Asked to be counted in the numbers for one week. Help required

  1. Hi

    Myself and another module 4 student are currently on week 4 of our 9 week placement in an intermediate care unit.

    We really enjoy it and the staff are really lovely.

    Today the Sister asked us if we would be counted in the numbers for one week at the end of June as both her and senior staff nurse were away and she didn't want to get agency staff as they wouldn't know the patients.

    She was above board and said she knows this is not expected and she would give us extra study time as a reward.

    To be honest it won't make much difference to the work we do but I do feel uneasy about saying yes. She said that we wouldn't have to do anything we were not happy with or work longer hours, just help out a bit more.

    What do you guys think about this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I am not in the UK, so things may be different, but I think it is incredibly unethical to use students as staff. Agency nurses may not be familiar with the place, but at least they have a license to work there.

    My concern for you would be what sort of coverage will you have if something goes wrong while you are being counted as staff?
  4. by   UK2USA
    It sounds as if you are 'supernumery' students at the moment... as your course progresses you will be counted with the numbers. I agree with Fergus51, my main concern is that the ward manager does not appear to have considered the accountability/responsibility issues of using you in this way. At your stage of development you should have a supervising nurse for each shift that you work, this nurse will be accountable for everything that you do. What happens if your senior colleagues are away when things go wrong? Who holds the accountability?

    I would discuss this with your course tutor, it doesn't sound right to me. Working beyond your level of experience can never be justified so that the ward can save money. At the stage you are in with your course the ward has a contract to provide you with education and experience, not use you as cheap labour. Good luck, let me know what happens.
  5. by   Silverdragon102
    She is wrong to ask and knows it, you are supernummary for a reason. My main concern would be like the other posts, accountability and your butt on the line if anything should go wrong.
  6. by   canoehead
    You don't have a license to practice independently, so no matter how comfortable you are it is risky to your future in nursing.
  7. by   gwenith
    Absolutely not!!! You are not being paid you cannot be counted in the "numbers" you cannot BE given that responsibility because you have not yet got the requisite qualifications to BE given that responsibility. I would definitely talk to my course co-ordinator and then very politely decline BUT go to the course co-ordinator FIRST!! That is so she cannot turn around and threaten you with a bad report.
  8. by   scleaver
    thanks for all your replies much appreciated

    I have emailed my course tutor for advice but you are all right.

    If anything goes wrong, what happens

    Thanks again everyone
  9. by   karenG
    remember your code of conduct.........

    and enjoy the luxury of being supernumary!

    Karen

    edited 'cos I cant spell!! I'd be so dangerous if I could!!
  10. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Just read your post. I think the nurse was wrong to ask you. You are not paid to work there, you are there to learn. Call me a cynic, but in my opinion, she wasn't just asking you because the agency nurses wouldn't know the ward, I suspect it's to save money. Let us know the outcome.
  11. by   Alistair
    Hi,

    This may be too late now but IMO I think you should decline, mainly for the same reasons everyone else has given.

    I would also like to add however that you and your friend should feel proud of yourselves that the ward sister felt you were advanced enough to be able to ask you to do this. Regardless of the money/responsibility implications ward managers aren't daft and you are both obviously respected enough to be asked.

    Well done!

    Decline but decline politely.
  12. by   madwife2002
    Quote from scleaver
    Hi

    Myself and another module 4 student are currently on week 4 of our 9 week placement in an intermediate care unit.

    We really enjoy it and the staff are really lovely.

    Today the Sister asked us if we would be counted in the numbers for one week at the end of June as both her and senior staff nurse were away and she didn't want to get agency staff as they wouldn't know the patients.

    She was above board and said she knows this is not expected and she would give us extra study time as a reward.

    To be honest it won't make much difference to the work we do but I do feel uneasy about saying yes. She said that we wouldn't have to do anything we were not happy with or work longer hours, just help out a bit more.

    What do you guys think about this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Sorry may be an idiot do you mean June this year 2005?
  13. by   BOSSYBOOTS
    Quote from scleaver
    Hi

    Myself and another module 4 student are currently on week 4 of our 9 week placement in an intermediate care unit.

    We really enjoy it and the staff are really lovely.

    Today the Sister asked us if we would be counted in the numbers for one week at the end of June as both her and senior staff nurse were away and she didn't want to get agency staff as they wouldn't know the patients.

    She was above board and said she knows this is not expected and she would give us extra study time as a reward.

    To be honest it won't make much difference to the work we do but I do feel uneasy about saying yes. She said that we wouldn't have to do anything we were not happy with or work longer hours, just help out a bit more.

    What do you guys think about this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
    I don't understand. If you are on week four of your placement now how can you still be there at the end of June? Did you type the wrong month?

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