Med-Surg qualifications

  1. I've run into a situation that has been plaquing me for two years. Our facility(like many others) has gradually downsized over the last 25 years of my employment, and I, like many LPNs, went back to RN school and graduated in 1980. I am currently an 18 year OR-PACU nurse, and before that an 7 year ER nurse in a small city hospital. My dilemma is that now that we have been bought out by a much larger corporation, and our case load in OR is smaller, in order to cover our current inpatient/swing bed unit with nurses for patient care, they are "floating" us to the general Med-Surg unit. I am extremely uncomfortable with this as I have never had any formal cross-training to floor nursing as an RN, only as an LPN. A month before graduating from RN school I transferred from an ortho-neuro floor to PACU for one year in a 350 bed hospital and never did an RN "basic nurse cross-training on a med-surg floor". I do not feel qualified to be dealing with a patient care assignment in the Med-Surg area of nursing without going thru a formal cross-training period. Our hospital feels that because I've been working-that I, with a few days (4) orientation, should be able to assume all the ethical and legal responsibilies of an RN in this area of nursing, I do not agree, there have been too many changes in nursing in the last 25 years for me to do this with only a student RN education, training, & experience to fall back on. If anyone has had this same problem and has any suggestions for me, please, I would certainly appreciate it. I've come to the conclusion that the only way to protect my license and patients is to have the charge nurse and supervisor of the Med-surg floor sign a paper that states I have informed them of my concerns regarding my qualifications and then hope for the best. I'm currently 53 years old and love OR nursing, it took me 15 years to fiqure that out, however, it may be time for a change in my career. Thanks again for any suggestions. EasyDoesIt5692
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Nursonegreat
    I feel for u here...when i worked in PACu not too long ago, they said when we were short we would be floated to the floors. now, i was very upset cause ONE i personally hate floating...TWO the floor nurses treated PACU like crap (cause we gave them admissions and our management let them get away with the abuse...not our fault we got 5 out of the OR at once and they are all floor ready at the same time) so why would i want to go and help them when they were short but funny...there was noone to float to us when we were short cause noone is trained for our specialty...THREE i left m/s for specialty cause i was tired of it and had done my time. well, we never did float but they said that since we were considered critical care then we were qualified to go there. but hello, our time management skills were different...in PACU we had like 1-2 pts at a time...not 9 and trying to pass meds and etc etc. i am not in favor of that at all...floating should only go between like units for crips sakes.....no m/s or even tele nurse could float to us, so keep the PACU out of it too....they will never make OR float so PACU should be considered part of OR for all i care. anyways i dont work there anymore, i work in an freestanding ASC. GL and i agree with you completely.
  4. by   Ronna
    Quote from EasyDoesIt5692
    I've run into a situation that has been plaquing me for two years. Our facility(like many others) has gradually downsized over the last 25 years of my employment, and I, like many LPNs, went back to RN school and graduated in 1980. I am currently an 18 year OR-PACU nurse, and before that an 7 year ER nurse in a small city hospital. My dilemma is that now that we have been bought out by a much larger corporation, and our case load in OR is smaller, in order to cover our current inpatient/swing bed unit with nurses for patient care, they are "floating" us to the general Med-Surg unit. I am extremely uncomfortable with this as I have never had any formal cross-training to floor nursing as an RN, only as an LPN. A month before graduating from RN school I transferred from an ortho-neuro floor to PACU for one year in a 350 bed hospital and never did an RN "basic nurse cross-training on a med-surg floor". I do not feel qualified to be dealing with a patient care assignment in the Med-Surg area of nursing without going thru a formal cross-training period. Our hospital feels that because I've been working-that I, with a few days (4) orientation, should be able to assume all the ethical and legal responsibilies of an RN in this area of nursing, I do not agree, there have been too many changes in nursing in the last 25 years for me to do this with only a student RN education, training, & experience to fall back on. If anyone has had this same problem and has any suggestions for me, please, I would certainly appreciate it. I've come to the conclusion that the only way to protect my license and patients is to have the charge nurse and supervisor of the Med-surg floor sign a paper that states I have informed them of my concerns regarding my qualifications and then hope for the best. I'm currently 53 years old and love OR nursing, it took me 15 years to fiqure that out, however, it may be time for a change in my career. Thanks again for any suggestions. EasyDoesIt5692

    I'm curious to see what kind of advice you will receive as I also get floated around, I was sent to Womens Health a couple of weeks ago. The nurses wanted me to take patients. I'm a little bit of everything except ER and labor and delivery, so, to tell you the truth, I forgot how to assess a newborn, my last newborn was in school in 1992. How do you find a fundus when the mom has a vertical incision, I forgot. Who is liable, I don't want to be unless I know what I'm doing. I had never even been to the floor since renovations, didn't even know where anything was. What do we do next time we have to take care of pts that we are not trained to take care of. It scares me.
  5. by   Melina
    This is for CA, but I think most of it still applies:
    http://www.rn.ca.gov/practice/pdf/npr-b-21.pdf

    ~Mel'
  6. by   Ronna
    Quote from Melina
    This is for CA, but I think most of it still applies:
    http://www.rn.ca.gov/practice/pdf/npr-b-21.pdf

    ~Mel'

    Thanks alot, printed information for my personal use if the occation arises again. Thanks again
  7. by   EasyDoesIt5692
    Quote from Melina
    This is for CA, but I think most of it still applies:
    http://www.rn.ca.gov/practice/pdf/npr-b-21.pdf

    ~Mel'
    Thanks from me too, I also printed it and will use the info as backup for further discussions and floating incidents. I'm sure that when management needs to put their licenses on the line-they will be singing a different story.

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