Daytonite
    Quote from RNsRWe
    LOL! I read this sentence and thought "well, if they've already committed suicide, how EASY could a job GET???

    Oops! Meant attempted suicide! Sorry. Your other post was correct, too. A sitter could only sit with the patient back in the older days when we used them. Anything that involved the patient walking or procedures had to be done by nursing anyway. The sitter was merely to be there to keep the patient from injuring themselves and to call the nurses immediately if they were needed.
  6. by   LanaBanana
    We frequently have sitters on our floor but they are actually agency CNAs who are getting paid much more than I am (agency aides make a lot more than hospital employees!). If a patient has a sitter on the day shift, the sitter is expected to do all the patient care - bathing, feeding, linen changes, etc. At night, the sitter only has to deal with bathing/linen changes if the patient dirties himself. Otherwise, there's a lot of downtime for the sitter. But as others have said, if the patient is very combative and pulling out drains, IVs, foleys, there may not be much time to study.
    The hardest thing for the sitter seems to be getting breaks and usually their lunch break comes after all of the other aides have come back from lunch so there is someone free to sit in the room for them.

    So I guess when it comes to studying, you would be able to do it sometimes, but it wouldn't be a guarantee. Also, I would only take the minimum amount of materials with you.
  7. by   MIA-RN1
    Quote from hopefornursing
    Hi !
    Our local hospital has started a new position, Patient Sitter, if you can believe it! Anyway, I believe this might be the key to working while studying....apparently the position entails staying with patient and helping them to meet their minor needs, like ambulating to the bathroom, water, etc...I have applied and hope to get in, sounds like it might have some time to study, whilst getting paid and helping people when needed, as well!,

    Has anyone heard of such a position before? I believe it is a great idea, when my DH was in the hospital this summer, I was his (nonpaid, LOL) patient sitter, getting him what he wanted.
    This could be the answer to the age old question of how to work while attending nursing school! Kewl.
    I wouldn't want to see a sitter in the room studying. The sitter is assigned to the patient to keep the patient safe and that simply cannot be done if you are studying and taking notes. Patients can be tricky and awfully quiet when they want to be. Besides which, you wouldn't likely get a position with a calm and resting patient--why would they need a sitter?? And if a patient is on suicide precautions its even more important to be paying attention to the patient and what (s)he is doing, versus reading your assignments. It is a job that sounds nice, but may be more than you bargained for. I saw some when I was in school and it was work.
  8. by   mamason
    Tend to agree with RPBear. Not all sitter situations are easy. You may have a patient that is "CONFUSED" and the family does not agree to retraints etc..These type of patients are sometimes difficult to deal with and safety is a big issue. You could have an angry pt who doesn't want to be there because they have suicide ideations. The list goes on. It's all about professionalism. I would ask your unit manager about the guide lines and if he/she would permit you to study if you have and easy assignment. SOme managers frown on this and others will say it's OK. Just make sure you find out what the hospital protocol is before you act. Good Luck!
  9. by   nadjarea
    I am a sitter and they actually prefer us to be nursing students and encourage us to study. I like it so far, sometimes it is hard to stay awake, but I get to see really cool stuff and feel like I'll have a leg up when it comes time for clinicals.
  10. by   turnforthenurse
    I work as a tech in a hospital, and sometimes I have to sit with a patient. I always bring something to study just in case but remember you are there for the patient first and foremost! If the patient is sleeping then I will usually pull my stuff out to study but if they're awake doing stuff then I have to pay attention to that. Most of the time patients are sitters because they are confused and need to be reminded not to pull at things or they try to get out of bed (when a bed check/bed alarm just doesn't cut it). Sitters are also used as a way to avoid restraints, though I have had patients in restraints before.

    I have had some sitter cases that are a piece of cake for the most part - and others that are a handful. And some of those patients are QUICK, too. I was working 7p-7a and had to sit that night with a patient who was confused. He had an IV an NG and had to be reminded not to pull at them. He was very pleasant, but later on that night he just got really mean and nasty...he tried climbing out of bed and was fast at it, too - and this was a big guy and I'm teeny tiny (5'2", 110lbs) and there is no way that I myself could get him back him, so I called for help and 4 nurses rushed in to help me. This guy also hit me and another nurse - not hard, but still...that just shows that you don't know what to expect! I've had a patient told me he was going to come find me when he gets out of the hospital Some of them can be kind of scary!

    Most of my experiences have been good ones, though.
  11. by   bewitched
    I've just applied for a Patient Sitter position at my local hospital and found this thread while looking for advice...

    So far I like the sound of the job, but the description the hospital gave online included the phrase "must be able to handle difficult patients." Now I understand the nature of the job and the reasons for a sitter including pulling lines out, etc., but what is a Patient Sitter expected to do ASIDE from watch? It's my understanding that sitters are not usually allowed to have direct patient contact, so if a pt is trying to get out of bed when s/he's not supposed to, do you just ring the call bell and the nurse comes to take care of it? Basically be a human bed alarm?

    What would your advice for "handling" a difficult patient be? Try and guide them back to bed, talk with them to distract them, etc?
    Last edit by bewitched on Jun 21, '10 : Reason: Added more to my post.
  12. by   MammaNurse2Be
    I have used them for my mom when she has been hospitalized when i can't be with her. they are invaluable. i also used them for myself when i had pneumonia back in november/december. i was reacting to all sorts of drugs and i couldn't breath. we have 3 kids and no family close by so my dh couldn't be with me. i had someone for three days and would do it again in a heartbeat. not only did they help me, they got my mind off of how sick I was when we would visit. tney were right there if i had a reaction and they could help me walk around the floor to get my strength up. we paid about 22 an hour to an agency i believe. so worth it.
  13. by   Silas
    I didn't read every post on this thread, but I hate sitting. Sitting is a nightmare. I can't sit still and stare at one person for 4-12 hours. I also can't study in a buzzing and beeping room. Sometimes your patient will be calm and asleep, but I've done a lot of agitated/confused/combative patients. Yes, the most challenging patients will try and hit you. Some people can do it and get work done, I would rather quit.

    Also, if the room is on contact precautions, you won't be taking your textbook in there.

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