more than anything - i just need some affirmation that i am not insane. here is my story... i was re-entering floor nursing, keep in mind that i had not been on a floor in 6 years (my prior experience was a year of sicu, year of ortho, 6 months ltac night super/charge, and 5 years in medicaid prior auth). i attempted to re-enter in my hometown but at the time no one would accept me, they wanted me to pay to take a refresher course - which i couldn't afford.
i moved to la approximately 9 months ago after learning that they would reorient me without my having to go back to school .... after 6 weeks of what i would consider the most ridiculous "orientation" i have ever experienced, i was thrown into the night charge position on pedi/ortho. i have never worked pediatrics and was blown away that they would put not only me but their patients in that position. i really wanted to get back to floor nursing so i told myself to just get through it. it was at this point that i began to wonder....
it is normal for my unit to have 12 - 21 patients. i am expected to take a full load of patients (6), perform all charge nurse duties, oversee lpn(s), and more often than not i will not have an aide. there is never a clerk.
we usually have no less than 4-5 total care patients on the floor as well. this means baths, bedpans, etc., in addition to my other charge duties. at all times i am the only rn on the floor. i have voiced my concerns to my supervisor and the adon - who repeatedly state that they are "working on it."
to add insult to injury, i almost always follow a nurse who is notoriously known for not doing her work and being borderline negligent . as a result, i am forced to go back through all of the md orders from the time of admission forward - because if anything gets missed - it falls on me as well. she would not admit patients to the floor 30-45 minutes prior to shift change - leaving some patients sitting in rooms without seeing a single staff member or having vitals, gown, room orientation, etc. i would come in and ask for report on them - she would tell me that she didn't have to give report because they arrived at 630 - some had actually been sitting there for much longer. there is no official charge nurse report at all. every floor nurse and one house supervisor i discussed this with told me that this nurse had been allowed to get away with this for years. people have been writing her up repeatedly with no or very little action taken. when i reported this nurse myself - i was told that slander was grounds for immediate dismissal!!!! :angryfire
i am a very well adjusted person, but since taking this position, i don't sleep more than 3 hours at a time, i have begun having anxiety attacks, and may even be in the early stage of depression. the last shift i worked, there were 19 patients, 3 nurses (including myself), no aide after 11p. i had already told my adon that i was seriously thinking of leaving. this morning i have decided that i will not return. i am a single mom with a child in college...i cannot afford to put my license in jeopardy this way.
someone please tell me.....has floor nursing changed that much while i was away? is this the way nursing is everywhere in la? i have met soooo many wonderful and dedicated nurses while working in this facility - but they are being run into the ground with the lack of staffing. is it really this way everywhere....if so, i may have to find a new profession! i am soooo disillusioned.....