Charge nurse with less than a year RN experience???!! - page 7

Recently one of the nurses I work with began training to be charge on our 30-bed (very busy!) med/surg unit. But here's the kicker - while she's very pleasant to work with....it hasn't even been a... Read More

  1. Visit  ozarks_prd_mom} profile page
    0
    I had a similar experience a few weeks ago... I am a new grad and I am not finished with my 6 month probation, in fact, I had just been released from orientation the week before when I received a call from the House Manager to be charge nurse the next day. Of course I said NO WAY! I couldn't believe she would even ask! Our floor consists of patients just out of ICU on vents, telemetry, frequent pushes, etc. I am sure it was a mistake and it has never happened again. How scary for the patients and the other nurses on the floor if I had said yes! Thanks for sharing.
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  3. Visit  pagandeva2000} profile page
    0
    the bottom line is that if a person has the proper license and is breathing, they will certainly try their hand...
  4. Visit  oinch97} profile page
    3
    I have mixed feeling about this. On my floor there have been a couple of girls who started a month before I did who have at least initiated the process of becoming qualified to do charge. The word is they were asked by management. They are both great nurses, always willing to help when you need something, but that being said I'm not sure if they realize what they could be in for. I have worked in hospitals in several other aspects for eight years before becoming an RN, so I have seen first hand a lot of things that can happen. I've also been around enough to know that if something does happen, it's not gonna matter how likeable you were, how much extra time you worked, or how many times you never said "No" to coming in on your day off or anything else they ask you to do: if something big happens, management may not back you up.
    Personally if I were asked at this time, I would have to decline. I've seen the responsibilities, and I am not at a point where I would want to put my license on the line by taking on those responsibilities.
    I also really feel that one should have at least a year of experience out of orientation, if not more. I treasure my charge nurses who have been there for years, as well as the other "well-seasoned" nurses on our floor, because they are my go-to resources. It's a scary thought that there may be a night soon where it could be just those of us who started a year ago, plus this year's new grads on the floor...and no one to go to in a crisis.
  5. Visit  rockwell108} profile page
    1
    Hello , You are so right So many new nurses think that getting your RN means they know everything. it take many years to master .During are reason economy
    alot of management co will threw a new nurse in the charge position. and get rid of season nurses TO SAVE MONEY . The reallitiy is so dangerous . Be careful. Your right mangement will not back anyone .
    oinch97 likes this.
  6. Visit  walk6miles} profile page
    3
    I have tried to keep out of this (neutral) with all my efforts. Sorry, I have to say this:

    In my unit, there are more than 12 older/more experienced nurses. The unit manager caved in and hired a group of new grads. One in particular is especially "mouthy" - it is apparent when speaking with this nurse that she has grand visions of taking the coordinator's job but she doesn't want to put the time in for the most important ingredient: experience.

    Several months ago she insinuated herself into receiving a IABP patient. None of the experienced nurses were offered the balloon patient -she wanted it (she went to the IABP class). The charge told her that she is surrounded by experienced nurses and she should use them as resource.

    Patient came from cath lab on the pump. Patient is clearly grossly disoriented - and: NO LIE: sitting up on stretcher with wife holding hand and screaming at nurses and husband. Several nurses ran around the corner when our new expert on balloon pumps finally screamed for help. "I don't know how to turn this machine on --it's off".

    Our mouths fell open. We quickly showed her what she needed to do (and helped prioritize the patient's needs).
    My suggestion to call the physician for something to mellow the patient was immediately shot down. I went running one more time into the room when she yelled for assistance because the patient was almost out of bed.
    Scout's honor: wife is at head of bed trying to rub his brow (not kidding) - patient is nearly out of bed but family has given him his cell phone (more confused) so he literally throws it at me as hard as he could and he misses my eye by an inch!

