was i unprofessional? (quick story)

  1. 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 by me, but I've noticed a couple women who love the power trip of being charge and the other day it finally got to me. I show up for work and noticed that me and another nurse only had 8 patients assigned to us, whereas, the charge nurse assigned herself 11. I also noticed that we had 5 open beds. I voiced my concerns because it was clear to me (as always) that the other nurse and I were going to get the 5 admissions and the charge nurse won't have any, because she was already at her max. She disregarded my concerns and the shift began. Yep. right away, the other nurse and I each got 2 admissions. And then ED called to give us the 5th patient. This is where I put my foot down. I told, yes, TOLD the CN that she would be taking the 5th admission. She said NO, because that would give her 12 patients. I told her she can give me report on one of her current patients as I will take over their care. She huffed and puffed and pouted, but ended up taking it.

    So by the end of the shift, I ended up with 11 patient (2 admissions and her spillover patient); the other nurse got 2 admissions = 10 patients....and the charge nurse had to give up a patient to take an admission, for a total of 1 admit and 11 patients.

    Was this professional of me to grab the bull by the horns like this? I was very matter-of-fact, yet, professional......if that makes any sense. I wasn't ****** about it. I told my boyfriend about it and he thinks I was unprofessional....
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    About raindrop

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 544; Likes: 198
    from US


  3. by   JustJen
    Maybe you have never been charge AND had a group of patients. I have, and let me tell you....IT ISNT EASY!

    I cant imagine a group that big PLUS admissions.....Yikes for you and Double Yikes for the Charge Nurse!
  4. by   ChristineN
    Depends how much of a "team player" your charge nurse is. Some charge nurses will take easier assignments so they can help out more with the other nurse's assignments, admissions, etc. If that is not the case then perhaps you should speak to your manager about the unfair assignments.
  5. by   Reader007
    A couple more paragrahp spaces would be nice. But yes, as you wrote it, you do come across as a bit unprofessional, at least in what you've written.

    And that's coming from a carpenter, if it makes it easier to take.
  6. by   Conqueror+
    Yes you were unprofessional but I don't think that you were wrong. To me there is a difference. However, If you spoke to her in private and told no one else about your conversation then you were not unprofessional either.
  7. by   Illinurse2010
    I don't think you were that unprofessional, the charge nurse set herself up so she would not have to help with admissions--dumping the work on you and your coworker, and you showed her that was unacceptable. I think you stuck up for yourself. Sometimes there is just no nicey nice way of doing that.
  8. by   raindrop
    I wasn't catty about it. I am sick of this particular nurse (who graduated in December) dodging admissions. Charge nurse simply means you make the assignment for the shift and try to find someone to cover for the next shift if there is a call in. But quite frankly, all of us help with that aspect. CN is really just a title at this place. And yes, I have been charge nurse for years with a full patient load and I never dump admissions on anyone. Fair is fair.
  9. by   jesskidding
    I think the only thing that is unprofessional about this situation is the nurse/patient ratio!


  10. by   Reader007
    It's not the end of the world raindrop (nice, by the way). You just sound like "it" has gotten to you...and you reacted....happens all the time, in all ranges of employment.

    In the interest of handling things better (if you warrant), what would you do differently, given the same situation? (remember, you're being "perfect", lol).

    How about if you were the charge nurse in this situation? (again, being "perfect", and un-biased).

    And yes, I know, none of us are perfect.
  11. by   RNOTODAY
    the charge nurse should have as light of an assignment as posssible. period. why dont people get this?
  12. by   Reader007
    That is something as a "non" nurse, that I was thinking. How does a charge nurse manage/help, with the same load as the nurses she is supposed to help?
  13. by   raindrop
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    the charge nurse should have as light of an assignment as posssible. period. why dont people get this?
    On my unit, CN simply means assignment maker for YOUR shift and making a few phone calls to see of someone can cover for the next shift if their is a call off. And with the latter, all of us help with that aspect. Problems with a patient going down? we all help" Problems with an irate family member? House supervisor is called? Crash cart checks? Whoever the manager assigns that job to for that month. We all handle our own and don't rely on the CN for anything. She is not the go-to person or troubleshooter.....
  14. by   jesskidding
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    the charge nurse should have as light of an assignment as posssible. period. why dont people get this?
    I don't understand why people don't get this either. My CN usually does not have any pts at the beginning of this shift, but as the night progresses if she needs to take one or two new admissions then she will. She usually only takes new admits when the other RN's already have at least 5. None of the RN's on my unit rarely have more than 5 patients.

    The CN has a lot to do. Even though it may sometimes seem like it, they don't just sit there at the nurses station twiddling their thumbs! If the OP had CN experience like they claim, they would understand this.

    I would be going to the DON or Assistant DON and complaining about the high nurse/patient ratio. I would be livid if I were ever assigned 11 pts.