Am I allowed to leave ANYTHING for PM shift to do?

  1. I work day shift on a busy floor, and of late, we are being pressured to be off the floor by 7:30 pm. Sometimes, despite every effort, I can't get every single thing done before shift change (MDs writing orders at 6:45, or phone calls after 7 pm, stuff like that). There are a couple of night nurses that get so bent out of shape by this.

    Are we really expected to NEVER leave anything for night shift to do besides pass 9pm meds?
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    About vashtee

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 1,100; Likes: 1,040
    RN
    Specialty: DOU

    26 Comments

  3. by   ChristineN
    Quote from vashtee
    I work day shift on a busy floor, and of late, we are being pressured to be off the floor by 7:30 pm. Sometimes, despite every effort, I can't get every single thing done before shift change (MDs writing orders at 6:45, or phone calls after 7 pm, stuff like that). There are a couple of night nurses that get so bent out of shape by this.

    Are we really expected to NEVER leave anything for night shift to do besides pass 9pm meds?
    I think that as a rule you should try to get all your work done. You don't like it when night shift "dumps" work on you, likewise they don't like to be dumped on. That being said, nursing is a 24/7 job and I think sometimes fellow nurses need to be a little understanding if you had a particularly hectic day. I wouldn't make a habit of leaving work though, and I would not leave anything that is absolutely a pressing need (ie stat meds or stat bloodwork).
  4. by   mama_d
    My rule of thumb is "Would it irk me if this got passed on to me to do?"

    As a night nurse who regularly gets dumped on, this is a sore spot for me. In general, if it happens (i.e. if the order is written) more than fifteen minutes before my shift starts, I expect it to be done (barring issues with other depts, like waiting for pharm to provide a med). In turn, if something goes on more than fifteen minutes before the end of my shift (like an abnormal lab value), I take care of it.

    Now, if it's been a bad day, and someone who rarely leaves things, I'll be understanding if a few things get passed on, even if it's big stuff. It's those nurses who make a habit out of passing on a list of things to do every single time that can really irritate me.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Unless it is an emergency, my last half hour or so is spent in getting my charting done. Once my charting is complete, I will take on any other task that presented itself in the last half hour. The facility is a 24 hour operation, so there is nothing that says everything has to be done before leaving your shift. Same goes for any other shift. As long as it gets done, it doesn't matter who does it or when (unless time sensitive).
  6. by   SoundofMusic
    I think you have to do your best. Don't be a slacker and just pass on stuff you COULD have gotten done. If you took the order, you should do your best to note it and check it off. If it's getting too late, just be sure to pass it on.

    I am a mommy caretaker type, so I'm always letting my co-workers pass stuff on -- and, in turn, they baby me at times and do the same. I do my best, but sometimes you just have a crazy shift and can't get it all done.

    Then there are the doc teams that take 4 hours to write orders that you have to leave for the oncoming shift. I hate that.

    I had a float nurse once who handed me TWO charts worth of unchecked orders. I will never allow that again. At least check them off and pass them on -- don't leave it to the next nurse to make sure your orders were put in correctly. That was the worst shift I'd ever worked to date, as a nurse.
  7. by   morte
    if i am told up front, not a big deal....just dont leave me the SAME thing to do every time. it wont take me very long to figure out, you just dont want to do that particular task! lol......and dont "hide" things, ie leave things undone and not tell me
  8. by   vashtee
    Quote from ChristineN
    I think that as a rule you should try to get all your work done. You don't like it when night shift "dumps" work on you, likewise they don't like to be dumped on. That being said, nursing is a 24/7 job and I think sometimes fellow nurses need to be a little understanding if you had a particularly hectic day. I wouldn't make a habit of leaving work though, and I would not leave anything that is absolutely a pressing need (ie stat meds or stat bloodwork).
    You know, I guess I don't really consider it "dumping" when the orders come in late (as in the last 15 minutes of a shift or during report). I never leave anything I COULD have done, and I generally have everything ready for the next shift. I am definitely NOT a slacker. Also, I don't assume when things are left for me to do that the night shift was slacking.

    I refuse to be held responsible for doctors that don't return phone calls during my shift despite my paging them multiple times. Sorry, night shift! You may actually have to talk to the guy yourself.

    I think it would be great to allow night shift to swap with days for just a week. It would be nice to be able to see how the other half lives.
  9. by   Jules A
    Quote from vashtee
    Are we really expected to NEVER leave anything for night shift to do besides pass 9pm meds?

