Jump to content

As a Nurse, is it normal to be pushed around doing different jobs at the place you work?

Updated | Posted
by DK123 DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

So I am working at a Retirement Home and its going well, I love being the Nurse on the floor, but sometimes they will pull me and say I am gonna be a screener today to screen essential visitors, or one day I will be the Wound Care Nurse, or I will be helping out the Director of Care with their duties, or one time they were so desperate I was folding laundry cause they could not find anyone for the laundry staff. One time I was also a porter, porting Residents to different rooms in the building for infection control.

I don't want to sound mean and say no, but I feel like I lose my dignity as a Nurse. I don't wanna tell people that I screen or that I porter people, I want to just do Nursing related stuff.

I do get paid for all that stuff, but to me I feel like its a waste of my clinical skills. I can't just leave and find work since we are restricted to only 1 workplace at this time, and if I leave this job, its not guaranteed I will find work elsewhere.

I am full time there, but they did say that I will be working different jobs. Not sure if its just me complaining

It's called "other duties as assigned". Most nursing job descriptions have it.

1 hour ago, DribbleKing97 said:

[...]

I don't want to sound mean and say no, but I feel like I lose my dignity as a Nurse. I don't wanna tell people that I screen or that I porter people, I want to just do Nursing related stuff.

[...]

What of these duties, with the exception of working in the laundry, are not included within the scope of nursing practice?

1 hour ago, DribbleKing97 said:

[...]

I am full time there, but they did say that I will be working different jobs. Not sure if its just me complaining

You should consider yourself fortunate, nurses being furloughed or called off for low census is becoming a common occurrence.

Best wishes.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Frankly, I would consider it a dream job. Lots of variety so you gain a lot of insight into the workings of the whole retirement home, instead of the tunnel vision we get from just doing our own jobs.

I'm not sure what you're calling "clinical skills" that you're so afraid of losing. Wound care is certainly a valuable skill; assisting the Director of Care should be providing additional skills. Screening visitors provides an opportunity to improve interpersonal skills and provide education to the community, something all nurses are expected to do. Being a porter involves positioning patients for safety and comfort, and of course you're never not assessing.

If they're willing to pay you nursing wages to fold laundry, then that's almost like a paid day off. Take advantage of the brain breather.

None of these things strikes me as anything that's "beneath the dignity of a nurse". (That would be more along the line of having to stand when a doctor enters the room.)

If you embrace all this with a willing spirit, no telling how far you can go. Doing things grudgingly will show on your face and in your body language and might hamper you in ways you don't expect.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

As long as you're doing these things as the work on your shift instead of in addition to the work on your shift, chill out and enjoy the "break".

It's also a good chance to liaise with folks working different jobs in the facility and build rapport with them. That will pay off down the road.

Do it without complaining and give it your best effort of course. Collect your paycheck and go home. Enjoy it while it lasts, and...

while also keeping your eyes open for other opportunities. Maybe they’re just dumb but an RN folding laundry, screening visitors and transporting patients strikes me as a situation with even less job security than usual.

There are benefits but also possible detriment. Nursing skills? I would say being able to build and maintain skills in properly assessing patients, knowing the ever-changing nursing-specific facility policies, and being able to work the cart without having everyone complain and gossip about what a catastrophe it is every time you “get” to do actual nursing work is no small matter. Not being able to do one thing with enough regularity to come up to advanced/expert level is not in a nurse’s best interest.

Everybody “loves” somebody who will do anything and always eases the burden du jour. But about the time it takes you twice as long as someone else to do a med pass on the cart you will learn how fickle that appreciation is.

Short-term this is fine. Long-term heck no. But I suspect it won’t be long term one way or another because no one would pay an RN to do these extra duties for very long. This actually kind of sounds like a temporary position.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

If patients need it ... then it is not beneath "the dignity" of a nurse to provide it.

Nurses do those things that patients would do for themselves if only they could do it for themselves. And that includes wiping their private parts -- and bathing -- and screening people for illness -- and transporting themselves -- and preparing meals -- and feeding themselves -- and folding laundry.

Maybe you need to review the role of the nurse in society and the types of work that nurses have traditionally done. The one characteristic that sets nursing apart from all other roles in society is that we are the one discipline that commits to helping the patient with ALL of his/her needs -- not just the ones that we consider "glamorous."

Maybe there are other jobs that you will enjoy more than the one you currently have -- and that is OK. But taking care of the patients needs should never be considered beneath a nurse's dignity as a nurse (what that means.)

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

There is nothing undignified about any of these jobs. I think doing them will be a good learning experience for you. It takes many people in many roles to run an good Retirement Home. Every role is important.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

4 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

If they're willing to pay you nursing wages to fold laundry, then that's almost like a paid day off. Take advantage of the brain breather.

OMG! THIS!^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^!!!

Edited by BSNbeDONE

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Doing all those jobs would make you a shoo in for night supervisor, if that job comes up. You'll know all the players and policies.

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

It's normal to have "additional duties as assigned" but no, this isn't normal, at least not in hospitals. To me this shows disorganization and an inability to keep workers. It might be a nice break once in awhile but it sounds like it happens more than that. I'd be looking for a new job.

Edited by Elaine M

This might make people upset...but...

If I spent 4+ years of hard work getting my BSN, I am NOT going to fold laundry. I am there to provide expert nursing care and to clinically take care of my patients.

If you continue to be the “yes-man” you are going to be walked all over.

Sorry not sorry.