Transferred in From Another Unit

by Paeyi

9,653 Views | 8 Comments

Patients transferring from one unit to another is a common thing in health care institution. However, did anyone ever notice the anxiety those patients have when being transferred from Unit A to Unit B? Or maybe they're just being fussy?

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    Transferred in From Another Unit

    One day, as I walked in to my workplace after my long leave, I noticed a new patient in my ward. Actually, she is not new to the hospital, this lady has been staying in another unit for nearly a month due to non healing wound. I was deployed to that unit earlier on and the nurses there had labeled the patient "fussy". This patient's fussiness is notorious over the other unit. 2 hourly positioning for her is a nightmare for most of the nurses, her groaning haunted me throughout the shift. Besides, she's grumpy, if anything went wrong in her nursing care, she'll start yelling.

    It was my first day of my night duties that I saw her in my unit. "Oh God, she's here now! What a..." I said to myself, groaning underneath my breath. My colleague passed over to me that this lady had been crying for one whole day when she was transferred to my unit. What has been passed over to me sounds nothing different from what she was known as in the other unit:FUSSY. What a "fantastic" beginning for the night.

    It is our routine that we check our patient's vital signs in the beginning of every shift, when I went to her, she told me that she is scared. Happen to be new to my unit, she feels lonely. She claimed to be closed to the nurses in the unit where she came from because she has been staying there for more than a month. Suddenly I feel sorry for her. I feel guilty for labeling her as "fussy" without really trying to know what happened in her.

    She can't sit up on the bed and her body is weak, this means that she requires full nursing care. She has a bedsore at the back, two hourly positioning for her was not only nightmare for the nurses, it is her nightmare of all. She claimed that the nurses in the other unit did a very good job. Instead of dragging or pulling her, they eventually lifted her every time she slide down towards the end of the bed. She doubted our ability to do that because there were only 3 of us working during the night and back in the other unit where she stayed, there were always 4 to 5 of them.

    I assured her that she'll receive the same quality of care in my unit. I was told that she has involuntary movement on her legs every time when my colleagues tried to change her position in the bed. I saw her suffering the pain caused by the involuntary movement. Me and my colleague decided to stay in her room massaging the legs until the pain is relief before we reposition her to another position.

    After a few days repetitively doing the same thing for her, she begin to know us by our names. She praised us for treating her well and complimented us. Her husband came and told us that she was anxious on the day when she was transferred to my unit, yet now she feels relief.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 3, '13
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  4. About Paeyi

    I am working in Medical cum Psychiatry unit. I had been working there for 3 years as a registered nurse.

    Paeyi joined Aug '13. Posts: 1 Likes: 13; Learn more about Paeyi by visiting their allnursesPage

    8 Comments so far...

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    My husband had a septic staph infection a couple years ago, and it led to 3 mitral valve replacement surgeries and many strokes, all within a two month period. The first time he was moved from ICU to a step-down unit, the new unit was not aware of his strokes, and he was freaking out about the changes. When they finally let me in with him he was so agitated, crying, shaking and the nurse was talking to him like he was being just a big pain in the buns. When I explained his situation she looked like she had seen a ghost. I am so glad you took the time to get to know your patient and understand what was really going on!
    chevyv, GrnTea, Poopsiebublnose, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from HisKids37
    My husband had a septic staph infection a couple years ago, and it led to 3 mitral valve replacement surgeries and many strokes, all within a two month period. The first time he was moved from ICU to a step-down unit, the new unit was not aware of his strokes, and he was freaking out about the changes. When they finally let me in with him he was so agitated, crying, shaking and the nurse was talking to him like he was being just a big pain in the buns. When I explained his situation she looked like she had seen a ghost. I am so glad you took the time to get to know your patient and understand what was really going on!
    I work in a hospital in a "step down unit" that many times doesn't really seem like a "step down" but more like an extension of the ICU. We actually on the night shift where I work have multiple patients like your spouse or the patient of the original poster, so it is very challenging caring for all of them at once. No, they don't spend most of the night sleeping. That's what a "normal" person would do. A lot of these patients spend the night wide awake and even though most of them don't articulate it or acknowledge it, they are fearful and angst ridden over what is happening to them and how they will end up. A lot of what I do amounts to speaking to them calmly and reassuringly, trying to lessen their fears. I constantly try to reassure them that, yes I will be here all night and that any time they need something we will be here. That's one of the most common questions I am asked by patients after I've broken the ice with them and have gotten to know them a bit. "Will you actually be here all night?" "Really!?!" Yes, really.
    GrnTea and 1wellnessnurse like this.
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    Quote from AZ_LPN_8_26_13
    A lot of what I do amounts to speaking to them calmly and reassuringly, trying to lessen their fears. I constantly try to reassure them that, yes I will be here all night and that any time they need something we will be here. That's one of the most common questions I am asked by patients after I've broken the ice with them and have gotten to know them a bit. "Will you actually be here all night?" "Really!?!" Yes, really.
    Love that! <3
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    This is a very important topic to discuss! Whether it is a person being transferred from another unit or a patient who a nurse has not taken care of before, we must be careful not to pre-judge the person based on either our past experiences or how another nurse has experienced that patient. It is not uncommon that during report, a departing nurse will say to a nurse who is just beginning her/his shift "You're going to have a difficult time with the patient in Room 302." That can influence how we greet that person and may even influence the quality of care provided. When you receive report and the departing nurse says something like this, consider saying "That was your experience. I am going to choose to have a different experience." Then see that patient with fresh eyes, listen to their story (similar to the story in this post), and remember to stay centered in your heart. It could change the experience for both the patient and the nurse!
    AZ_LPN_8_26_13, mul7371, and hopefu1rn like this.
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    i often forewarn relatives and the patient being transferred in that things are usually crazy the first day, because the staff is trying to get accustomed to caring for the patient, and most of all the patient needs time to adjust to a new enviorment, I have had people be grumpy because they are unsure what to expect. However as time goes by they start to get to know the staff better and realize it's not so bad after all
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    That was one of the things I loved about night nursing! I used to tell some of my fearful patients, that it was my job to stay up all night worrying about then so they could sleep.
    AZ_LPN_8_26_13 likes this.
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    I once had a very sick patient, I went in to check on him and adjust enteral feeding, he opened his eyes and asked me like a child would, is it all right if i sleep? I smiled at him and said yes dear I am just here checking on you, you can rest.
    AZ_LPN_8_26_13 likes this.
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    To help heal the heart and mind as we help to heal the body. That's why I'm studying to be a nurse. I will remember this lesson.
    AZ_LPN_8_26_13 likes this.


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