New nurse assigned to float

  1. 0 Just looking for some feedback. What is your opinion of having a new nurse (just off orientation) float on various med/surg tele floors? I've gotten lots of negative comments about it and I have to say I agree with most of them. Already feeling like med surg nursing is not for me and the idea of floating makes me even more anxious ...
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  3. Visit  NurseJJ09} profile page

    About NurseJJ09

    Joined Mar '10; Posts: 21.

    11 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Sunnysidegirl} profile page
    0
    Quote from NurseJJ09
    Just looking for some feedback. What is your opinion of having a new nurse (just off orientation) float on various med/surg tele floors? I've gotten lots of negative comments about it and I have to say I agree with most of them. Already feeling like med surg nursing is not for me and the idea of floating makes me even more anxious ...
    How long was your orientation?? I had three months orientation on a medical floor with a preceptor than 3 months on my own.After the 3 months probation I had an evaluation.I passed the eval and transitioned from resident nurse to staff nurse which means I now I can float.I recently floated to sameday sugery which was hectic and very new to me.I was nervous and told the charge nurse that I was new and It was my first time floating.She went easy on me.I was still stressed out but I made it through. So as long as your honest about your abilities and are given stable patients you should be fine.Ask for help and speak up if you are uncomfortable with an assingment.If however, you had a short orientation and haven't had a chance to be somewhat confident on your own floor I would say that It's too soon and unsafe.
  5. Visit  NurseJJ09} profile page
    0
    Thanks for your reply. I had 10 weeks with a preceptor which is just about to end. I am going to float right away which is the problem. If I was assigned to a floor and had to float occassionally I would deal with it. I don't feel ready to be own my own, let alone float to a different floor each shift. Very scary, not sure what to do.
  6. Visit  Sunnysidegirl} profile page
    0
    Did they tell you when you were hired that you would be floating?Would they allow you more time to be precepted or at least stay on that unit until you become more experienced?It took me a good 6-7 months on my own unit to feel like I had the hang of things. I know a friend who is a new nurse and is also floating to various floors.Is this the new trend? Personally I think it should not be allowed.I would do it If it was the only job offered. Considering more than half my class has not found jobs. I would work within my scope, and get help when needed,gain the experience, then find a better job.Good luck to you.
    Last edit by Sunnysidegirl on Mar 19, '10
  7. Visit  HeartsOpenWide} profile page
    0
    I think a float nurse should be a position for one that is seasoned. You have to really know your stuff to be able to work in more than one department and to come in and know what needs to be done when "you know what" has hit the fan and they call you to float, or just to float to cover a shift.
  8. Visit  EnkeliRN} profile page
    0
    Quote from NurseJJ09
    Just looking for some feedback. What is your opinion of having a new nurse (just off orientation) float on various med/surg tele floors? I've gotten lots of negative comments about it and I have to say I agree with most of them. Already feeling like med surg nursing is not for me and the idea of floating makes me even more anxious ...
    Try to request more orientation time and be honest with your manger/supervisor about your feeling. Even after you're done with orientation and working on your own ask questions, seek help from your peers especially from the seasoned nurses. My advice would be don't listen to all the negative comments without seeing it for yourself first. My on pros/cons of being a float RN doing med/surg tele, oncology, and orthopedics as follows: Pros, you will learn so many things so fast, network with lots of RNs, and you don't have to be sucked into the hospital politics. Cons, you will be assigned hard patients until they get to know you (at least that was my experience), some RNs will be rude, intrusive and judgmental, & you might feel left out/lonely.


    Best of luck to you
  9. Visit  gogatsby} profile page
    0
    At my hospital, you get eight weeks of orientation with a preceptor, then four weeks on your own on your floor (med/surg) before you can get floated to other floors (tele...ICU, even). The way my hospital works, we get floated pretty much every other day. I've been doing this for about ten months so I feel a little better about it, but I still don't think I should be going to the ICU! It's ridiculous since I'm not even allowed to read the heart monitors. It's hard enough being a new nurse, let alone going to a new environment with nurses who you don't know so you don't know who to go to for help or to ask questions. No one said anything about being floated during my interview, and I'll know to ask next time!
  10. Visit  Sunnysidegirl} profile page
    0
    Quote from gogatsby
    At my hospital, you get eight weeks of orientation with a preceptor, then four weeks on your own on your floor (med/surg) before you can get floated to other floors (tele...ICU, even). The way my hospital works, we get floated pretty much every other day. I've been doing this for about ten months so I feel a little better about it, but I still don't think I should be going to the ICU! It's ridiculous since I'm not even allowed to read the heart monitors. It's hard enough being a new nurse, let alone going to a new environment with nurses who you don't know so you don't know who to go to for help or to ask questions. No one said anything about being floated during my interview, and I'll know to ask next time!

