How assignments are distributed

  1. I'm a relatively new nurse and I worked the night shift for a year as an extern before graduation. Now I am an RN and work on days on the same medical telemetry floor. On our unit, the night charge nurse makes the staff assignments for day shift so when we arrive, we see what our assignment is. I'm not picky and I don't think the night shift charge nurses harbor any ill feelings about me--they gave me rave reviews that got me a $3/hour raise! But, here is the situation. Almost every assignment I get has at least one mental health patient! I am not complaining, I don't mind working with the mentally unstable at all. It is getting to be a running joke with the rounding psychiatrist, however, because when he comes to my floor, he walks up to me and says, "Mary, who do you have for me today?" because inevitably, at least one of my patients has a psych consult. On Tuesday, I had two total-care patients who had psych consults and a third patient who I thought should have. I even double-checked with Dr. because I couldn't believe the patient in room 9 wasn't on his census. Well, the hospitalist rounded late and at 3 pm, he wrote a psych consult for the patient in 9 so it worked out that 3 of my 6 patients were mental health issue patients!
    There just seems to be a pattern where if there is a patient who is mentally retarded, oppositional, schizophrenic, flat affect....you name it, if the problem is mental I am assigned to them. Anyone else see this kind of pattern in patient assignments? Should I be suspicious? Maybe I'm getting paranoid? LOL
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    About marygirl

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 45; Likes: 16
    Medical Cardiology

    3 Comments

  3. by   Elisheva
    Mary, maybe the charge nurse understands that you have a gift for dealing with these exceptional patients. I might be flattered. But, if it bothers you, I'd just simply ask.
  4. by   gonzo1
    Have you checked with the other nurses. I bet they have mental health pts too. There are so many today that need help.
  5. by   babynurselsa
    Most days I swear EVERY patient I contact has issues, whether they have dx or addressed may be another issue.
    Now seriously, many times mental health issues can somewhat precipitate illness which leads to someone noticing things aren't right. Hence the psych consult.
    Think of it this way, Often because of mental illness these folks aren't taking good physical care of themselves so they get sick and end up in the hospital.
    Unless she was giving you one patient down one hall with issues, and another down another hall, then I wouldn't get to paranoid.

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