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Charge Nurse on a 40 Bed Telemetry Unit

I am considering taking a position as a Charge Nurse on a 40-bed Telemetry Unit. I have been a Nurse for 25 years and have some experience with Telemetry. What would be some good questions to ask during the interview? I am scheduled for an peer-interview.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

1. Do you have a round-the-clock IV team?

2. Are nurses expected to mix their own meds? (We used to have to prep our own Cardizem. It was a huge time-waster to have to draw up 25 cc's of the med and inject it into the 100 cc bags, compared to now, when we always have a few premixed bags available and Pharm does the mixing.)

3. Describe what happens during a typical patient event where the patient is trying to crash.

4. Does the hospital do cardiac caths and open heart intervention?

5. How are the nurse-doctor relations?

6. How long have the nurses worked this unit? Is there a good mix of longtime employees to new nurses?

7. What's the nurse-patient ratio? Do the nurses have ancillary staff such as unit secretary, monitor tech, nurse aid?

8. Where are the actual monitors located? On the same floor or off?

Those should get you started. Good luck to you!

jmgrn65, RN

Specializes in cardiac/critical care/ informatics.

Why isn't any of the nurses on the unit being offered or applying for the position?

Spatialized

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry/PCU, SNF.

1. Do you have a round-the-clock IV team?

2. Are nurses expected to mix their own meds? (We used to have to prep our own Cardizem. It was a huge time-waster to have to draw up 25 cc's of the med and inject it into the 100 cc bags, compared to now, when we always have a few premixed bags available and Pharm does the mixing.)

3. Describe what happens during a typical patient event where the patient is trying to crash.

4. Does the hospital do cardiac caths and open heart intervention?

5. How are the nurse-doctor relations?

6. How long have the nurses worked this unit? Is there a good mix of longtime employees to new nurses?

7. What's the nurse-patient ratio? Do the nurses have ancillary staff such as unit secretary, monitor tech, nurse aid?

8. Where are the actual monitors located? On the same floor or off?

Those should get you started. Good luck to you!

As a charge nurse in a similar situation, I would add these:

-required to take patients?

-independence to make staffing decisions related to shift-to-shift staffing levels (i.e. staffing up when there are multiple heavy patients, or your numbers call for less than you think you need)

-Rapid response team?

-team nursing vs. primary care?

IF you have any other concerns feel free to PM me. I was a relief charge nurse on a 46 bed cardiac/cardiac surgery unit prior to a split that turned us into 2 units. Now I'm a full-time charge on a 23-bed progressive care unit, so I've been there! Good luck!

Tom

Thank you everybody!!! I have been out of town for the holidays and I just got back. I finally got a chance to read the posts. These are some great questions!

Nightcrawler, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiothoracic Transplant Telemetry.

I agree with the other suggestions posted. I think the two most important ones are whether charge is required to take patients and why no one is stepping up from inside the unit

I always see red flags when a unit is trying to hire from without. Either everyone is too green, or there are a lot of problems.

I also think that 40 beds is waaaay too many for the charge to take patients. there is just too much to keep track of to have to manage your own patient load. With that many beds the charge should not have to take ANY patients, but be a resource for those on the floor.

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