I was hired at a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital in June. I am in my last year of my BSN but this is my first aide job. It is basically an ICU...most on vents, many with tube feeds. It has been a great learning tool in that and just more patient and staff interaction.
When I was training we had as little as three patients and just this week have we gotten up to 18. So while I was trained, very rarely, if ever, was I left to do something completely on my own (they were training 2 others at the same time as well). Not that big of a deal with most things. Since our census has been so low I don't even remember the last time I had another aide on the floor with me. Where opinions come in is...I am a small girl and these patients are hooked up to a lot of things and many of them are quite large and can't help turn themselves, lift their bottoms, etc. I can't really be expected to turn some of them or do full bed changes for the more difficult ones on my own, am I? Typically, especially since we have had so few patients, I have started my rounds on the ones I know I can do on my own and then go back and have an LPN or RN assist me with the others. Is this what I should be doing? I don't want to come across incapable to my coworkers but don't want to be unsafe either. Nobody has expressed this isn't okay and when they are easy turns some of the LPNs just turn the patient themselves when they give meds to save waking the patient up again, being third shift. I'm a little unsure/worried about when our census increases.
Oct 1, '09
Sometimes I do turns and stuff when I probably shouldn't. I know what you mean about not wanting to bother your coworkers, but usually I think you can avoid annoying people if you're organized and considerate. It seems like you've already got a good routine down-- working independently for as long as you can before seeking help with the doubles.
If anyone is getting irritated with the fact that you need help, they're not likely to be direct about it. I've gotten annoyed a couple times when someone asks me to help them boost some 95 lb lady, but only when the request comes from a coworker who tends to be less than helpful towards everyone else (I'm sure we all work with people like that). When i first started working on a heavy hall I asked for help turning everyone until I got used to it, and I could see that some people were a little nonplussed. Sometimes if you word things a little differently ("I tried rolling this person but I can't" or "How would you go about turning this person?") you don't look as needy but you still get the help.
Oct 3, '09
If you need help, most certainly ask for it. Do not risk injury to yourself or your patient. Ever. If you're a small person (I am) anyone who thinks you're supposed to have Herculean strength and gives you attitude is in the wrong and knows it. It would be nice if you had another aide to assist you. If you don't, though, don't feel bad about approaching the RN or LPN for help. Their license is on the line re: patient safety, so they should be thankful that you asked for help instead of taking an unnecessary risk.
Oct 4, '09
I agree. I think its outrageous that anyone of us should have to feel guilty about asking for help in turning a patient.
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