To students working as techs, interns etc.

  1. Do you ever feel inept? I had 6 total care patients assigned to me out of a total load of 8. My shift was scheduled to end and I was supposed to be out of there by 7:30a. I didn't get out of there till 8:05a and the rest of the PCT staff was late getting out too because they were helping me. After we've taken the morning blood (one of our duties), we've got to clean up the patients and the rooms for the next shift. We have an hour for this. I had a major code brown with it on the drapes, the floor, and all over the patient. It took me 20 minutes to take care of him leaving me with only 40 minutes for the remaining rooms, take care of pateint requests and finish my charting. It was only with help from the other techs that I was able to leave a half hour after my shift was supposed to end. I walked out feeling terrible about myself. Maybe I'm slow. There was nothing encouraging... not a kind word, nothing to walk out of there feeling good about.

    Is this an experience that only I'm feeling? Has anyone else here ever worked past their scheduled end of shift for reasons like this? I feel like quitting.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Since i float on different floors, i get a share of different situations, crap, etc. I'm supposed to leave at 7:30a, but depending on the floor i'm assigned to depends on the time i get out. My home floor? 7:25. The Renal floor? 9:00.

    My home floor (a med-surg) is the ONLY floor that has EVER treated me with dignity and respect, and the ONLY floor i've heard a 'thank you' from. And that's always a GREAT picker-upper.
  4. by   Havin' A Party!
    Have gotten great treatment and kudos from every unit I've been floated to.

    Many have contacted my boss.
  5. by   wonderbee
    I'm feeling better about it today. I needed to vent. Six total care patients is out of the ordinary and it was my first shift working without a preceptor. Usually we'll have two or three total cares. The most I ever had before was four and that was with a preceptor. The other PCT's were very helpful. I think I'm just upset with myself because things didn't run as smoothly as I liked and there were a couple of nurses who could have done more to get in the trenches with me.
  6. by   purplemania
    experiences will vary depending on patient population, coworkers, patient acuity, unforeseen situations---which is why some people LOVE nursing. If you learn how to prioritize and time manage then you will be ahead of the game.
  7. by   Jennerizer
    Wow, sounds like you had a rough shift. I usually have 10 patients on the cardiac floor...but most are usually self-cares. We don't have to take blood nor do we chart very much, so we get out on time - if not early, unless we have a lot of EKGs to perform.

    I am curious...for those working the 7 pm - 7 am shift, are you required to give baths at your hospital? I am supposed to give at least two, but I have found that most people do not want to be woken up early in the morning to receive a bath, especially if they are self-care. They think I'm insane to even be asking. And when they refuse a bath that early, we are supposed to chart that they refused a bath, even if they say they would rather have one later on. Just doesn't seem right to me.
  8. by   wonderbee
    Somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 am, we go back into the rooms to empty the trash, supply fresh water and check on our patients one final time. If the self-cares are awake, we offer them towels and wash cloths and ask if they would like to freshen up. Full bed-baths on the 7p - 7a shift are typically on a PRN basis only.
    Last edit by wonderbee on May 11, '04
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Jennerizer
    I am curious...for those working the 7 pm - 7 am shift, are you required to give baths at your hospital?.
    Only the AM dialysis pts.
  10. by   EyesForward
    Does anybody know what it's like to work nights as a PCA in CCU? I'm considering this for the short term hoping I'll have priority over 'unknowns' as a nurse intern in December when I finish second semester. I know the work you do, Kitty, is so physically demanding, I wonder if I'll be making a mistake. I just want more expose on the floor, and I feel I've reached the ceiling drawing blood every day. I think CCU would be taking me in the right direction, over L&D, another opportunity that popped up, since L&D is so specialized. BTW, my email is temporarily broken or I would have sent a PM. That's OK, though, I want to hear if there are other night shift PCA's in CCU. Take care!
  11. by   wonderbee
    Hi Eyes! No personal experience but I've heard it's a tough job. VERY physically demanding because many of these patients are on vents and cannot assist. On the other hand, you have a lower patient load and there is more team work. The upside of getting into CCU now is that you might be able to nitch out a spot for yourself in critical care on graduation.

    I've joined a gym. Physical strength is a must for this job whether you're on CCU or med/surg. PM me when you get your email back up, k?
  12. by   PennyLane
    I'm generally responsible for 14 patients. No drawing blood, but a LOT of finger sticks. I'm in an ICU, so I'm not expected to turn or boost patients without the nurse's help. The nurses all (with few exceptions) really appreciate me and always thank me. I've also gotten written compliments submitted to the nurse manager about me.
  13. by   purplemania
    Every shift will not be like that one. When you learn to prioritize and time manage and communicate with your co-workers more effectively you will begin to steal a few minutes to actually get your work done on time. Nurses feel the same way sometimes. That is why we need to act as a team, so everyone gets the work done and we all go home on time. Hang in there. You might be feeling a little more frustrated because it is the end of the semester and you are trying to study for finals, etc. Vent to us, but hang in there!

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