not sure if this is a normal feeling?

  1. So i am now almost a year into working on a busy tele floor. I usually have 4patients most 5. But when a nurse calls out we really seem to make it to 5 or 6. At this point I feel unsafe! I just finished a night like this, had 5 when i came in and got an admission just an hour into my shift! And of course... everything that could go wrong does, pt with 13 beats of vtach, pt with a low blood sugar, i was still handing out meds at 1130! I just feel like this is where i would make a med error trying to balance all this and remember it all!!!!!!!!! I just wondered if this is what its like everywhere? IS this what nursing is really like? uggh frustrated=(
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    About erin01

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 156; Likes: 34


  3. by   crystalchen
    Does charge nurse has patients last night? Did they call to ask if anyone else is ?available to work? I work in emergency - observation and each nurse always just have no more than 5 patients. If someone called sick, charge nurse should either find someone else to work, or charge should take those patients, or management should come in to take patients (we have 2 nurse leaders and 1 crn on the floor). I think it is unsafe and you should talk to management about this.
    but my friend works on surgical oncology saying they usually have 6-8 pts at night...... maybe it is an unit thing?
  4. by   chacomom
    The last med surg job I had was the same as you describe. I've worked in a number of different areas in my career(ICU, PACU, ER), and I can tell you that med surg was the most stressful to me. I worked 3-llpm and not only would we usually have the most admissions of all the shifts, we would have ICU transfers . The staffing situation was always tenuous, especially if there were sick calls. We had no regular float pool. There was always a disaster in the making. One night I had a septic patient and one with uncontrolled seizures(every 15-30 minutes). Both were supposed to have gone to ICU, but of course, there were no beds availble. One finally went to the ICU and the other to telemetry, although in the meantime I was essentially caring for 2 very sick patients on the floor. This is only one example.
    If you are the charge nurse, its double trouble, because they carried the same number of patients as the regular staff. (Charge duties were roatated) The nursing supervisors were rarely helpful although some were better than others.

    I have nurse friends in other hospitals who tell me the same things happen there. The point is that there is only so many things you can do at one time. But you are often expected to do more. And rarely will some one tell you that you have done a good job.

    Sometimes nursing is an impossible job, and I do believe it is the hardest job in the world because it is intellectually, physically and emotiionally demanding. But my reward was the thank you from patients and families and knowing I had helped someone truly in need of your care.
  5. by   hoope
    Well, speaking about Kuwait , as i am here and i have no idea about other countries, YES ! it is like that.. there are night shift and even m orning shift were the patients are more than the assigned staff.. Nurses will have to manage how to take 4 or 5 cases... It happens alot. And it's not right nor fair.
    Lack of nurses in kuwait causes this issue to be discussed in many occassions . This leads to nursing errors, stress , overload on the nurse.

    Maybe cooperation can help reduce a percent of this , if all nurses try to cooperate together when there is any new admissions or in any work. Team work can help alot in making the day pass easier.

    Good luck .