    Yikes that must be stressful.I guess if you look at it in a positive light you are gaining alot of experience and it will look great on a resume.It looks as though you are a safe and competent nurse.
  11. Visit  I<3H2O} profile page
    0
    My hospital has recently started hiring new grads in the "float pool" and it really is a nightmare for those of us that have to work with them. These nurses often times want to be coddled and that is not fair to the rest of us. There is no way I would have taken a floating position right out of school and I have told the students not to do it.

    If you took this position knowing it would involve floating, then I would guess you have to deal or quit. Unfortunately.
  12. Visit  33aqua33} profile page
    0
    I liked my hospital's policy... 3 months orientation with preceptor then 3 months on your own before were able to be floated. I think that's how it should be. You have so much to learn, but in a foreign environment doesn't help.
  13. Visit  classicdame} profile page
    0
    floating is done when there is not sufficient staff to cover a unit. It is much cheaper to float an employee than to hire an agency nurse. Your license makes you a "generic" nurse who ought to be able to handle basic care. The charge nurse should take into consideration your experience (generally plus on this new unit). I doubt you will ever find a job in a hospital where floating never is done. BTW, the nurse who is more flexible is also more valuable.
  14. Visit  BluegrassRN} profile page
    1
    I think you are floating too soon; at our hospital you cannot float for three months after your orientation ends.

    However, although no one typically likes to float, I think floating is great for a couple of reasons.

    1) It's good to get out of your comfort zone. It keeps you alert and makes you think.

    2) It's good to see what other floors do: how they handle staffing assignments, what duties their charge nurse performs, how they interact with the docs, how they organize their floor, their time, their division of duties, etc.

    3) It's good to interact with those people, to see things from that floor's perspective. There can be a lot of animosity between units. If there were more floating between the units and the nurses would actually get to know each other, it could minimize this and increase a sense of teamwork. You learn to appreciate the hard work they do, and they learn to appreciate you and your hard work.

    4) It's nice to keep your skills up. I work on a medical floor. I hate floating, but I rarely have a bad night. Whether it's floating to ED, ICU, step-down, surgical, rehab, OB or peds, I always learn something, and it keeps me sharp. While I really don't like post-op patients, it is good for us to have to float to surgery, because on rare occasions we have to take surgical overflow patients. The floating keeps up our skills sets in other areas so that when we do receive a patient that technically should be in another unit, we can provide appropriate, safe care.

    5) You get a feel for other floors, other units. A lot of nurses start out on the medical or surgical floors, but ultimately wish to transfer somewhere else. If you are interested in the ED, when someone needs to go down there, you volunteer to float and then you try to knock them out with your skills, interest, and helpfulness. They will remember it, and it will help you get a job there later.

    6) I'd prefer to float or work extra shifts than have agency. While my experience with agency nurses themselves has been nothing but good, I honestly was resentful of the fact that they were making significantly more than I was. I'd rather make that money myself.

    Ultimately, I support the concept of floating, if it is done in a safe manner. I don't think new grads fresh off orientation should float. If you are fresh off orientation but have been a nurse in an acute care setting for a while and are comfortable with the idea, then sure. Everyone should have some sort of orientation to the unit, and the charge nurse should make sure to make contact with the float and let them know which nurse to go to as a resource.

    I don't think that people should float to somewhere way outside their comfort zone without certain accommodation. For example, most of our medical nurses, when they float to Mother/Baby, act more in the capacity of a super-aide. They take vitals, help with care, give meds, etc...but they have an OB/Mother/baby nurse do their assessments. On the surgical floor, they try to give their floats the less complex patients, or ones that are having a more medical issue.

    When I assign patients to float nurses on our floor, I generally try to assign the less complex patients. If I know I'm getting a surgical nurse and we have any possible surgical candidates or post-op patients, I'll given them those patients. If I'm getting a rehab nurse, I'll try to assign patients who will be heading to rehab in a day or two. If I'm getting an ICU nurse, I'll assign more complex patients, ones who might have been potential candidates for stepdown, or whose condition has been deteriorating and may in fact be headed over to step-down or ICU anyhow.

    I think if we view floating as an opportunity to help out our coworkers, hone some rusty skills, and a means of learning and growing, then it's not so bad. The receiving floor has to show their appreciation and be reasonable in their expectations, and the floating nurse needs to buck up and not cop an attitude. If done decently, I think floating is a good thing. Not that I don't groan when I'm the one to float...
    MedChica likes this.


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