    Sorry -I tried explaining to a hysterical wife and patient who is more and more confused what the IABP does (fill in the blanks, the patient was out of his mind, and the wife is getting more and more upset). The nurse who has placed her career on the line with her actions, as well as the other group of nurses finally reach an agreement.
    Physician is called and patient safety implemented. Unit policy is explained to family and new nurse.

    She makes it clear to me later on that she has no respect for the experienced nurses - we are old, fat, and slow...... we make it clear that we are there for the patient and if she cannot work with us perhaps a meeting with upper management might be good.

    The next time I see her, she is in charge............................................ ............
    TinyNurse, rockwell108, and Sparrowhawk like this.
  7. Visit  Tankweti} profile page
    0
    I witnessed this on a clinical rotation thru CCU in March 2010. They slapped a brand new person with very little experience into the charge position. All the seasoned nurses were complaining, not because of the new charge person..rather they were advocating for her. They all felt it was unsafe.

    My take on situations in healthcare generally is the facilities roll the dice and hope that nothing bad happens. 9 times out of 10, nothing bad will happen and no one will die or get sued. But that one time could cost them millions. Another case in point. With all the mental health cuts, all these people have placed in "the community". My ex is now living in an assisted living facility (NY State) and has dual diagnoses. They have "medication aides" at that facility. These people, or so the manager of the facility tells me, are licensed (or rather the facility is licensed) to have daily p.o. meds given out by non-licensed personnel. They are not legally allowed to do p.r.n.'s. as these need a nursing judgement call. These are the same caregivers who scrub floors, toilets, prepare meals, etc. They are supposed to wear gloves when giving out meds but apparently don't (at least this is what my ex tells me). Worse, they do not wait to be sure that people actually swallow their pills. People with psych issues can tend to hoard pills and take them all in one shot (something I strongly suspect my ex is guilty of). This could mean overdose because no one is monitoring these residents. I have spoken to facility manager about this, to no avail. This is just another example of people "rolling the dice". I suspect that a great many of those residents have no relatives or family, so if any of them do die as a result of mishandling of meds, then there is no one there to raise an outcry for them. The facility would just call the coroner and get on with filling the bed as soon as possible so the money train can keep rolling.
  8. Visit  Laboratorian} profile page
    0
    *stupid question *

    What are the specific responsibilities of a charge nurse?
  9. Visit  pers} profile page
    0
    Quote from Laboratorian
    *stupid question *

    What are the specific responsibilities of a charge nurse?
    Not a stupid question at all! It varies by shift and location. New grads doing charge on my unit at night is not a big deal. The only additional responsibilities of charge is to assign new admits and handle staffing and a new grad with half a brain is perfectly capable of it since 1) admits are assigned by turn and 99% of the time people volunteer the order to take them in and 2) staffing is decided by the supervisor and the charge is only responsible for double checking the accuracy of their info and calling off or putting on call staff that isn't needed for the next shift. They are a resource person as much as any other nurse on the unit but they aren't expected to handle a crisis situation any more than any other nurse. When something happens, we all are expected to help out but the person who is actually in charge of the situation and making the final decision is the nurse assigned to the patient.

    Days is quite different. On my unit, the charge nurse does not take patients. They are expected to know what's going on with all patients (they take report on the entire unit). It's their responsibility to note all the orders for the shift and pass that info to the appropriate nurse. They deal a lot with doctors but individual nurses are expected to make and take calls to doctor's regarding their patient's needs as well. They assist LPNs with anything they can't do (per policy) and help out nurses who are struggling and need help as well. Like nights, they also deal with admits (also assigned by turn) and staffing (also decided by the supervisor). They also provide coverage for breaks and lunch. They do tend to direct things more, staying on top of where patients are and where they need to go. They also tend to take on more authority in a crisis situation which can be good or bad depending on if you are the patient's nurse and agree with what's being done or not. Most of our charge nurses consider it more mentally taxing than taking patients but generally easier as well and given the choice they prefer to be charge than take patients.
  10. Visit  DoGoodThenGo} profile page
    0
    Quote from pers
    Not a stupid question at all! It varies by shift and location. New grads doing charge on my unit at night is not a big deal. The only additional responsibilities of charge is to assign new admits and handle staffing and a new grad with half a brain is perfectly capable of it since 1) admits are assigned by turn and 99% of the time people volunteer the order to take them in and 2) staffing is decided by the supervisor and the charge is only responsible for double checking the accuracy of their info and calling off or putting on call staff that isn't needed for the next shift. They are a resource person as much as any other nurse on the unit but they aren't expected to handle a crisis situation any more than any other nurse. When something happens, we all are expected to help out but the person who is actually in charge of the situation and making the final decision is the nurse assigned to the patient.

