I have been a med-surg nurse since 1994. In January of this year, I left my beloved med-surg floor and moved over to ICU. Even with my experience, I knew that this would be like starting over. I don't know if the other nurses notice any growth on my part, but I feel the growing pains for sure. That is good! That is a large part of moving to ICU: to grow and be a better nurse.
I will not go into a huge amount of detail, but will be glad to answer specific questions if anyone needs me to, but I need some advice on how to move forward on a particular unpleasant encounter from last night's shift change.
I had 2 patients. One patient had been a 1:1 until my day shift on 7/19. Young (21) and still very critical, on vent. The other patient had been moved from LTAC during the early morning hours of 7/19, but had been cared for by another nurse on 7/19. Pt is older and with a long, long hx of chronic medical problems and on vent. He is also in BIG time isolation (the works). I had both of these patients on 7/20 and they had the highest acuity on the unit. 3 other nurses helped me as their time permitted. I was so, so grateful for their help. I thanked them all over and over, and one of the nurses that is also sometimes the charge nurse made the remark that she didn't know why, but when "L***" is charge nurse, I always get the hardest load.
At one hr prior to shift change, my young, critical patient had a STAT CT of chest ordered, and 30 min prior to shift change, we had her ready to roll to CT. I got back just after report was started. I handed off to 2 different nurses.
I gave report first to the nurse taking my older patient. She had him on the night of 7/19-7/20. I have never met or worked with this nurse prior to this.
I then gave report to the nurse coming on for my younger patient, and part of that report was that I had placed a rectal tube for constant diarrhea during the day, but moving her around for the CT had caused some leakage and I planned to get help cleaning her up and getting everything else back in order (monitor, tube feed etc) before I left. I found a float tech that was willing to stay over and help me. This was all accomplished by 1930.
Now comes where I need help. The nurse for my older patient comes out of his room and started screaming at me in my face in front of everyone "You didn't turn this patient all day....he is in the same position he was when I left this morning...." She was right. I had not turned him. I had assumed that he had been turned by the nurses that were so generous to help me. The nurse that offered to give his AM meds was in the room for nearly 2 hours. I was in the room for over an hour catching up on his care while giving him blood. It was on my list of things to do, however, I got called back to my other pt's room by the physician....and time moved forward, but care for this older patient did not. I admitted to her very kindly, that she was right, I had not turned him. A sport bed had been ordered for this patient, but no sport beds were available, so turning him was something that was very important! I also did not follow up and check behind the other nurses that were so kind to help me. It was one of those days where you don't take a break, you don't eat, you just keep moving as fast as possible and at the end of the day, mark it down as one of the worst of your career; even when you did the best you could do.
The next 15 minutes, I spent with her yelling and calling me names and telling me what a pathetic nurse I was and how the care I gave this patient was totally unacceptable and would not be tolerated in ICU. "We give excellent care around here, not poor, substandard care around here, and you are NOT up to our standard for a nurse"...."They say nurses eat their young, well I guess we do to weed out the undesirables". There was so much more said and it was said with cruelty and hatefulness. By this time, I am crying (darn it) and I can't talk for the lump in my throat that hurts so bad I can hardly breathe. The only thing else I could manage to say was "You are right and I'm sorry." The night charge nurse finally had heard all the yelling and got between me and her, and said, "I've got this, you go home Kid-do". The charge nurse is one of those nurses that you find so easy to look up to, consider a mentor and when you grow up as a nurse, you want to be just like him. I clocked out at 1950.
So, we have an "EVENT REPORTER" that we are supposed to fill out if there is a nursing error, or disruptive behavior etc. I have already reported that I did not turn the patient all shift and I did not follow up and make sure someone else did when I could not.
Should I also write a complaint of disruptive behavior on this nurse?
Write a short note to my unit manager about what happened?....,or
Should I just let the extra large bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream take care of the collateral damage and move on?
I don't consider leaving an option. It is a wonderful unit. I'm learning lots. I have been at this hospital many years. There are lots of other nurses that do not agree with this particular nurse's opion.
Thanks for any input....good or bad.
Jul 25, '12
i am so sorry you had such a difficult time. as a new nurse i will take one thing from your post; follow up on tasks that are delegated. i have a question for you, you seemed to listen to her yell at you for some time, should you have walked away inviting her to talk to you when she could do so in a professional way? as i said i am a new grad and i am trying to learn from the post as well as reply. i would put any complaints about this nurse in writing in a professional tone, maybe in a third party voice. that way you and the person you give it to have it in writing. hope you have better days ahead.
Last edit by PrayeRNurse on Jul 25, '12
: Reason: spacing