Someone talk me down!! - page 2

I am the only nurse that staffs our small ER on a regular basis. I act as manager. I work with nurses that work the acute floor and cover ER when I am not there. Most (almost all of them) could... Read More

  1. by   petiteflower
    Thanks to everyone for some great advice and understanding. I am going to initiate some policy---and reduce some stress--and in response to raphael--it does bother me that the other nurse's don't seem to care about the ER. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the nursing student got a hefty dose of some of the real life frustrations that we can encounter in our daily professional life, and what being irresponsible with vital equipment can cause.

    Unfortunately the taking equipment from ER is not always because of lack of equipment for the floor, it is usually because theirs is misplaced on the floor, and I try to orient each nurse to where the vital equipment is so it is easier to come and get mine than find their own.

    I am also going to start making an incident report---maybe that will bring it to administration's attention that there is a real problem here--because going to them and talking is not getting any results. As a matter of fact my hospital administrator informed my director of nursing that I am just "too posessive of ER". I don't think he has ever had to care for a patient who needed something STAT and it wasn't avaliable because someone borrowed it and didn't bother to a) return it or b)at least let you know where it is located.

    Thanks again every one. I feel alot better just being able to blow off some steam in a safe place!!!
    Last edit by petiteflower on Apr 26, '03
  2. by   canoehead
    Ya know it's nice that he has someone who actually gives a rip what happens to the patients in an emergency. Perhaps he needs to be reminded of how things can go horribly wrong for the hospital if you need to search for say, a moniter, for a chest pain patient.
  3. by   jeannet83
    Petiteflower, First of all, I commend you on all your efforts!! You are dealing with a very dangerous situation of missing equipment, along with precepting students and what sounds like running an ED by yourself.

    BOTTOM LINE is this: I don't care how small your ED is but you need your equipment available 24-7 and NO ONE is to borrow it!! You are the front line, woman, for your community! How can you deal with emergencies with no cardiac monitor and no suction? Some day, God forbid, something is going to happen. Don't wait until then to put your foot down and change your policy (that is if you still have you license if someone dies secondary to lack of equipment-because trust me, you will be the first person the hospital will point fingers at). YOU have the power to do it, to change the policy. Call facilities management on Monday morning and tell them you want each piece of equipment chained in place. Then a memo goes to all of your supervisors and all of the other nurse managers of the new policy. Base the memo on the recent incident that you just had and that repeated attempts to educate the staff and implore the staff to return equipment has been ineffective. Now as for any resistance from higher up management, tell them they can either purchase some more equipment or pay for a very hefty lawsuit settlement the next time a patient vomiting profusely comes into the ED and there is no suction, the patient aspirates, gets ARDS and dies. Seems pretty simple to me. Our equipment is chained down and there is no equipment shortage-except for hunting for thermometers which can't be chained down.

    As for your "blow-up", I really wouldn't worry about it. If you blow up all the time, that is one thing. But anybody who works in the ED who has a critical patient come and finds no equipment is bound to be irritated. And if this had happend to me frequently, you can believe that I'd be quite angry. We all have all breaking moments and you just had yours. Breaking moments can be good because it helps us to think even more about the particular problem, in this case missing equipment, and address it. A normal reaction, as far as I am concerned.

    I agree with whoever said that your hospital can certainly go out and afford some more equipment when you have administrators' making six figure salaries. Take out a loan if they have to. Certainly buying equipment is alot cheaper than settling a million dollar lawsuit.

    Take care of yourself, and keep us posted! Jeanne
  4. by   piccnjazz
    Diva, I understand completely. This is one of my biggest peeves as well. Here's where I love to get my hands on a student, or new-grad, for that matter. I'll never miss the opportunity to show him/her how NOT to do that. If for no other reason but to show respect for each other. Course, it sure can make things better (safer) for the patients-having equipment, supplies there when/where they're needed is "a good thing". Seems to me the concept is related to good old-fashioned manners. Where have all the manners gone? Good luck!
  5. by   jeannet83
    Like I said Petiteflower, only if you work in an ED will you understand the urgency of not having a piece of equipment. I can't imagine having a crushing chest pain roll in at the start of my shift only to discover that the cardiac monitor and pulse ox are yet again missing. What rhythm is he in? Is it stable or not? How am I going to treat the patient without rhythm readouts and oxygen readings? You have every right to be angry. Why is it as human beings or as nurses we always must be "good girls" and suppress our emotions and go along with the status quo? Why can't we be proactive and change things for the better?

    Just my thoughts-Jeanne
  6. by   lindalee
    <<< As a matter of fact my hospital administrator informed my director of nursing that I am just "too posessive of ER". I don't think he has ever had to care for a patient who needed something STAT and it wasn't avaliable because someone borrowed it and didn't bother to a) return it or b)at least let you know where it is located. >>>>>

    To posessive or ER???? What an idiot. Hand him a few law suits and perhaps his attitude will be correctly adjusted. Or perhaps with luck he will be the one to arrive with the crushing chest pain and no monitor or oximeter available. Give me a break. Unfortunately if this is management attitude and they certainly need to wake up and smell the roses or this will bite them in their fat ****. I hate attitudes like this from management. How in the world are we to function without support.