Are you expected to work on a unit you haven't oriented to?

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1. yes, but the floor has to be equivilant in acuity to the floor we work on.

2. the staff is there to support, usually.

3. n/a

Do-over, ASN, RN

Specializes in CICU. 1,085 Posts

Any adult ICU nurse is expected to float to other adult ICUs. The specialty ICUs are expected to use common sense when making assignments for floats.

Side note - pet peeve - the automatic bad attitude about floating. I generally have a good experience when I float, but I also try to go into it with a good attitude.

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,599 Posts

My experience was a while ago, but yes, as pool/agency (depended where I worked) I could be sent anywhere within the facility. I was never put in a situation that I didn't feel safe. The nurses that I worked with were great, and I would get the less critical patients. If there was something that I was not allowed to do they would do it and if I was allowed but had not been trained yet, they would train me. I viewed it as a learning experience, but then again, I had a positive experience because I had great co-workers that were just happy to have another nurse there to work with them.

nor902

nor902

Has 30 years experience. 24 Posts

I worked on a surgical GYN/Oncology floor. We had to float someone every evening. No matter where we floated it seemed that we were given the worst of the worst patients. What was especially difficult was the nursing staff! They were by no means helpful or even polite. It always felt like I had 8-9 patients while they had 4 and were sitting at the desk all night chatting. I happened to see the nursing supervisor and pulled her aside on one of these fun nights and showed her my assignment. She was absolutely shocked! She told me these were all patients that this staff have been complaining about that they were too difficult. I am usually the evening charge nurse on my unit so she knows I am reliable. This happens every evening when my nurses are sent to float. They come back the following evening and tell me how bad it is. From then on my evening nurses were not sent to other floors such as ortho or neuro or peds, as our floor was considered a specialty ICU.

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BonnieSc

BonnieSc

2 Articles; 776 Posts

Much as I agree that floor nurses generally shouldn't be sent to the unit, I hate it when ICU nurses are floated to the floor. Most of them just can't deal. And some of them have a really bad attitude about it. It's a different skill set in many aspects.

Lennonninja, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in MICU - CCRN, IR, Vascular Surgery. Has 11 years experience. 1,004 Posts

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I'm most interested in float pool experiences for "cross ICU" staffing - i.e. you've trained MICU but are sent to SICU having never been on that unit, or you've oriented PICU but never NICU but are sent there. If staffing circumstances are preventing appropriate orientations to ICU settings as a float pool nurse is one type of ICU orientation enough to "cover" you so that you can realistically take assignments in other ICUs?

I'm MICU and floated to SICU one night, and it was fine because they gave me people that were pretty close to my own unit's population, nothing fresh at all. Once I was sent to SICU on day shift and they tried to give me two patients only 36 hours out of open heart and still using the swan to titrate meds which I haven't been trained in so I had to refuse the assignment, and get a new one that was more appropriate for me. We use swans in the MICU at times, but for very different reasons than post open heart!

We don't get any orientation to the other ICUs in the hospital at all. Supposedly they are changing orientation so new ICU hires at least shadow for 4 hours in every place they can be sent to. We're also not allowed to float until 6 months past coming off of orientation. A new nurse can be floated on orientation with their preceptor though, and I've taken orientees with me to PCU and SICU before.

At my hospital, ICU only floats to ICU or PCU/stepdown. PCU/stepdown can float to ICU but only to take patient's waiting on a stepdown bed. We have a float pool, and we only get float pool nurses who are former ICU nurses. Med surg nurses in the float pool only go to med surg. If we are sent to med surg or ED, it can only be as helping hands. We would never be sent to peds or L&D, but we frequently get peds or L&D nurses sent over to be sitters for us.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience. 1,970 Posts

Much as I agree that floor nurses generally shouldn't be sent to the unit, I hate it when ICU nurses are floated to the floor. Most of them just can't deal. And some of them have a really bad attitude about it. It's a different skill set in many aspects.

I have to address the generalization that ICU nurses cant deal with M/S.

First of all, we know that some of you will give us the most complex patients and everyone in acute dts and the first admission. Thanks for that.

The frustration comes with getting report and being told the pt has a GIB but the off going nurse has no idea of the last H&H or if the pt is still bleeding. A CP r/o MI pt. and the off going nurse has no idea of last enzymes or cardiac rhythm. Or the sum total of the report is "I gave him Coumadin" but she didnt know why he takes it and I knew it would be a waste of time to ask about an INR.

There have been a few times that I have excused myself and went to make sure the patients were breathing.

When reporting off with information relevant to the reason for admission being told "I dont need to know all that crap."

Also, when I report off why is it that all some nurses care about is when the last BM was ... even if it has absolutely no bearing on the reason for admission.

I mostly enjoy a change of scenery, working on different units and meeting new

people. There are a few that I will not return to under any circumstances.

Edited by icuRNmaggie