They're running our techs away

  1. 3
    I am having an issue with certain coworkers abusing the "priviledge" of having a tech. A lot of new graduate nurses and some seasoned nurses do not understand assistance on the floor is for the benefit of the patient, not the benefit of the nurses to sit and play on their kindles and iphones all day.
    We house 40 patients in our acute rehab center, and typically keep 3 techs split between units, brain injury, general rehab, and spinal cord. Tonight there happened to be a nursing student, serving as a tech, on the floor who was the only show up we had after 2 call offs. I stressed to the charge, it's not ok to have the tech run between units the entire night assisting max assist in spinal injury, toielting in general rehab, and in neuro one of the new grads I team with asked if she could run the IVs and phlebotomy for her.
    I don't know how to address this issue with management, as I have spoken to the free charge and begged if she could assist with teching on the floor.

    This is the main reasons why we never have the assistance needed to maintain a healthy staffatient ratio....!!!

    Vent complete

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  2. 4
    First off, I would see about widening your pool of per diem techs. If the facility were to put the word out there, then that could be to your advantage, as well as the facilities, to have one general orientation, and a large pool from which to deal with call offs.

    Otherwise, I would tell the techs that they are a team of 2. If their main purpose is call bells, or nurse directed tasks, then they each as a team need to respond to same. It is not as demanding when you have an extra set of hands. What is the most difficult aspect of a tech's job is the full assists that one tries to do on their own--and sometimes at risk to the patient. You could also have them do a "sweep" every hour or so as far as if anything needs to be run to the lab, errands that the team could each do part of.

    They should also be part of report. In other words, they need to figure out who needs total care, turn and repositioning, that type of thing--so that they can plan accordingly. If this is something not done at the facility, then the nurses at report need to say who needs hs care assistance, so that the techs can plan that around nurse directed tasks and call bells.

    Worst care scenario, I would advocate for a tech on each wing, and a float.
    JustMe28, Not_A_Hat_Person, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  3. 1
    "Call-offs" (or "call-ins", "call-offs", etc.) are a way of life in the Nursing (as well as Aide and Tech) business. Every so often, somebody calls in sick because (the real reason) they want to use an allotted sick day as a day off. They do not state this directly, but I have happened across a few of them over the years posting from all sorts of places a sick person should not be posting on Facebook from.

    Hiring and retaining extra staff (aside from per diem), just to cover call-ins is very expensive; heck, even bringing in a per diem person runs a bunch of money.
    tokmom likes this.
  4. 2
    I've worked with a few "tech hogs" in my time, and I understand how frustrating it is.

    I think, when you're working with one tech for the entire facility, it's important to plan ahead and team up with *each other* on patients you need help with, and plan out where the tech will be and when, and what duties they will be expected to assist with, because they cannot be everywhere at once, and 40 beds is way too much for one tech to be able to keep up with. Everybody should be on the same page and there should be no ambiguity.
    NRSKarenRN and tokmom like this.
  5. 4
    Great post!!! I work with-lets see...nurses that were once techs...great! Nurses that were never techs..."usually" miserable-hiding, on the phone,etc...etc...even being so lame as to leave a patient room and ask the tech to bring the patient the glass of water since they already "saw" the patient for their allotted 10 minutes for the day!...sickening. Age does not matter either...Just like in any job as a team, we all get our hands dirty together! Some people simply forget where they come from...yet that too is giving the benefit of the doubt...
  6. 3
    Quote from malamud69
    Great post!!! I work with-lets see...nurses that were once techs...great! Nurses that were never techs..."usually" miserable-hiding, on the phone,etc...etc...even being so lame as to leave a patient room and ask the tech to bring the patient the glass of water since they already "saw" the patient for their allotted 10 minutes for the day!...sickening. Age does not matter either...Just like in any job as a team, we all get our hands dirty together! Some people simply forget where they come from...yet that too is giving the benefit of the doubt...
    I think there's another category, "Nurses who never had techs, and think they've died and gone to heaven when they get them." I don't think I ever abused them because I was so unused to having them. In fact, I had a nursing assistant come to me once and ask if I didn't trust her. I so often did stuff myself instead of delegating because I was afraid she had too much to do, and she was afraid I didn't like and trust her. I was not a tech/nursing assistant in nursing school, but I started my career doing total care.
  7. 1
    more techs equal more money in payroll. You can do everything they do and they HAVE to have you. Techs sure can make a difference to the nurse but admin. does not always see it that way
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 2
    As a tech, I respect your post and am glad to see that we are not the only ones who notice when we or a coworker are being worked to the bone. When a large area only has one tech, its usually better to act like there is no tech at all. I have been the only tech in a large setting, it stinks, but it also helps to know how appreciated you are. Classisdame is right, nurses often forget that they can do everything we do, but we cannot do 100% that a nurse does. We too notice the nurses who work their tail off, and the ones who prefer to practice from behind the station glass. I only hope to remember my tech days when I become a nurse. Perhaps being a tech of some sort should be a prerequisite to nursing so that the nurse remembers the days of being overworked and underpaid ehhh only in a perfect world
    lindarn and tokmom like this.
  9. 2
    Stef84- bravo! Being a tech should be a pre req!! I'm a tech and secretary in postpartum, the ONLY one on day shift. Sometimes having 17 patients who need q4 vitals, beds changed, showers, water refilled, oh and at the same time answer call lights and the phones and unlock doors for visitors. There are some nurses who think I'm an octopus, or simply treat me like the help. It's very frustrating sometimes. I have thought about quitting several times, but then there are those great nurses who don't take me for granted and treat me like a person.

    Griffinchet-that is wayyy too many patients for one tech. It's not only a lot of work but also not fair to the patients. If you get a chance to say something, do it! I know you can't do anything about the budget, but maybe a few eyes will be opened and changes can be made :-)

    Good post!
    lindarn and NRSKarenRN like this.


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