I am going to vent a little bit, albeit about something perhaps petty, and maybe other pediatric nurses will understand (or else tell me to get over it; that is understandable as well!!).
There are plenty of nurses who worked in adult care prior to pediatrics on our unit. There are a few who consistently do two paradoxical things.
1. They will talk about how many patients they used to have on an adult unit and how we don't know how good we have it here, etc. etc. (and every time they complain, the number of patients they used to have on a regular basis goes up- one nurse it started out at 8, then a few months later I was hearing 10, now a few days ago it's up to 12!) And I don't feel I have the basis to say anything, since I have always worked in the pediatric field as a nurse (I worked other fields as an aide, before graduation.)
2. At the same time, these few nurses are often the same ones to act as if their group of patients is the most difficult and they are having a worse shift than everyone else, and no one could possibly understand. They complain plenty about things; more than many many other people who work here. Yet if we haven't worked in adult care, we just don't know how lucky we are.(?)
What's going on here? How can we be simultaneously lucky that we work in pediatrics where there are such good ratios, and yet at the same time, these nurses who tell us how lucky we are find so much to complain about? I get that one of the "benefits" to working pediatrics is the (usually) lower nurse-to-patient ratios, which is probably one of the reasons why pay in the pediatric field tends to be lower, and I do know that ratios in med-surg units are unsafe many times. But I guess I'm just sick of hearing over and over about how we don't know how hard things can be, and of having the hard work I feel I've done be devalued. It's like because we haven't worked in adult med-surg, we haven't worked hard enough or know enough about being a good nurse. I do value my job; I know it is a good place to work. I guess it's just irritating and disheartening hearing people dismiss the difficulty of what I do. Maybe they're right; I don't know.
Thanks for listening.
Nov 14, '10
They're just talking, and talking; let them talk away while your mind is on something more important.
Nov 14, '10
Haha, you're right. Very good advice. Now, to act on it with conviction
Nov 16, '10
I hear you! But if there's time to complain, they probably aren't as busy as they say.
I definitely feel lucky to be on my unit. For every slow day, we have a crazy busy day. The nurses that have worked adult med-surg aren't the complainers. We have some really awesome nurses that worked at a busy children's hospital- every so often I am told how our unit isn't a true peds unit- acuity of pts, # of pts:nurse, etc, isn't near what they were expected to handle at this other hospital.
Truth be told, they're probably right. And it makes me all the more happier to be where I am. With our pt assignments, I have the extra time to spend on my pt/family. And we all know how much support certain pt/families need.
I hope and pray my time working here will just enrich any other peds job I take on. So there. Don't let those nurses bring you down!
Nov 18, '10
Complaining (especially complaining about your assignment) is actually a communication mechanism employed by adult floor nurses. The combo of clicks, whistles and groans that sounds like "I can't believe [charge] gave me 2 boarder patients AND [John], [Jane], and [Joey] while everyone else is on the web shopping today!" actually means something completely different in their language, like "gee, it's nice out today," and "where's the coffee pot?"
I love being in peds and working in the sort of place where people are ok with SHOWING that they're happy to work here. Pediatric work is a lot more detailed than adult (really? I have to count that 50ccs in my I&Os? And do neuro checks more than once a shift?), which takes a little adjusting for us former big people nurses, but it's the details that reward us with the extra time we spend with little Johnny, counting every drop of saline flush.
OK, gotta run, I have this ridiculous assignment today that you would not believe....
Nov 18, '10
Tell them kids are very perceptive and they don't like to listen to whining even if they do it themselves. Since they are children in a hospital though, they get to.
Seriously -I worked in one of those high acuity hospitals and -- for the most part it was a place where everyone chose to be
from doctors to dietary resulting in minimum grousing and moaning and a lot of committment, so I guess I was lucky. On one side of our unit we would have 6 more well kids and the other we would have 3 pretty sick kids. I felt the ratios were about right although feeding 6 babies required some teamwork for sure!
Nov 23, '10
I commented in another post, we have the very same thing at my hospital. Yes, the ratios are smaller and like somebody mentioned, we have more detailed work. At my hospital, we have to do assessments and vitals every 4 hours. That's more than all the other floors. We don't just go in and hand a patient pills and say "here, take this". If it's a baby or a toddler, we have to find creative ways of giving them their meds. And sometimes it's a fight!!! We have to check IV's HOURLY on our Peds patients. We have to have a double check on ALL meds in patients younger than 13. Those things also take time. If an IV infiltrates and needs to be restarted, it takes way more time. Little tiny veins to find and many people to hold that patient down so we can get a good stick and get the IV taped up in time before they yank it out. We have to deal with toddlers who are supposed to be on continuous pulse oximetry who won't leave the probe on and we have to go in every 15 minutes and try to put it back on, taping them up like mummies. We have kids who don't like the nasal cannulas and constantly take it off, while desatting while they are sound asleep and STILL finding a way to take their NC off. Sometimes crazy parents who cn make our jobs even harder. Try telling a screaming kid who is starving they can't eat after midnight for surgery. Just to name a few lol. Yes, we have lower patient ratios, but each ped patient comes with its own unique set of challenges that we have to work around every day.
I'd LOVE to see a non-ped nurse who likes to make fun of me try and do all of that.