What to do when others wont answer their own call bells?

  1. 3
    A couple topics discussed earlier got me thinking about an issue that has come up for me frequently and I wanted to know what others think.

    I'm a travel nurse. I more often than not walk into a work environment that offers low moral and nurses who are overworked. I'm often find myself, while trying to be a team member and contribute as much as I can while there, being relied upon to answer a great many call bells that are not mine. Too many nurses, when the know someone of this nature is on board, wil abuse it. I've known more than my share of nurses who, literally, will not answer a call bell their entire shift, including their own. There are even those that will take it a step further. They will refuse to answer their own call bells, then when you inform them of what the pt. is requesting, they shoot back with something to the effect of "You answered the bell, you'll have to get it". Obviously, I tell them to "First, go to the ER and have a thourough neuro exam performed cause you must be outside your mind. Second, get off you ass and take care of your patient." Yeah, this approach has led to a couple bad reviews.

    Right or wrong, I've learned a strategy to keep this from affecting the care given to my patients (yes, I have had this behavior go to such an extreme that the pt's actually assigned to me suffer). I pay carefull attention to the one's who abuse help and the one's who dont. Once I've made up my list, I'm carefull not to offer any help to those who wont do for themselves, much less anyone else. I let their call bells ring ring ring and eventually they have to get it, or they ask me to and I say "NO".

    I understand the pt. must come first, but thats not the issue in my eyes. To me, not allowing myself to be bogged down by another nurse's patient load is in truth being a mediator for the patients assigned to me. Its great to be considered a team member and all, but being a team member is useless if you are getting frequent complaints from your patients because you had no time for them.

    I only ask what people think/do when they are in the same situation. I ask because, I know for a fact the unit my next assignment is on has a serious problem with this. DON, during the phone interview, even warned me about it and blantently told me "I'm using travel nurses at this time to get a better quality nurse on the floor while I rid myself of a few people who are bringing down the pt satisfaction scores on this unit. It is my expectation that, as a traveler you assist me in helping with the call bell problem until I can get a handle on it myself. It is for that reason that my unit pays well". It is true, I'm being well reimbursed for this position. Obviously, I have to find a way to handle nurses who dont want to participate in pt care. I dont think my usuall routine will work.
    Last edit by eriksoln on Jan 17, '09 : Reason: poor spelling in title.
    netglow, wooh, and pagandeva2000 like this.
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    I can't say that I blame you. The bottom line is that not one person can do everything. If so, then, your own patients and body will become neglected. Patient care cannot be done alone, and those that dump will drain the ones that care, which render them powerless to take care of their own responsibilities and license.
    nrsang97, wooh, and eriksoln like this.
  5. 1
    I'm a nursing student but I must admit I have noticed that a lot during my previous rotation,call me naive but I thought the nurses are a team players but it all comes down to the same old ways of handling the tasks "let someone else take care of it"
    eriksoln likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from lovehospital
    I'm a nursing student but I must admit I have noticed that a lot during my previous rotation,call me naive but I thought the nurses are a team players but it all comes down to the same old ways of handling the tasks "let someone else take care of it"

    And to add to my point....I suggest stop being so altruistic and STOP answering them!!!!
  7. 0
    Yeah. Funny you say "it all comes down to the same old ways".

    At times, I feel like I'm a teenager again working at the resteraunt as a dishwasher. Some guys one the bus/dish crew pitched in a lot, others none at all. No in betweens either, just those who gave it all and those who could have disappreared for 2 hours and no one would have been the wiser.
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    Hey I even started my own thread not long ago titled " how come nurses dont answer their call lights" But it was closed because some nurses got defensive and offended
    Be careful now....
  9. 1
    Really? I didnt know that. Funny actually. "Some nurses got defensive and offended". Hmmmmm...............is Jimminy Cricket on their shoulder telling them things they dont want to hear?
    netglow likes this.
  10. 2
    I just complained about this in the CNA forum. I work with some people who rush through the bare minimum on their assignment and then sit on their butt the rest of the night while I run around doing all the rest of the work and answering call bells. They also act like it's the worst thing ever when someone asks them for help with a transfer. It's starting to drive me insane.
    nrsang97 and eriksoln like this.
  11. 0
    Oh yes. I found this problem much more overwhelming when I was a CNA. As an RN, its easier for me to be in a pt. room and................not even notice that other nurse with 3 call bells going offmy:
  12. 2
    in our hospital, there are a few staff members that have gotten so bad, that we are switching to primary care. I dont' think it will even make a difference with some people.... they get that charge nurse attitude, that the desk is where they need to be.

    and some are so bad, that even with their own patient, if you answer the light, and the patient's bed needs changing (becuase they neglected to do regular rounds) they act like you are putting them out if you ask for their help doing a compleat bed change on their patient!
    eriksoln and nrsang97 like this.


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