Charge Nurses

  1. Do you use Charge Nurses on your unit? If so, what are their responsibilities? Do they carry patients as well? Who fills this role?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   barefootlady
    On a good unit the charge nurse is available for every staff member, she will assist with orders, call lab results while you finish meds, answer lights, check the acuity, keep track of empty bed, admissions, settle problems with families or staff. Sometimes she takes a outpatient just there for a specific IV or IM med. On a bad unit, like the one I last worked the charge nurse sat at the desk or in the HN office and did nothing all day. Reports she was assigned to do were added onto the staff nurse, outpatient procedures were added onto the staff nurse, disputes with pharmacy, transport, xray were added onto the staff nurse. She was always going to a lunch meeting that lasted 2 hours, so we could not count on getting a lunch, when we charge the no lunch she was angry and stated she left the floor well staffed to cover this period. Sure she did, if you say 2 or 3 RN's for 32 was adequate. It takes experience, cool thinking, fairness and a good work ethic to be a good charge nurse. Today they seem to be few and far between.
  4. by   TBLPN
    In the facility I work at, I am the charge nurse of my unit from 7p-7a. But I pass meds, chart, start IV's, g-tubes, treatments, answer call lights, take off orders, changeovers............you name it! Mostly handle squabbles between CNA's......love that part!!!
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Since this is in the Neuro Intensive Care forum I assume the OP is asking about this setting.

    If there is a secretary and all staff are equally competent and are teamplayers, there is little need for a charge nurse in an ICU IMO.

    Lots of hospitals DO utilize charge nurses as 'resources' for less experienced staff, and keep the unit running smoothly, assist with procedures, do QA, supervise etc. When I did critical care charge I also kept an eye on monitors and managed the phones (we never had a secretary or monitor tech.)

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