Floating Policy

Posted

Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

Hi all, I was wondering what your facility policy on floating is.

In my hospital, it seems like they just float nurses around even if they're not float nurses. Ideally, in my hospital float nurses are paid way more than others.

I ask this because, I had started off at the ER in my hospital but moved to medsurg because the schedule in medsurg was better for me. However, lately, the house sup always wants me to float to ER when they're slammed. And Im like, am I supposed to float ER. Because I did not sign up as a float staff. Yes. I have good ER background. But, then shouldn't I be at least asked if I can go... and not just commanded to go to ER with non options asked or something.

I think this is not right. Even though I want to speak up, but I feel that they may want to 'get rid' of me if I confront them on their policy. :(

What do you think?

Thanks!!

AJJKRN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience. 1,224 Posts

From a personal view of a float nurse, employees work for the entity not just the individual floor. I do understand your frustration but some (or more than some) of our nurses have been known to cry...yes cry...when being floated from one Med-Surg floor to another. Being that you have ED experience and are being floated from Med-Surg to ED does pose more of a conundrum. I would check to see if your hospital has a floating policy or come to the float pool, you're already doing it and it is pretty awesome!

kiszi, RN

Has 9 years experience. 1 Article; 604 Posts

My facility has a float pool which helps keep regular staff from having to float, but it still happens. Nurses are not *asked* to float when needed, but told. It is indeed in the job description.

Since there are no float CNAs, the CNAs float fairly often as staffing needs change. There was one CNA who had to float to 3 departments in one shift. She wasn't happy but did as she was told.

Sounds like you are being used a bit, but unless you can find a written policy prohibiting floor staff from floating to ED, you may just have to deal.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience. 2,743 Posts

We float within our own services (ie ped, adult critical care, peds critical care, med surg, rehab). Everyone takes a turn, we keep track in a book. When you have the farthest date back, you go first. It shouldn't always be the same person unless they want

to go.

We we have a float pool, but sometimes they can't cover all the holes so we get pulled.

USA987, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 22 years experience. 824 Posts

I work L&D and can only float to postpartum. No one floats to us.

MidLifeRN2012

316 Posts

We only float to other psych floors but that includes medical psych. They usually don't give us complicated pts like IVs or wounds because we don't have experience with that.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience. 5,047 Posts

We float when we're overstaffed and when another unit is under. We take turns, with some exceptions--some very senior staff (with my hospital for decades) are exempt, or if the one whose turn it is must be on the unit (e.g. only one who is a charge or can take ECMO pts).

We only float to certain areas; as a SICU nurse I can go to the MICU, burn unit, or stepdown units. Med-surg nurses go to other med-surg areas. The only ones floated to the adult ICUs are other adult ICU nurses--so SD nurses can't float to ICUs even though we can float there.

Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN

Has 6 years experience. 1,547 Posts

We get floated from med/surg to everywhere except L&D (we don't have a NICU). When floated to ICU, we're given the "easy" patient(s) and have access to babysitting, back-up staff. Nurses who float to postpartum or urgent care typically have some background in the area, but not always. I've nicely refused to float to ICU and a volunteer was sent instead. I didn't feel safe. If I'd had experience in the area, as some of our med/surg nurses do, they probably would have sent me, anyway.

Karou

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience. 700 Posts

As a med surg nurse I can only float to other med surg or tele floors (we have about ten different ones). If necessary we can be made to float to PCU or step-down it are given "easy" patients. I only know of one person who has had to do that.

We float based off who hasn't been floated the longest. Each time you float its recorded. No one volunteers. There is a float pool but they are not often able to help with last minute or late call ins, so people end up getting floated from other units that are overstaffed.

brownbook

Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

As someone who LOVES to float, (and who now works per diem, but gets called in when benefited staff are cancelled because THEY WON'T FLOAT), I am honestly trying to be empathetic.

All I can think of is you should sit down with your charge nurse, or manager, or director of nursing, or all three, and ask if your unit can start a float list so staff has to rotate, take turns, when a float is needed. But honestly can you expect a fellow med/surg nurse to float, and be able to function, in an ER?

Or ask the director if an official float pool can be started?

It is so expensive to cross train nurses to different units, especially a unit that is so different or unique as an ER.

Maybe you can put the patient's needs ahead of yours? They need a competent nurse to help them in the ER, not a float who has never worked there before. Maybe you can be thankful you have good skills and a good job. Read all the posts from nurses who can't get a job.

Sorry, I did get a little snarky!

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience. 12,646 Posts

From a personal view of a float nurse, employees work for the entity not just the individual floor. I do understand your frustration but some (or more than some) of our nurses have been known to cry...yes cry...when being floated from one Med-Surg floor to another. Being that you have ED experience and are being floated from Med-Surg to ED does pose more of a conundrum. I would check to see if your hospital has a floating policy or come to the float pool, you're already doing it and it is pretty awesome!

I wasn't one of the criers. So, guess who got to float? If you can whip up some tears, do so, it may get you out of floating!

I liked floating when I was a "Float Nurse", hated it when I was "pulled" from a floor.

NightOwl0624

Has 6 years experience. 536 Posts

Our hospital works similar, like services float to like services. We rotate based on your last pull, so the same person should not constantly be floated to another unit.

i know it is the house supervisor's job to look after the entire hospital, but this is not fair to you, just because you have ER background. Your NEW manager should certainly have something to say about this! Thei staffing problem in the ER should be addressed for sure!

i just joined the float pool, by the way, and love it! But there are only two of us at night and we are contingent so other nurses still have to be pulled to other units as needed.