Pulled to other floors?

  1. 3
    Are you pulled to other floors to work? At my facility, we are, once we are three months off of orientation. The only nurses in the hospital who are not pulled are ER nurses. I think ICU is at least just as specialized as ER, and I don't think we should be pulled. I am newer to ICU and have spent the last six months trying to think like a critical care nurse. Totally messed with my chi the other night to be pulled to a telemetry floor and have eight patients (for the first time in my career). I am feeling a bit dejected because I feel like I didn't give great nursing care to any one of them. Just hoping for some encouragement or advice. I love my job but a steady diet of this would make me look for a different one...
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 24, '12
  2. 28 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    ER nurses don't float because the ER can be dead quiet one minute and drowning in patients the next. They can't predict how a shift will be so they have a certain number of nurses on at all times. It annoys me too don't worry. The places that I've worked, ICU nurses can only get floated to other critical care specialties with similar ratios and acuity, such as CCU. One time an ICU nurse got floated to med-surg and it was (no offense) a disaster.
  4. 6
    You need to remember that you work for the FACILITY, not the individual unit. Management is responsible for running the whole facility, not just one unit, one unit, one unit, etc. They have to do whatever it takes to run the whole facility. They know floating is not terrific for pts and staff, but options are limited (just remember when your unit is short, someone else was floated!)

    You just do the best professional job you can. As time goes on, you will most likely be floated again. Your being a newbie, I can understand your anxiety. It's obvious that you want to do good care. I'd bet that you did fine when you did float that time.

    As much as I dislike being floated, I remember my paycheck is signed by XYZ facility, not east wing or 6th floor.

    It does get easier. In fact, I actually was a floater for a while - I LOVED IT! Staff LOVED me too, as I was the extra person. I went in to whatever unit they gave me. Did my job; didn't get caught up in the floor drama, worked well with the regular staff, went home on time, etc. Unit mgrs even put in requests for me. I had my favorite floors, and there were ones I DID NOT like (because of ding-a-ling staff). As you mature, you'll see!!!
    HazelLPN, sckimrn, dsb_fam, and 3 others like this.
  5. 4
    No one likes to float. From the time I graduated this has been a bone of contention amongst nurses. Some facilities have nurses that only float to "like units" others do not. The ICU nurse is, and yes I have been one, capable of caring for the floor patient even though the sill set is rusty but a floor nurse has difficulty caring for the specialized critical patients which is a safety issue. While critical care nurses can be over whelmed by the floor there is no patient there that she cannot care for.....not happily but they are safe.

    ED nurses do not float not because they are specialized but because of the unpredictability of the department......just like OB and surgery they don't float they go home.

    While it makes every nurse uncomfortable to float.....it is the nature of the beast. One of the reasons I like the ED is they don't float.

    It does get easier even though you won't like it any better.((HUGS))
    merlee, OnlybyHisgraceRN, DroogieRN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    We only floated to other ICU's and our neuro stepdown unit. We didn't float to the general floors.
    DroogieRN likes this.
  7. 1
    Our nurses only float to other ICUs and they are given the option to take PTO or float. Ps; our Nursing policy also states they have to be notified 2hrs in advance that they are going to be floated and they can choose to stay home or float;-)

    Fortunately our CNO is big on giving nurses options thank goodness, before she took over nurses would be floated everywhere!
    DroogieRN likes this.
  8. 1
    At my hospital, the critical care nurses are also cross trained to work on the telemetry floor. A tele nurse typically gets about 5-6 patients. An ICU nurse who floats on tele can never have more than 4 patients. This is usually a piece of cake for me since I originally came from a med/surg floor. I know how to handle the load. The nice thing about working on the floors is the support staff. If you have a great tech, secretary, etc. Things usually go smoothly. Unless something unpected happens. It's a bit of a break compared to working in ICU where it's basically primary care. All in all, I don't mind being floated at all.
    DroogieRN likes this.
  9. 1
    i work med surg, on a unit that gets all surgical cases in the hospital. they sometimes float nurses from my unit over to ICU (we are the only med/surg nurses that get floated to ICU in our hospital) if they are short. they try to give us the most stable, step-down type patients, but i am scared to death of when i start floating that this will happen to me. they also float us to PACU.
    DroogieRN likes this.
  10. 1
    The ICU nurses in our hospital are floated all over the place frequently. A buddy who now works in the PACU with me left the ICU mostly because he was tired of working on the floors. He said if he actually got to work in the ICU most of the time he'd have stayed.

    Quote from ashleyisawesome
    i work med surg, on a unit that gets all surgical cases in the hospital. they sometimes float nurses from my unit over to ICU (we are the only med/surg nurses that get floated to ICU in our hospital) if they are short. they try to give us the most stable, step-down type patients, but i am scared to death of when i start floating that this will happen to me. they also float us to PACU.
    What exactly do they have you do in the PACU when you're there? Help out? Cover hold patients? Recover phase I patients fresh out of the OR? If the latter, that's pretty dicey from a safety and liability standpoint without adequate orientation. At least be sure that you've got an experienced PACU nurse backing you up at all times who you're not afraid to ask for advice.
    DroogieRN likes this.
  11. 1
    We pull ICU to ICU and acute to acute. I don't know what the ER does when they need help.
    When I started new in the cardiac ICU I had to do one week shadowing on our stepdown unit just to get a feel for what the "other side" does. (this is done in vise versa for their new nurses). I work peds so the acute care nurses typically still only have 3-4 patients. I still thought it was horrible and would never be able to work acute care after being trained fresh out of school to have a critical care focused mind. I would for sure drown with three or four patients. I can't imagine in the adult world having 6-8!
    DroogieRN likes this.


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