Forced to float? - page 2

I am curious - how many of you are forced to float off of L&D/PP/NSY to another floor when you have low census? So far, in 13 yrs I have only been forced to go to Peds a handful of times, but nowhere... Read More

  1. by   CEN35
    well i stumbled along this post and thread.........won't say how........although someone knows......and yes to them, it's after 6:30pm friday, but i was kinda bored.
    anyways, someone said 99.9% of all other nurses would freak if asked to float to l&d. i disagree.......it would not bother me in the slightest..........actually......i worked in er for 5 years now...and floated med surg twice......would much rather float to l&d despite not really wanting to look at prego crotches all shift........ me
  2. by   fiestynurse
    CEN35--Your comment about not wanting to "look at prego crotches" all day is offensive. Be careful how you refer to female patients and female anatomy.

    I was a maternal-child health nurse for many years and got floated all over the hospital. It never got easier, only harder. Some of my floating experiences were awful! I agree with fergus51, that med-surg has become a very specialized area and is no longer considered to be the "foundation" of nursing. Floating, was at the top of my list of reasons why I left bedside nursing a few years ago.

    Jami--I think you will find when you become a L&D nurse, that it is
    a nursing speciality that is like no other. There is so much to learn and I know you will throw yourself into it wholeheartedly. Every CEU class will be geared towards fine tuning your L&D skills. Mark my words, there will come a day, after many years of working as a L&D nurse, that you will walk on a med-surg floor and feel that you are in foreign land. It's not so much the med-surg skills, but the whole med-surg routine and environment.

    I really think that hospitals need to have very specific floating policies that are geared toward safety and respect for nurses and what we do. A nurse is a nurse just isn't true. I have always like the idea of sister units, where 3 somewhat related units are grouped together and floating is closed to the staff on those 3 units. So, you are not randomly floating all over the hospital, but just to your 2 sister units. That way you become somewhat familar with atleast 2 other units in the hospital besides your own.
  3. by   Q.
    Fiesty- If I didn't know Rick that well, I might be offended at his comment - but really, he didn't mean much by it. There is always going to be rivalry between nursing specialties: I joke with my ICU friend Jim that all he does is push meds and suction, and I joke with Rick that all he does in ER is give some amoxicillin for ear aches. I think also that most ER nurses would feel slightly more comfortable AT FIRST floating to L&D, only because, depending on the ER, they might actually have some experience in emergent deliveries. Now MY ER, for example, are a bunch of idiots. The other day they called to report a patient that had arrived and appeared that she was "ready to push" so they put her in an exam room to check her. Which is highly unusual for them. So..they check her and call us back to report that they are sending her up, and they are all breathless, stating that she is 40% effaced. WHAAAAT??? Kday, I know you are laughing at this.

    Well the patient comes up and she is 6cm and 100% - needless to say they were waaaaaaayyyy off on the vaginal exam. I think though, the lesson to be learned, is that despite all the quick knowledge we get in nursing school, the knowledge we pick up in our clinical areas far surpasses what we got in school. Also, the longer we work in our specialty areas, the more and more focused we get on that area and the more removed we get from any other area of nursing.

    And Kday, kudos again for a wonderful post.
  4. by   CEN35
    feisty? i didn't in any way mean to offend anyone. i just spoke the way i feel......and being we are all grown up here, and in the same field.....i figured i could phrase it the way i first thought it......without being blasted by someone. well i was wrong.........sorry......i am out!
  5. by   fiestynurse
    I know we are getting off the topic of floating here, but, I guess I started it? Right? Rick, I know we are all grown-ups here and that is why I let you know that your comment offended me, that's all. I didn't think that I was "blasting" you. I have experienced some pretty offensive things over the years as an Ob nurse and have become very protective of my female patients. I use to tolerate the remarks that male doctors would say as they were sewing up an episiotomy, turning to the husband and joking about putting in a "few extra stitches to make her good and tight." I have heard some of the rudest comments directed at pregnant women and I just don't put up with it anymore! It doesn't matter if we are in "the same field." For me that makes it all the more worse. I hope you understand where I am coming from. Please don't take it personal, because I do like you.

    Peace Rick!
  6. by   jamistlc
    originally posted by cen35
    well i stumbled along this post and thread.........won't say how........although someone knows......and yes to them, it's after 6:30pm friday, but i was kinda bored.
    anyways, someone said 99.9% of all other nurses would freak if asked to float to l&d. i disagree.......it would not bother me in the slightest..........actually......i worked in er for 5 years now...and floated med surg twice......would much rather float to l&d despite not really wanting to look at prego crotches all shift........ me
    okay rick said this and i have read all the replies to this "misgynogmy" statement. i think though he was just stating a fact this would not be his preference much like for some of you to work urology or endo would not be pleasant. i am sure if someone said something like "despite not really wanting to look at arseholes or male members all shift........ (add your derogatory word for these here) there would not have been such a reaction. if he had said "despite not really wanting to look at bulging or edematous vulvas all shift........ it would have been better! i know (i think) what he was saying and it was from his pov (maybe biased as a male). but i know it was not meant to be offense too! it is not his cup of tea, would have been a nicer way to say what he meant!
    Last edit by jamistlc on Jul 23, '01
  7. by   fiestynurse
    O.K. this is surely turning into a "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" discussion.
  8. by   Daysleeper9
    Right or wrong, kids, we DO get the prima donna label. I've worked in Maternal/Child Health for the past 10 years, and since I work in a small hospital, floating is a fact of life. Yes, our staff has to go to Peds, med/surg and ICU, but by the same token, we get help from the other units when we are drowning. Am I entirely comfortable on other units? No. Will I continue to take a team when I am asked? Well ...yes. Usually, the other units are so grateful for any assistance that they don't mind giving me patients that are within my comfort zone. Who among us can say they don't know how to care for a diabetic, or a basic abdominal surgery patient? We do it all the time on our own units!!! By helping out in other areas, we can broaden our own knowledge base, and assure ourselves of cheerful, WILLING assistance when we need it!
  9. by   fergus51
    Just an illustration of why I think working with patients you aren't used to is wrong:

