was i unprofessional? (quick story) - page 4

by raindrop 8,522 Views | 60 Comments

I several years experience as charge nurse and I think I always handle people and situations quite well. However, at my current place of my employment, the first person who shows up for the shift is the charge nurse. Quite fine... Read More


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    Quote from rngolfer53
    Being a professional in terms of interaction with fellow employees is not limited to nursing. Carpenters do it, too, and perhaps better as a group than nurses.

    I came to nursing after a couple decades in another industry, in worker and administrative jobs.

    Interpersonal skills are not dependent on the job one does.

    The carpenter was not presuming to comment about clinical matters, but about the topic of the thread: whether the OP acted unprofessionally.

    I don't see the harm in listening to, and perhaps learning from, others who have similar personal interactions in their workplaces.

    Of course professionalism is not limited to nursing. However, you will find that most nurses here (in my experience) are hoping to relate to/vent to/ask advice of those who actually know whereof they speak. For instance, would you return to your other industry positions in order to ask nursing questions of your former co-workers? I would think that you, with your multi-career background, would understand more than anyone that nursing is a unique profession with extremely unique working conditions and situations. I would no more ask a carpenter his/her opinion on nurse/patient ratios than I would ask a lifelong bachelor for parenting advice.

    "The carpenter was not presuming to comment about clinical matters, but about the topic of the thread: whether the OP acted unprofessionally."

    Interesting....how does one guage "professionalism" when one is clueless about the profession, except perhaps by virtue of being married someone in the profession?

    I also found it extraordinary that the carpenter responder in question didn't hesitate in more than one response to correct spelling & punctuation, all the while that his posts contained spelling & punctuation errors.
    Last edit by roser13 on Oct 14, '11
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    I'm still trying to comprehend the 11 patient ratio on a med-surg floor, I would surely drown. Dang!
    batmik, ~*Stargazer*~, and opossum like this.
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    OP, we've digressed and I apologize for my part in that.

    I think you were right to call the "charge" nurse on her assignments. Given all of the circumstances that you list (charge nurse in name only, you perform the function yourself and know how it's supposed to work), it seems apparent to me that she was trying to give herself an easy night. We all (well, perhaps those of us in the medical field) have known nurses who will rig the assignments in order to spare themselves.

    I don't think you were unprofessional and I hope that she doesn't try to pull the same trick on anyone else.
    Last edit by roser13 on Oct 14, '11
    kalevra, cherrybreeze, JennyMac, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from DixieRedHead
    Not only were you unprofessional, you were insubordinate. You refuse an assignment you can be fired. "Charge nurse" means "in charge", and you should expect no more respect than you give.
    LOL. I refused to receive yet another admission because it was too much for me and the other nurse. Afterall, we couldn't give the care and attention the next admission deserved. Telling the "charge nurse" who has 6 months of experience that she will take that admission was not unprofessional on my part now that I think of it. Thanks to me, that patient got a little TLC upon unit arrival. If it weren't for me grabbing the bull by the horns, the patient would have been neglected for probably a good hour whilst I tried to catch up on my other 2 admits and other patient needs. Good on me.
    JBudd, kalevra, OCNRN63, and 6 others like this.
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    Whether or not you acted in a professional manner is a moot point here. An 11:1 ratio? Jeez, I'd be a blithering, disorganized, crying mess for 12 hrs, forget about having the presence of mind to be "professional". I work MS/tele and when I get 5 pts I'm running my a$$ off.

    Charge nurse after 6 months? What in the world...where do you work, just so I can avoid that location like the plague.

    The fact that you "grabb[ed] the bull by the horns" and gave a pt some TLC is truly astounding...and a little frightening, to be honest. With 11:1, makes me wonder what is falling by the wayside.
    roser13 likes this.
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    I've worked some places that I thought was unsafe staffing, but holy cow.. that is ridiculous having an 11:1 ratio. That blows my mind.

    As far as the way your unit is run, and "charge nurse" duties on your floor, it sounds like someone needed to step up and call her on it, if this is something she does on a regular basis.
    batmik, wooh, and opossum like this.
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    11 to 1 ratio, is this a restaurant?
    jesskidding, batmik, alem-tsahai, and 5 others like this.
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    Well nurses are just hospital waitresses these days. Might as well be a restaurant.
    kalevra, OCNRN63, RNnbakes, and 3 others like this.
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    I echo the sentiment that an 11:1 ratio is ridiculously unsafe. My mind is officially boggled.

    Every place I've worked, the charge nurse is like the captain of a ship. She or he has to know what is going on with every single patient on the unit, know every single policy and procedure inside and out, be available to everyone from the staff nurses to the house supervisor to the physicians to the family members, and not only make assignments for their own shift, but look ahead to the next shift and call in extra nurses if the census increases or if there are call ins. The charge nurse is the Jean-Luc Picard of the inpatient (and ED) unit, and needs to have a broad body of nursing knowledge and nerves of steel. The charge nurse simply cannot take a patient load and be effective in their role, let alone as a new grad with six months' experience.

    Now, I have had some great charges that will jump in and help with admits, med recs, bedside tasks, and even take an easy patient or two, but in general this concept of a "charge nurse" in name only who takes a full load is foreign to me.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Oct 15, '11
    opossum likes this.
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    THIS IS WHY... I retired from bedside nursing 5 years out of nursing school. Its BS.
    noahsmama and opossum like this.


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