Published Jan 12, 2005
I'm just so upset right now, and tired, and frustrated... maybe if I just take some time and vent here, I'll actually feel a little better.
I'm taking care of eight patients tonight, plus one patient coming from surgery, late. We will have eighteen patients on the floor, with two nurses.
We were SUPPOSED to have a third nurse, but this little girl didn't check her schedule, and seems to think that she has a fixed schedule. Normally she works Sat, Sun, and Mon nights, and tonight is Tuesday. Well, NO ONE on this floor is fortunate enough to have a fixed schedule, and we have a nurse on vacation and one that just transferred to another unit, so night shift nurses are having to pick up nights that they don't normally work.
Anyway, so the supervisor called her when she didn't show up for work. They talked to her and she was like "Well, Sammie (our manager) and I have an agreement that I only work Sat. Sun and Monday nights." Okay, well then we should ALL have fixed schedules then.
I'm just... not feeling up to being responsible for nine patients tonight. And these patients are high acuity. We have two patients that have advanced cancer, one six week old baby.. several new surgery patients... one patient that recently had a small bowel resection and is on TPN... I have one fresh knee replacement... I have a pneumonia patient that is also confused... I just don't feel up to it tonight, at all. There is a chance that I may be pregnant, so I'm not sure if it's hormones or what... I just feel like crying right now, and I can't even get it out. I feel like if I could get all of that out, I'd feel better.
Have you ever noticed that you can't vent your frustrations to your coworkers? That is ALWAYS how I have felt here, every since I have worked here (six years). Nights that are good, are great, but often when I am very frustrated... I feel like I have no one to turn to.
Anyway.... I feel a bit better now. Thanks for listening, all.
I haven't been in the nursing setting yet so I can't empathise with you but I can say I know how it is to work with people who do not get the idea that everyone needs to give a little extra and then some. Life would be so much easier if people would think further than their own noses.
I'm sorry you're feeling this way and I know you will get a lot of support here from nurses in the same situation.
Town & Country
What can I say?
I've been there. I hope you feel better....probably, when you get to work you'll have a GREAT night!
(Maybe they'll have an agency nurse to help!)
plumrn, BSN, RN
Vent away! We have all been there, and it seems it is becoming more commonplace, than ever. Good luck, and may your shift fly by!
Tweety, BSN, RN
I routinely have 8 patients and struggle when we're short staffed and I have to go up to nine.
Hopefully, in the future you're coworker will look at her schedule more carefully in the future. I know you're angry but calling her a "little girl" doesn't seem right. LOL
Have a good night.
barefootlady, ADN, RN
I am sorry you have found yourself in this situation. It does no good to say we have all been there. My advice is to take a minute, take a deep breath, and then decide how to proceed with this assignment. After 6 years you know how to put things in order. I know it is not fair, but that is for another time, you are faced with getting through this shift, doing what you can do in the safest manner possible for the patients. I would not hesitate to call the nursing supervisor if you feel too overwhelmed and need a hand, after all, she did not tell this scheduled nurse, she needed to come in as we have you on the schedule. Please talk to the manager and tell her you need her to make it clear to the other nurses that checking the schedule and showing up for a scheduled shift is just part of being professional. Good luck.
That is a totally unsafe pt load. I don't know how you can do that. That's awful.
Vent away that's what we are here for. I havn't been in that kind of situation yet but I can always listen and pass out (((((HUGS))))).
ahhh... schedules...I can remember working casual one summer (all shifts, a real haphazard, irregular arrangement), and then part-time during the semester (WITH a fixed arrangement on weekends, my hiring agreement was for weekends only because I was attending classes during the week). Even when the schedule was up, and I had noted it in my calendar - someone (without consulting with me) changed one of my days off!!! Or they would call my home at 6 a.m. on my class days to ask if I would work the dayshift. This occurred because not all my co-workers seemed to be aware that I was taking classes during the week.
If it had been my supervisor who wanted to make a change, she would have told me because she ALWAYS discussed these things with me, knowing that I was attending classes.
I guess what I'm saying is that it is possible that the co-worker you've mentioned maybe DID have an arrangement with the manager (the fixed scheduling she referred to).
I can relate. I trained to take 13 patients with no CNA's. I've had a job where I had a minimum of 12 patients every night, and the CNA's would go home at 10. If there was a woman in labor and someone in the ER, I had 26 patients alone. It can get pretty overwhelming. The minute you walk in the door you're exhausted.
You need to speak to your manager. You need to find a job that doesn't make you feel this way. And for your health, you need to find out if you're pregnant.
I wish you the best. Good luck!
sharann, BSN, RN
That is a horrible load. Sorry. Sounds like you have no one at work to vent to.As long as you get it out. There is really no excuse for this to happen,I am sure staffing was aware of how short you were. It is such a shame and they wonder why there are a shortage of nurses who choose to work in the field.
Early pregnancy just about always causes one to be overly emotional and easily upset, and if that is one of your contributing factors, then congratulations! (Unless this is bad news, in which case I'm sorry... but I worked OB for a couple of years and always get excited about pregnant people!)
Having said that, this patient load is awful and would pi$$ off anybody, regardless of hormonal levels. This is NOT safe, for your license or your patients, and you have every right to be angry about it. Fixed schedule or no, it seems terribly irresponsible for another nurse to refuse to come in when she knows the conditions, just because it's not "her day to work". No one should ever be required to always be on call on her days off, but going above and beyond on rare (I hope) occasions like this is just the right thing to do.
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