    One of my friends works on the gyne unit. It's supposed to be gyne, but they have been getting everything lately. Basically if the patient is a woman she can go to gyne. They had a woman come down after some sort of back surgery (laminectomy or something or other) and the gyne nurses are not used to getting these so her nurse didn't even know to do the neurovital signs. It was a student who pointed it out. A big hoopla ensued. They have been having the same problems with nurses not knowing to check the CWMS of ortho patients (almost missed a caseof compartment syndrome) or knowing how to deal with the cancer patients. Clearly if a nurse works in a specialized area for years it can be difficult to keep their skills up. I wouldn't want such a nurse caring for me.
  10. by   HazeK
    I do float from L&D to NICU, Nsy, Postpartum, Antepartum units. Period.

    I have never worked med/surg (which I really think should be a specialty all its own!) so am not skilled in passing meds on schedule for 16 pts+, rounding w/ MDs, etc........... I could go to a med/surg unit & function well as a glorified bedmaker, call light answerer, mealtime tray passer, etc. but to count on me to function as equal to a staff member, no way!

    Likewise, for an RN to float to L&D would be the same! They could be alot of help, but not truely replace a staff member!
  11. by   SueBe40

    To read what each of you has written is enlightening.

    I read this BB because I wanted to see if Maternal Child nurses were as frustrated with floating into Med/Surg as I am at having to float into their field.

    At the institution where I work -- our general surgery unit (Med/Surg) handles all of the gyne surgeries. A previous director said "Hey these are the same MD's -- so our nurses can 'orient' to post-partum and take care of the moms and babies."

    It sounded like a good idea at the time -- but is it? Most of us are so uncomfortable there. The only patients we feel even remotely at ease caring for are the C-sections.

    Recently our dilemma came to a head when a nurse with more than 5 years experience QUIT rather than being floated to that unit.

    My question to you is -- do you want me, with 14 years of experience caring for med/surg patients caring for your post-partum patients? I have only tried to reinforce my own field in my continuing education focus.
  12. by   fergus51
    I don't want anyone who doesn't feel confident in my area. I think the worst thing in the world was being a student and asking my instructor (ICU nurse for 1 years) for guidance with a baby that was REALLY difficult to breastfeed. She had absolutely no idea what to do. I think it's a very different body of knowledge and unless you are knowledgeable you shouldn't work there.
  13. by   bbnurse
    SusyK-- Your story about the ER and the pt. who was 40% effaced got me laughing all over again about a patient we had recently. ER called to say EMS was bringing a "drop In"patient (without any physician) red lighting it with contractions q2". We started getting ready when they called back to tell us that EMS stated she was really active and would need to deliver in the ER so would we please bring a warmer. We grabbed the warmer and packs and shove that unwieldy thing as rapidly as possible to the ER. We set it up, turn it on and grab gloves when EMS calls again to tell us the baby is coming and they are 5 " out...
    There are now 3 ER docs, 2 OB nurses, 4 ER nurses/staff all lined up outside the doors, in gloves awaiting the arrival of this pt and possibly her newborn of uncertain gestational age. ER staff is all discussing what to do and who would do what. We are pacing, sterile little hands up in the air everywhere in the driveway when the ambulance roars in, doors pop open and there is screaming and panicked looking EMS jumping out. It all goes in slow motion now as they all hover over her and run to the ER area where the warmer is set up. One ER doctor tries to check the screaming woman and says he feels no cervix. The OB doc walks in now, assesses the situation---mind you, people are milling around and talking and EMS is shouting report and are sooooo relieved that she held that baby in til they are through with the transport. He checks her and the ER doctor is telling him we have this and that all ready. He looks at us and winks when he says, Well, I think we have time to go on to OB for this. ER starts her IV and we push that warmer back to OB and EMS brings the patient to us. When we get her, not only was she not ruptured, she was not dilated at all. She was drug seeking, tired of being pregnant and had voided all over herself. ER called to see about the pt. that they were so wired for and were so shocked that we sent her home 2 hours later, undelivered. EMS has yet to live that down. We just giggle when we get those panic calls now and ER has trouble getting us to take them seriously when they call to ask for our help. :OH WELL!!! Get some experience in OB and maybe that will help you find that cervix.
    I know this is off the topic, but couldn't resist the story.
    Have a great day. I smile with anticipation.

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Forced to float?