Do you use Charge Nurses on your unit? If so, what are their responsibilities? Do they carry patients as well? Who fills this role?
Feb 24, '05
I work at a 10 bed community hospital ICU. We have a person designated to be charge each shift. The charge nurse takes a full assignment. Most of our nurses are very independant so the charge role is just the focus person for assigning new admits,handling any complaints if the manager is not around or helping new staff with their assignment etc. A person is deemed ready for charge when they are able to handle all the invasive proceedures we do and are able to handle more than one critical patient. They also must be able to have knowledge of what's going on with the other patients as far as what patient is transferable if we have a bed crunch. We do get a small charge nurse differential.
Feb 24, '05
The last two units Ive worked on had dedicated charge nurse pools. These nurses did not take assigments unless it was the middle of the night and even then only one.
Their role was to manage the unit, be a resouce for other nurses regarding policies, equipment, skills etc. Also they helped facilitate transfers, beds communication between families and Docs, upper management add infinitum.
At those hospitals nurses were screened for that position and usually meant the nurse had been there awhile so was very familiar with hospital and unit policy, knew all the MD services, and had to go through an orientation.
Other hospitals have the unit nurses rotate as charge, usually after six months experience-