    Sorry, night shift! You may actually have to talk to the guy yourself.

    I'm not sure how you intended it but to me both of these statements soud pretty nasty. As I night shift person I can promise you we do more than just pass meds. I'm not sure of your relationship with your peers but I'm wondering if its not more about your attitude than the occassional task that you didn't complete. There is one nurse that never gets her work done which gets on my nerves but she is sweet and just disorganized so I don't mind finishing up. With the others I know that if they didn't get done it was unusual and I have no problem with it.
  10. by   vashtee
    Quote from Jules A
    I'm not sure how you intended it but to me both of these statements soud pretty nasty. As I night shift person I can promise you we do more than just pass meds. I'm not sure of your relationship with your peers but I'm wondering if its not more about your attitude than the occassional task that you didn't complete. There is one nurse that never gets her work done which gets on my nerves but she is sweet and just disorganized so I don't mind finishing up. With the others I know that if they didn't get done it was unusual and I have no problem with it.
    Nah, it's not MY attitude. The nurse I am specifically referring to has a reputation for being difficult. One of her night shift co-workers even apologized to me for her behavior.

    If I sound nasty, it's because I am venting my frustration. I never express these thoughts at work.
  11. by   ChristineN
    Quote from vashtee
    You know, I guess I don't really consider it "dumping" when the orders come in late (as in the last 15 minutes of a shift or during report). I never leave anything I COULD have done, and I generally have everything ready for the next shift. I am definitely NOT a slacker. Also, I don't assume when things are left for me to do that the night shift was slacking.

    I refuse to be held responsible for doctors that don't return phone calls during my shift despite my paging them multiple times. Sorry, night shift! You may actually have to talk to the guy yourself.

    I think it would be great to allow night shift to swap with days for just a week. It would be nice to be able to see how the other half lives.
    If I get a late admission (ie last hour or so of my shift) and they start to put orders in, I will try to get done what I can. I probably won't be able to get IV access, but I will call the IV team for the oncoming nurse. If you have to leave something for the oncoming shift, always tell them "I wasn't able to do x, or x needs done." The last thing that you want is for them to assume you took care of all the orders, and then nobody does the task at hand.
  12. by   earthcrosser
    As a night shift nurse, I can tell you we do way more than nightly meds, haha. In my NICU, the night nurses are the ones doing all weights/measurements, baths, TPN/IL changes, and scheduled labs. The first three or so hours of the shift, we are in full gear getting weights, baths, assessments, and the first round of feeds going.

    Sometimes, the day shift nurse is busy and cannot get in a car seat challenge or immunizations aren't sent up in time for days to give - I don't mind as days can be quite busy. It's when something is deliberately left for us to do (immunizations specifically scheduled for 5am instead of 8am). If I have time, I'll even try and get in a car seat challenge when it's been ordered to help out day shift.

    As long as you're doing your best to finish up your work, leaving something every now and then (and telling the night shifter that you didn't have time for it) shouldn't be a huge deal. Shifts get busy - you can't always get everything done in time.
  13. by   Bobylon
    Has happened to me before (eveining shift "passing on" stuff to night shift, no big deal, from my perspective, if the reason is legit) .... but heaven forbid, there's an LPN on day shift that acts like it's the end of the world if one thing gets passed on to her, due to pharmacy not having needed med in stock on floor for 06:30 dose (was morphine solution po .... yeah, takes moments to administer....). She was pee-ed off at me that I was clocked out (late) and med was not there yet. It was not in our narc cabinet, I sent a message to pharmacy, they sent a message back saying I had to pick it up - went down to pick it up, was told there should be plenty up there (there wasn't) and to go re-check and let them know (pt had it scheduled and prn).... I let them know when I got back and re-checked (and re-checked again) and they said they'd send some up. Passed this on to the oncoming LPN and she got ***** ..... excuse me, but it's not like I just forgot to give the med, whatever. She's definitely not a team player - I'll willingly work to cover anything needed from previous shift, it's my job, no ?
    After all, we're supposed to be a team, no ?
  14. by   NightNurseRN
    No, as said before, nursing is a 24 hour job. We often have doctors come at shift change and write orders. As a night nurse I completely understand it not getting done. The most hectic part of the day/night always seems to be shift change. Seems like all the call bells start going off, someone's IV is out, pumps are beeping, etc. If the order was written earlier in the afternoon and it still wasnt addressed then I may be a little annoyed.

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