Understaffed Oncology Unit

  1. Hello fellow Nurses! I currently work on an Oncology unit and feel extremely overwhelmed! On a typical day I have six patients, no unit secretary, and sometimes only one PCT. With this said...I put in my own orders, put together my charts after doing a direct admission, answer the call light, check my own blood sugars/VS when we only have one PCT, and so much more. Every other unit at my facility has a unit secretary except for ours. Can someone please give me advice! I feel emotionally and physically drained. I spend more time acting as a unit secretary/PCT than a nurse. Most importantly my patients for christ sake! Advice please!
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    About NataliaRN

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 11; Likes: 2


  3. by   NaKcl
    Wow- you guys really have the staffing issue...
    I have been floated to the onlcology unit and they always had 3-4 to 1 ratio.

    I would suggest you to talk to the manager about this,
    however if the manager is the one who is ignoring this situation,
    it won't help the situation at all.
  4. by   Daliadreamer
    Wow, that kind of sounds like my unit. Know you are not alone!
  5. by   schlemJM
    First, I think you should adress this with your nurse manager, if every other unit has a unit secretary then what is the reason your unit is the only one that lack this, if you already have I hope you were given an exceptable answe or explanation.

    Unfortunately nurses traditionally have worn several hats-we end up with several responsabilities that are non nursing. I work in an outpatient oncology center and we have to do billing, drug and supply ordering, medical waste preparation, stocking and filling the bathrooms with toilet paper, paper towels, filling the soap dispensors. Patient snacks and beverage order, insurance prior authorization paper work, home care referrals, file our patient charts, make copies of patient teaching sheets, order patient booklets, unpack and stock chemotherapy and other medications as well as unpacking and putting aways other supplies and linens. we mix our own chemo and do inventory at the end of the month. Clean the mixing hood and wipe down all the patient chairs, tables, and equipment.

    Nurses just seem to end up with several jobs that are not necessarily nursing resposabilities, probably because we just do it. I do make it a priority to always put the patient first (as I am sure you do). But I do think that there are times that things should be addressed, and we deserve and exceptable reason or explanation if change is not an option. Hang in there!
  6. by   NataliaRN
    I have addressed this to my nurse manager....everyone has! Now what?!? Considering we don't have a unit secretary, we have to put charts together and put in orders...ect.ect. Many of these orders are STAT orders, answering the call bell, and so on. One of the things that really ticks me off is that I work the AM shift without a unit secretary while the night shift has a unit secretary and more techs than the AM shift. This doesn't make sense to me.