Concerns for safety of my patients and my own health and safety

  1. I manage a 9 bedded neurology area on a neuroscience's ward, which is out-of-sight and sound of the other area's (neurosurgery) on the ward. When I am on shift, I am expected to manage this area ALONE. No health care assistant, just me. It is often very busy with patients who need a lot of care, and I often get no help whatsoever, unless I almost beg for it, for instance: to turn a patient (then I am often greeted by "I'm too busy," or, "I'll be there in a 'moment'"). They have also given us some radio's in case we need help in an emergency. The nurse-in-charge is supposed to have the other radio, except I often find her radio dumped on the nurse's station!
    The other day, I had set the nurse-call buzzer to "loud" as I usually do, to ensure I hear it. However, you cannot hear it in one of the bathrooms. One of my patients had been admitted due to fitting. I was in the bathroom with another patient who had been incontinent and needed a wash. After I had finished washing this patient, I came out of the bathroom and heard the nurse buzzer. I went immediately to see where is was and found the patient fitting and the nurse-in-charge next to him. She immediately ranted on at me about
    "Where have you been?! blah, blah, blah!"
    I interrupted saying that I was in the bathroom with another patient and that you can't hear the buzzer. I was quite frustrated and by this time the patient had stopped fitting (sudo seizures anyway). I took her aside and told her "THIS is why I need help down here!" She went on to ramble about not enough staff etc and left. It wa only later that I thought, Why didn't she radio me to find out where I was? Could it be that she didn't have her radio on her?
    I am very frustrated though, as there are always health care assistants in other areas of the ward. It's as if neurosurgery takes more of a priority, because if I DO get help to wash a patient, the health care assistant rushes off as soon as we have finished. I often have to wait a while for help anyway.
    I also have a patient who has only just started to eat and drink and needs feeding. I often have to stop feeding him to go and answer buzzes to help people to the toilet. This is disgusting. Patients have even commented to me how unfair it is that I am alone.
    I also have another patient who, when having a seizure, can be violent, yet I STILL find the nurse-in-charge's radio lying around.
    The ward used to be two seperate wards and as a consequence, you cannot hear the buzzers on the other area's of the ward. There is a meeting soon and I intend to bring this up. I know it won't change anything as they merged two wards to save money.
    Thank you for reading this, I just wanted to rant!
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    About Good_Queen_Bess

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 376; Likes: 5
    Staff Nurse, Neuroscience


  3. by   canoehead
    She needs to keep her radio on her person. I completely agree. If nothing else that has to change.

    But how are you doing all that yourself? It sounds like only a matter of time before you get a back injury. I have some sympathy for both of you as neither has time to help the other and it must be absolutely frustrating. If you could convince TPTB to give you an aid to share, or something?
  4. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    I try not to risk my back. I always try and get some help and use available equipment, and I won't move a patient if I even think it would cause me harm.
  5. by   IamRN
    I baby my back, if I hurt it it may mean my family's livelyhood.

    Your job sounds dangerous, to you and your patients. You are a better nurse than I resignation would have already been turned in. Are there no other hospitals in your area?
  6. by   oramar
    Don't do this anymore. Tell them NO, tell them you must have a NA to work with from this day forth. Tell them you are out of here if they don't. They are taking advantage of you!
  7. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Don't worry, I AM looking for a new job. As are many people on the ward! I wonder why.........
  8. by   jnette
    Quote from oramar
    Don't do this anymore. Tell them NO, tell them you must have a NA to work with from this day forth. Tell them you are out of here if they don't. They are taking advantage of you!
    Absolutely. This is HORRIBLE ! As you said, not just for you, but your patients as well. No way. I'd be long gone, Baby ! :angryfire