Rn/don

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    Does anyone out there have the web site to go to for DON's to check there work limits on the job, I do know a DON cannot work as a charge nurse, but I am a new DON and I also get the cna's asking me to help with their work..Is this something I can do? toilet people or assist them in there duties. let me know. Thank you.
    Last edit by sunnyd11 on Nov 4, '06
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Quote from sunnyd11
    Does anyone out there have the web site to go to for DON's to check there work limits on the job, I do know a DON cannot work as a charge nurse, but I am a new DON and I also get the cna's asking me to help with their work..Is this something I can do? toilet people or assist them in there duties. let me know. Thank you.

    Hi Sunny,

    I have been in management in a LTC setting for 7 years. I have been a DON, ADON and Unit Manager in several corporate facilities. I do not know of a site where you can find out what your specific job criteria . I do know your State Regulatory Gudelines Manaual provides you with their expectations for a DON. I also know that the regulations state that the DON should not work shifts. I must be honest with you, however, in my ecperience many DON's and Adon's have no other choice but to do this secondary to stafffing crunches, call outs and unfilled positions. Administraative call also often ends with a call announcing a whole in the schedule and unless you have a plan in place for such occasions you may be the only option to fill that hole. As far as assisting CNA's, helping make beds, pass trays, feeding a resident or assisting in the main dining room at mealtime may be something you could do to ease the work load. Only you knows your schedule for any given day and if you can free yourself up ding times when things are going haywire ,on the floors, I'm sure your staff will greatly appreciate it and consider you a real part of the team. They will consider what ever you do as a form of support. Remember ,however, your administrative duties are your first responsibility.When all is said and done your boss is unlikely to consider poor outcomes or missed deadlines because of helping others as a valid excuse. These of course are my opinions hopefully it helps in some way...
    Good Luck in your new position
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    Helping out is one thing, always filling shifts and having your staff expect you do it is another. By all means you are still an nurse and able to do nursing functions. Working in the trenches will do a lot for the staff moral and you will see things that you normally wouldn't while sitting in an office and getting it second hand. That being said, you still have your job to do and no one else will do it for you. I've never heard of it not being permitted by the state or feds?
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    Yes, their is a law it differs by the state that you live in. That a DON cannot function in other rolls..within the long term care setting, A DON has a position that also needs covering but the people that dont understand that roll think of you as a "extra nurse"...this is not the case, as I have learnt the hard way...No a DON should not be filling in floor nurse and Nar's positions while fulfilling her roll as DON...the law backs that one up...sorry..
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    This is another pitfall to the DON position. I was told that assisting residents by toileting then or transporting them for meals "looks good" to the other staff as they will see me as "hands on" and that they wont think 'i am above doing that kind of work".
    However, when i fall behind on my administrative work, I alone get blamed and will be the sole one to get fired!
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    We speciallize in placing and recruiting DON's, ADON's, and Administrators. If you need help finding work, let me know.
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    I have worked as a DON and ADON and while it really isn't in your function or roll to work a shift there are times that you may have to. However, just remember, not only will you be that floor nurse, but also the DON and will have to fulfill both rolls. It won't matter to a family member, patient, admin if you are working the floor, they will still look to you for answers. Also, if you do this too many times, admin may look at you as being unable to staff properly or delegate properly.

    As for day to day assisting and occassional resident to the bathroom or transfer from bed to w/c or vs., there is nothing in state or federal regs that says that you cannot do these things. And yes, it shows you as a team player and patient advocate and all will view you with a bit more respect. It will make it easier for you to delegate when they see that you are willing to do some of these things, esp when they are swamped. But again I caution, watch that you find a balance here. I once had a DON that instead of delegating tasks upon arriving to work, started showering residents. Staff really began to take advantage of her and she did eventually loose her job.

    Best of luck!
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    The DNS at my work (LTC) is wonderful. She will help sometimes. In fact she told me the other day the reason why she doesn't do paperwork on the floor is because she ends up doing other stuff. I've had her help toilet people, pass trays, help pull people up, etc. She's worked as an aide when we were really short, I've seen her work as a nurse on the floor. I mean she's just great. But I certainly don't expect her to come help! I would NEVER expect her to come toilet people. That isn't her job. She's the DNS and has bigger fish to fry IMO.
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    You need to check your states regulations and it should tell you in the regulations manual about the DON and the amt of hours that they can work as charge. I know the state where I live it is like two shifts a week. But if a shift has to be covered and there is noone else to do it, guess who does it? DON is the last resort-but it does happen. Also-as far as helping the CNA's with things-I think that is great for the DON to help-I do all the time-and I enjoy it. Especially when they are short handed. It lets your employees know that you care. But be careful-you don't want to not do your job just because you cant say no-I have learned that the hard way=)


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