As stated in the thread title, I'm looking to ask a few questions to any peds nurses out there. If you're in NYC, that'd be even better.
I am currently finishing my first year as a pediatric nurse in a hospital in NYC. I didn't start as a peds nurse, I was moved there by chance when some rearranging of units happened and my hospital (I was in Post PACU care before). I have to admit I fell in love with pediatrics and would like to continue doing it, but there's a bit of an issue. The unit I work in is quite small, 16-bed max, and despite the presence of a Peds ER, there is no PICU. We have a very high turn over and there are nights when I have to float elsewhere because there are no kids in the floor at all. The problem I have is that even if there are 2 or 6 kids on the floor, administration still leaves only one RN to run the entire floor whether there are admissions or not, no CNA, no clerk, nothing. Just one RN. Every night I am alone I am terrified one kid may go south on me while I'm taking care of another, leaving me with absolutely no clue what to do because I obviously cannot split myself in three. The fact that there is no PICU is even scarier, because if something like that were to happen, it's the adult ICU doctors who have to come in to stabilize the kid for transport, and while they are highly skilled and trained, it's still just not the same.
Now my question is. Who can I go to to present my concerns? I fill out an unsafe staffing paper every single night, but it seems like nothing is done. The managers even act like I inconvenience them by asking for help. I work almost every night with no break time because even when I have help, it's usually a CNA, and while I greatly appreciate any help I can get, I just cannot go off on break and leave the floor to the CNA to handle. What can I do? Does this happen anywhere else? Particularly in other NYC pediatric hospitals? I don't want to go to work every night being afraid a child my crash on me while I'm busy with someone else. A human life is precious and my RN license didn't come in a cracker jack box....
Oct 23, '11
by Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN Senior Moderator
if you fill out unsafe staffing papers every night does that mean you are union? i'd contact the union if you are i'd contact the nysna...http://www.nysna.org/
nurses everywhere rank staffing as their biggest problem. research shows it is a problem – for patients: insufficient nurse staffing
is linked with poorer patient outcomes,
lengthened hospital stays and increased chance of patient death.
is the ana national campagain.
rn safe staffing act re-introduced in congress
the rn safe staffing act (s. 58/h.r. 876) was re-introduced for the 2011-12 session of congress. it would require hospitals that participate in medicare to implement staffing plans, established by a committee comprised by a majority of direct-care nurses, for each nursing unit and shift. read more...
you can also report them to fair wage and labor for not providing breaks and relief as required by law.
but also check labor laws for your state.
i would take it up the chain of command as well.....but remember if you make enough waves be prepared to get dumped out of the boat.....hospitals are notorious for this and are excellent information manipulators. what you are describing is truly unsafe. you can't be left alone with patients....if something goes worng and you need to be with the child...then, who calls for help? most "well" pedi units (i call them that as there is no picu in house) have a lot of cancel and/or floating due to census fluctuation and transfer out to tertiary facilities (hopefully) prior to admit and in the event of a horrible event....a pedi code...the ed is more that willing to help. but it stinks none the less.......do they require pals for their pedi staff? i have seen pedi staffing commonly be 1-3 patients 1rn 1cna 3-6 2rn's
i agree with vickyrn......seriously consider finding another job if they are unwilling to change don't chance your license. i am a huge advocate of malpractice insurance.....make sure you have some....be safe instead of sorry....best of luck!
Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 23, '11