Charge Nurse

Nurses General Nursing


I have recently been asked to fill in on another rotation as Charge until someone is hired...I need some advice on how to make the best assignments, how others do reports during shift change and any other suggestions. I work on a 23 bed Telemetry Unit in a 250-300 bed hospital. We are way behind in technology and we have no aides or unit clerk on a 7p-7a shift. Help!!!


Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

If you have never worked that particular unit before, how about letting them make their own assignments? That takes the heat off you, and makes yoiu seem like a fair person. Start with the least experienced nurses and let them pick, going on to the most experienced nurses last. Then after round one, move back througfh again. Somthing like that?

Don't have many other suggestions since usually, people involved in that type of decision have usually worked on the unit already. besides, I have worked only ER, and am not sure how different a tele unti is run?



If you have no experience on the unit you may want to reconsider taking this assignment. Working charge on an unfamiliar unit can open you up to a number of nasty legal problems if things go wrong. If youhave worked on the tele unit before but not this shift, CEN35's idea has a lot of merit. I always made assignments according to the strengths and weaknesses of my staff.

This was almost never fair, but it always worked well for the patients.

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

On my unit when I'm in charge I pick my assignment first, then as a group they pick and choose theirs. Sometimes I may intervene based on staffing and skill mix, but then again I don't make the assignments out. I will suggest that the call-person go in the nursery or so and so go do post-partum, etc.

I stay pretty involved in all the patients conditions so that if we get a new admission, I know which nurse is best suited to take her on, or help out. If one patient starts going into distress, I am aware so I can help out during the C-section.

If you've never charged this unit before, I would let them pick their assigments, but try to be on the up and up with who's new to the floor, who's most experienced, etc.

Originally posted by CEN35:

If you have never worked that particular unit before, how about letting them make their own assignments?

Thanks so much for your reply...I have been working on this unit for 2 years now but not on this rotation...I worked in a manufacturing company before nursing and am very familiar with the concept of self directed or managed teams,,,I thought about letting them pick there own patients but this group of nurses wouldn't know what to do or say...but I treat them with respect and as a equal and so far they think I am the is kinda weird because I haven't done anything special but so far it is okay....

Thanks again,


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