Angry at feeling used

  1. 0
    You'll have to bare with me as this make take some time, but I feel I have to get it off my chest as I am so angry.

    This morning I went to work. We have a staff shortage, but this morning, we were fully staffed plus 2 students (I know they don't really count, but they are physical "bodies" if you understand my drift). Those of you who know me may recognise my ongoing problem, but this morning took the biscuit.

    I work in the neurology section of a recently merged neurosciences ward (with neurosurgery). Often the nurse in neurology is left on his/her own with NO help from Health Care Assistants (HCA). The neurology section being off from the main ward and usually less heavy. (I don't like it but it's a long story).

    Well this morning I knew it would be hard work as I worked a night shift on Saturday night. They were 9 patients, 4 of whom needed virtually full assistance to wash, needing either hoisting or needing assistance of 2 to transfer. 1 of these patients has Guinne Barre Syndrome. I also had a patient who had been fitting (only "mildly" but fitting nonetheless). PLUS 2 neurosurgical lodgers who were going to theatre. During handover this morning the F grade Sister in charge delegated people to areas. I was allocated to neurology. I asked for a HCA to work in my section.
    I was told "No, there isn't enough staff."
    I said, "There are 4 patients to wash/hoist etc PLUS theatre runs. Can I at least have a student?"
    "No, if you want help come and ask for help as and when you need it"
    At this point I was angry, but didn't let it show. I just persisted.
    I said, "NO, I am not working on my own, it's not safe. I am not busting a gut. Plus I have a patient who was admitted fitting."
    Queen ***** then said, "Well me and so and so finished for 8.30am the other day"
    Well I persisted and she eventually gave me a HCA, saying she "would need him back later". I wouldn't let him go.
    Now THIS is bad enough.
    But I started to think. How could you honestly do ALL washes PLUS medicine round BEFORE 8.30? We finish handover by 7.30. That means 1 hour to do ALL that.
    I was speaking to the HCA who came to help me, who said that the Sister, when she was working in neurology "the other day" told the patients - get this -
    "We are too busy to wash you this morning." And just washed patients hands and faces and was "too busy" for mouth care. He also said that the sister told patients that she "couldn't take them to the toilet straight away" and patients ended up being incontinent.
    No wonder they finished for 8.30am!! I am so angry and upset, not only because she wouldn't let me have any help, but mostly because of LACK OF PATIENT CARE!
    I am SO angry.
    The senior sister is on annual leave this week, I am not sure when she is back but I intend to report this. But I am wondering if it is worth me waiting until the senior sister get's back or is it worth going higher? What I am saying IS only hearsay, but why would he lie?

    Your thoughts and ideas appreciated.

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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 0
    Oh, to add. When one of the patients went to theatre, I got in that bed another neurology patient who needed admitting who was dysphasic and post-ictal.
    You'd laugh if it wasn't true!
  4. 0
    She wants you to work alone when "she and so and so finished by 0830"???

    You have three options

    1) Let her know that you know she has been shirking care and that you strongly disapprove of this. Risky - this can cause her to target you with slander.

    2) Keep stuhm and and collect more incriminating evidence

    3) Go to your boss - again unless done right this might bite you in the back

    3) Put up with it.

    4) Get out

    I personally would go higher BUT this is the way I would do it - document - document everything that has happened so far. Take a brisk walk around the park at least half way through writing it all out. Try and get some verifcation for her lack of delivered care other than a second hand report from a HCA.

    First step is an informal discussion with your superiors. Give them the heads up that there may be a problem with this girl - you are not reporting her - yet but laying the ground for your NEXT action. Confront her. Let her know that you know she has been slacking off and pretending that it is efficiency.

    By doing it this way you have yourself covered management then knows that there is a problem. They know you will confront her and if they have the brains of a rabid rabbit they will take any retaliation she might try to engineer with more than a little grain of salt.

    If you want a shoulder mate - don't hesitate to PM me.
  5. 0
    Thanks Gwen, you are very kind.

    I am thinking of speaking to the HCA who was actually working with her at the time to get her story of what happened. I am in too minds whether to report it to the senior sister or not as the HCA is a friend. I know I shouldn't let this cloud my judgement. My senior sister's immediate superior isn't very approachable, but the senior sister is, tomorrow I am going to find out when she is back from annual leave. I am going to be honest with her and tell her what I know, even though it is only hearsay. I might speak to the HCA who told me the story to see if he was there at the time and maybe encourage him to report it. However, he is shy and may not want to.
    I am my patients advocate and they deserve to be cared for better.

    Regarding No4: I'm looking for a new job anyway.

    Once again, thanks for your support. I'm off to bed now! Gonna sleep on it.
  6. 0
    So am I understanding your staffing correctly? In a hospital setting they were going to stick you alone with 9 patients on day shift, with 4 of them total care and not so much as an aide to help? Wouldn't see me back there again.

    The issue of inadequate care on that specific day aside, I would likely report it sooner rather than later to prevent me from being put in this situation again. There should never be just one person on a unit. What if something happens and it's unsafe to leave the pt to call for help?

    On my unit (granted it's psych, but nonetheless) there are ALWAYS 2 staff people minimum, even if there is only one patient. The two minimum staff people are nurses so you would have another nurse to call on in the event of an emergency.
  7. 0
    I'm glad you stuck to you guns and demanded safe staffing and provided excellent care. If you feel the care isn't being provided by the other staff then using the chain of command is the best option.

    Why are you calling coworkers "sisters" might I ask?
  8. 0
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Why are you calling coworkers "sisters" might I ask?
    Tweety, I believe that is how some Europeans (and Australians?) title nurses of certain grades.
  9. 0
    Sisters are what we here in the UK call the most senior nurse on the ward.. Mostly like the Nurse Manager in the US....

    Kaylesh.. US RN living and working in Scotland since 7/99
  10. 0
    Quote from Kaylesh
    Sisters are what we here in the UK call the most senior nurse on the ward.. Mostly like the Nurse Manager in the US....

    Kaylesh.. US RN living and working in Scotland since 7/99

    Kaylesh...where are you from in the US???
  11. 0
    Ah............thanks for the clarification. (I'll leave my political correctness inclusive language post out of it. LOL)

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