Brand new member. I recently graduated from school (May) and received my RN license in June, yay!
I work at a small 160 bed hospital with a VERY active med-surg/tele floor. Now I am working nights, 7p-7a. The hospital is trying (or at least they say they do) to move towards a team nursing model, but they are meeting resistance from their staff. Anyway, this is my problem.
I am responsible for EIGHT people on my night shift, as their primary nurse. There is no help, lots of time no aide, etc. I pass the meds, answer the bells, toilet, bathe, and deal with every problem that arises. We have a charge nurse who will oversee our work, call the docs for us, etc, but we are responsible for all the care, meds, nursing, etc.
I cannot tell you how overwhelming this is as a new nurse. The hospital I work at employs LPN's, but they are responsible for their own group of patients. The CN will do their pushes, assessments, blood draws, PICC/central line care, etc. However if there is an emergency, the RN's such as myself then have those tasks pushed upon us for the LPNs.
If we are only given 7 patients on our assignment that night, we receive admissions. There is no admissions nurse, we do everything. Meaning we are totally unavailable to our other patients for at LEAST an hour. If there is no aide, those people are pretty much on their own. There is no one to "cover" you, or watch your bells because they all have eight people themselves.
I know staffing is a major issue among hospitals and nurse managers, but I am curious, is this common practice? I knew going into my job that medsurg was not my passion and I am here for the experience. I love nursing and I'm so glad I made it my career choice, but 8 patients on a nightly basis is stressful and scary. I've been a nurse for four months and already I dread going into work. I want to cry when I look at my assignment and I feel terrible for my patients who aren't being taken care of the way they should be because I am so busy with 8 of them. I am literally biding my time until I can move to a different specialty, but I am so frustrated and overwhelmed with my place of employment that I think I'm going to go CRAZY. Just wondering people thought's on this.