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Do you all have to float to peds during viral season?


Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

We are dropping like flies! Our census has been down so we are being sent up to peds...and most of the time it is to the dirty side! :eek: :eek: Now, we aren't allowed to come back to the unit, but gee, if taking a shower is the cure-all for the flu and RSV, we sure are wasting money with immunizations LOL

Has anyone heard of any viral outbreaks in other NICU's...legal just called our director and asked about our policy of floating to the dirty floor, of course there is NO policy, a body is a body.

Just really curious as to how other hospitals handle floating during the dirty season!

TiffyRN, ADN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in NICU. Has 27 years experience.

We are fortunate that our hospital doesn't have a PEDS unit. We are across the street from a large Children's Hospital but we don't exchange staff with them. Our census has stayed up though it was down a few weeks ago.

What I find interesting is this whole dirty/clean thing reminds me of our Isolation procedures. If one cares for an isolation patient (one with MRSA or VRE) one cannot visit the other rooms during one's shift and if working several days in a row you must stick with isolation for the stretch. However, the charge nurse who goes to all the rooms and often to delivery can relieve the isolation nurse and provide care to this patient if needed.

We have had scares with RSV where it was thought young siblings might have brought it into the unit and everyone held their breath until the siblings were tested (so far everything has been negative). My thought is, how young are visiting siblings allowed to be in ya'll's units? The younger ones (we allow as young as 2 years old) really scare me especially when I see the snotty running noses, sleeve wiping, crawling on the floor. . .

We dont float that much now. The Childrens hospital is pretty well staffed at the moment. I think think the RSV has not arrived here and the Influenza is mostly over by now.

We have had Isolatons constantly for 3 months now due to Norwalk virus. Our staff is getting pretty tired of this, there is no fun being locked in the isolation room for a whole shift. We try not to have the same person in there for more than one shift at a time. Just to keep them sane.

And we dont allow siblings under 4 years on the unit.

I have the same concern as the writer about floating to Peds during RSV season. I just finished my Orientation to Peds so now I am eligible to float there. I voiced my concerns with my Charge Nurses and they agree with me that I should not have to float back to NICU on the same shift. Our units policy on visitation by siblings is for 9 years old and up, otherwise they can look through the window from the hallway.

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 27 years experience.

We sometimes float to peds, or go to pp for m/b care. I much prefer peds. As we are overfull, and they are also full, we are using float pool....so core nurses can stay in their in homes. If we aren't contaminated, we can come back to the unit. We do have extra scrubs, so we can change clothes if need be.

During this flu season, children under 13yrs are not allowed in the patient care areas of the hospital. Also, adults with s/sx of colds or flu are not welcome visitors. This policy has been long overdue. We have signs posted at the hospital entrance, and smaller ones on the doors to our unit. Unfortunately, the new mom may have the flu, but we don't want her visiting.

On prior years, we have had nursery infants, in isolettes, contract RSV. One time it was the mom who had a cold, did wear a mask, but the baby still got sick. Another time it was the visiting sibling of another child, who caused the problem.


This is interesting because we can have an isolation kid and two others! And you know you can never call out. How many of us go to work sick because your NM gives you grief if you do?

We don't float at all, ever. Did I mention how much I love this hospital?:D Our census is never really low anyways, but even on the off chance it is, we are not floated.


Specializes in NICU, PICU,IVT,PedM/S. Has 15 years experience.

Our NICU and our Childrens hospital are two different hospitals in one building. We are two different unions so we do not have to float. I tried it for a year and it was great, at first they gave me reasonable assignments. Then as they got to know my skill the acuity increased and I was taking care of post-ops with a PCA and three different drains I heard about in nursing school. So I stopped because I felt it was not safe.

Because of HIPPA we are not allowed to go visit our grads but prior to this year we were not allowed to visit on or before our shift.

Last year we have RSV in our unit for the first time in 25 years! They blamed it on a nurse but she ended up neg so they think it started with some parents that were sick.

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