    Days is quite different. On my unit, the charge nurse does not take patients. They are expected to know what's going on with all patients (they take report on the entire unit). It's their responsibility to note all the orders for the shift and pass that info to the appropriate nurse. They deal a lot with doctors but individual nurses are expected to make and take calls to doctor's regarding their patient's needs as well. They assist LPNs with anything they can't do (per policy) and help out nurses who are struggling and need help as well. Like nights, they also deal with admits (also assigned by turn) and staffing (also decided by the supervisor). They also provide coverage for breaks and lunch. They do tend to direct things more, staying on top of where patients are and where they need to go. They also tend to take on more authority in a crisis situation which can be good or bad depending on if you are the patient's nurse and agree with what's being done or not. Most of our charge nurses consider it more mentally taxing than taking patients but generally easier as well and given the choice they prefer to be charge than take patients.
    Now I'm confused! *LOL*

    Charge nurse is now what was called in my day a "head nurse"? Meaning there is no longer a nurse management position between charge nurse and nursing supervisor of a unit/floor?
  11. Visit  pers} profile page
    0
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Now I'm confused! *LOL*

    Charge nurse is now what was called in my day a "head nurse"? Meaning there is no longer a nurse management position between charge nurse and nursing supervisor of a unit/floor?
    That's the case at my facility. We don't have a nurse management position between charge (which isn't considered management, the position rotates through multiple people without a pay increase) and our nurse manager. Nurse supervisors at our facility are house supervisors and cover the entire hospital while mangers cover one (or two) units. From other posts I know that's not the case everywhere which is why I said it varies by location. Even at my facility, the responsibilities of the charge nurse vary by unit. On some units the charge takes a patient load and on others they never do and then some are like my floor where they do on some shifts but not on others.
  12. Visit  DoGoodThenGo} profile page
    0
    Quote from pers
    That's the case at my facility. We don't have a nurse management position between charge (which isn't considered management, the position rotates through multiple people without a pay increase) and our nurse manager. Nurse supervisors at our facility are house supervisors and cover the entire hospital while mangers cover one (or two) units. From other posts I know that's not the case everywhere which is why I said it varies by location. Even at my facility, the responsibilities of the charge nurse vary by unit. On some units the charge takes a patient load and on others they never do and then some are like my floor where they do on some shifts but not on others.
    Thank you for clearing things up.

    Soooooo, it appears the duties of a head nurse were split between nurse managers and charge nurses. One assumes the former deal with the "personnel" side of things (hiring, firing, scheduling, and so forth), while the later deal with day to day running of a unit or floor.

    House supervisors (day, night, etc) one is familiar with. Always thought they were kind of cool because at least at the facilities one worked, they had tons of keys. If a floor ran out of linens for example, the supervisor had the keys to the laundry or at least clean linen storage and would fetch (rather one went down with her and was given), what was required.
  13. Visit  ZippyGBR} profile page
    0
    first thing to establish is what is meant by 'charge' in this scenario

    are we talking about a 'shift leader' of what ever grade / rank/ job title - whose responsibility is to coordinate how the unit runs for the shift or the actual substantive appointment into a Nursing team leader role with the assocaited ongoing responsibilities this entails
    ?
  14. Visit  oinch97} profile page
    0
    More of a "shift leader" Basically a nurse who is in charge of the goings on on the floor for that shift.


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