while this was a rather unfortunate and stressful situation for you, it is all too common. i'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but i would imagine more than half of those reading this thread can share a similar story- myself included. as my name suggest, i work in peds bmt- what the heck do i know about neonates. but obviously they felt it was okay to float me there.
having said that, that still doesn't make it right. and i do not disagree that the response by mgmt was inappropriate. in my experience, it is very rare that nurses are cross trained. and no, a nurse is a nurse is not so. i too, said the same thing about nicu- i didn't mind going there, but i'd like some kind of orientation before i go there, but of course, it fell on deaf ears. i think it also depends on the institution and how their departments are 'lumped together'. in another institution, i (a 'peds' nurse) was floated to another unit within the maternal/child department- it was a gyn/surgical unit, that also took high risk antepartum and post partum overflow. so basically i had about 6 50-something s/p hysterectomies, and 2 post partums (they don't give the ped floats ante-partums, because we're not trained on the fetal monitors (nor any of the other patients, actually
some places have specific rules as to who can float where- they must stay within their service (ie, medical, surgical, critical care, etc). is this the case at your place?
i've seen some institutions do a double float- sending nicu to general peds and general peds to heme/onc. still not solving the problem completely, but it could avoid complete culture shock.
i also think there is a problem with new nurses floating so soon. you relly need to be comfortable in what you are doing, before you can adapt to a new situation like that. and sadly, most co-workers will not go up to bat for you and say "hey, i'll take the float for you". most are thrilled that it's not their turn!!!
maybe a meeting with your educator might be in order. remember to maintain your composure, and present all of your points without sounding like another complainer who just doesn't want to float. and the word "unsafe" is one they don't like to hear, but maybe they need to :uhoh21: