What other work do Med/Surg nurses have to do on night shift?

  1. Hi, I worked a few night shifts in Psych and the paperwork left over from other shifts, endless chart auditing and general mess clean up was aweful! I felt like I wasn't even working the same job I was trained for when I did days or evening shift.
    Needless to say I'm no longer working there, because they wouldn't change my shift.......I've applied for various other positions one being med/surg but alot of the openings are night shift, am I going to get the same work on nights in Med/ Surg????
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 28, '07
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   RNsRWe
    We do alot more paperwork in that we do the 24-hour chart checks: picking up missed orders, making sure the MARs are accurate for the next day.

    Every shift is supposed to clean up the med room and such, but it really falls to the night crew to do it: if it's not spick and span in the morning, the day crew b**ches about it to no end (as if they HADN'T left it a pig sty for the evening crew, who left it for us....).

    Other than that, it's the same work on each shift. I don't audit anyone's chart; every nurse does his or her own charting. For my patients I AM doing that 24-hour check, but that's standard everywhere you go.
  4. by   RN1263
    Thanks for the reply!

    I think it was more overwhelming in psych because there was only one nurse per unit on nights. so if the unit had 27 pts. then you had to chart check, ect. for ALL the pts. on the unit.
    thanks again
  5. by   deeDawntee
    In my facility where I have worked nights in ortho, tele and now ICU we never have to do anything to clean-up for the previous shifts...the evening shift use to check the MARS for us...now that we have computer charting, there are no MARS to check....each shift is responsible for doing complete work onto itself...that doesn't mean that we don't catch things people miss...but it isn't nights responsibility to do some kind of chart review, I would find that degrading to me as a night nurse....and I think it would lend itself to irresponsibility on the other shifts. Of course, we are always checking orders anyway and making sure that everything is getting done, but to make the night shift the place where all the crap gets fixed, is ridiculous. Except for ICU, we have more patients at night and we all know how busy the night shift can get. I wouldn't put up with it. Gawd....nights are hard enough.
  6. by   crossbow
    Quote from dijmart
    Hi, I worked a few night shifts in Psych and the paperwork left over from other shifts, endless chart auditing and general mess clean up was aweful! I felt like I wasn't even working the same job I was trained for when I did days or evening shift.
    Needless to say I'm no longer working there, because they wouldn't change my shift.......I've applied for various other positions one being med/surg but alot of the openings are night shift, am I going to get the same work on nights in Med/ Surg????
    Depends on your facility/hospital. 24 hour chart checks and medicine reconciliation. Sometimes, put in a new IV on a patient if IV access is expired (good for 4 days), AM labs if patient has a central line. If a patient has a trach, trach care and resupplying the bedside stocks of suction caths etc. Accu-check and making sure the daily dose for basal insulin is done and calculated correctly by the bone head intern. OR prep, cardiac cath prep, NPO for procedures. Wound dressings, thats just some of the stuff I can recall off the top of my head.
  7. by   sharlynn
    Where do you all work that has an evening shift? Everyone works twelve hours around here, hospital & LTC. I don't really like it, but I have no choice!
  8. by   bethin
    Not a nurse, but work as a cna on med surg.

    Nurses are responsible for the med audits and such. Then the nm made out a schedule that has listed extra things that need to be done such as cleaning med cart, fridge, nurse's station, stocking rooms with O2 tubing, masks, etc. Beside each is a nurses or aide's name and you check off what you do. If it's not done, you better have a good excuse for not doing it. It's all split betweent the shifts and the jobs are rotated so no shift always has to clean the fridge.

    Before this list, there was a HUGE problem of nurses leaving the coffee pot half filled with nasty coffee or heating something in the microwave and letting it explode without wiping it up. Disgusting. We need to take responsibility for our actions and if we drink coffee, clean the pot. Heat something in the microwave, clean it out. Be kind to the next person.

    The list has helped because it lets workers know what they're responsible for. Usually, to do your part of the list takes about 10 mins so it's not a huge chunk of time.
  9. by   Daytonite
    I worked a lot of night shifts over the years and I worked mostly medical units. I think it's pretty common that the night shift is the clean up and organizing shift. We generally had to check all the charts to make sure that all the doctor's orders for the past 24 hours had been signed off and put into practice. That was a biggie. This is how errors get found. We had to verify diets for all patients for the next day and this meant making sure trays were being held for patients who were NPO for tests. If we had patient's going to surgery we had to make sure the OR check lists were completed as far as we could complete them. If it got quiet and there was nothing else after making rounds and attending to the patients, we cleaned and straightened up the unit. That included cleaning the med carts, the refrigerators and cupboards. The alternative is working day shift where everything is crazy and people are sometimes running around like chickens with their heads chopped off. I'll take night shift any time just to avoid that kind of chaos.

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