Unit Clerks are Useless! - page 2

Hello Everyone, I am a Unit Clerk working in B.C., and I will be entering into the BsN program next year. I have just recently become a unit clerk, after an 8 month course through the local... Read More

  1. by   #1rnstudent
    UCs are not useless, they do a lot of the grunt work so the nurses can be freed up to work with patients and their families. If you find you don't like it, maybe you can get some work in a dr's office outside the hospital instead? I worked as a UC for a while til I got tired of not being appreciated and then I quit. It's a good learning experience. Most students will be afraid to go near a phone whereas your UC experience will make you awesome at phones. It is a truly important skill for hsospital work because ya can only be in one place at any given time.
  2. by   TazziRN
    Wow....if it weren't for our clerks this place would fall apart!!!! Yes, whatever they do we can do just as well, but with them here it frees us up to do our jobs without having to worry about the desk stuff. They also keep track of doctor's calls, lab and x-ray orders, etc.
  3. by   RN-Diane
    I have not read all of the responses, but I do have some input. As a student and a new nurse, you would be a great source of info for me. I can't see how nurses think they could manage without you. I consider myself good at patient care (but still have tons to learn). However, I don't know up from down when it comes to paperwork, finding things, knowing the doctors, ect. I hope things get better for you.
  4. by   crb613
    Oh my gosh....I love my unit clerk! She keeps the place together! I am a new RN, and cannot read most of the doc's writing.....but she can. I cannot say enough good things about her....she knows what I need before I do! This woman can do 15 things at once & never miss a beat....I would not want to work one day w/o her! My unit clerks ROCKS! and you better believe I tell her daily.
  5. by   widi96
    TRANSFER NOW!!! They obviously do not appreciate what you have to offer - and anyone who can competently be a unit secretary has A LOT to offer.
  6. by   gonzo1
    I have worked with one or two bad unit clerks, but most are worth their weight in gold and I bring them coffee. Everything the posters above have said about how important and wonderful a clerk is goes for me too. I'm sorry you have to work there but learn all you can and know that where ever you are there is something to be learned from the situation. Keep up the faith and know that you hold a very important job on that unit.
  7. by   HUCtoRNBScN
    Thanks for all of your input! I really appreciate what other have said. It's nice to know that nurses do value and respect unit clerks. Like others have said, this has shown me how to respect everyone's duties in the hospital. From the doctors to the housekeepers, everyone makes a difference in the patients care. Thanks again everyone!
  8. by   wjf00
    I make it a point to thank the unit clerks I work with on a regular basis. My job is infinitly harder when we have no unit clerk. I came in to work once and we had no unit clerk, since I was extra I had to be the unit clerk. I was wanting to go home but I was stuck. The phone never stopped ringing, the RN's were all wondering what the heck I was doing, and why wasn't their paperwork stamped up already. I always make coffee anyways, but of course on this day the coffee maker backed up and it ran all over the counter.What a nightmare. But it did realy make everyone on the unit appreciate our unit clerks more.
  9. by   Bala Shark
    When I was a student nurse, I had a good relationship with the unit clerk..She was very helpful and I respected her..You know there are going to be people at work who are like that..Not everyone disrespects people but you will find that some do...When I work, I know that I will not have a pissed off attitude toward my coworkers like what you expernenced..
  10. by   vamedic4
    Hi Jenni H...
    Having some experience with your plight (as I work as a HUC too) I can only tell you that this attitude exists just about anywhere you go. SOME nurses feel it their duty to order others around, and the busier the unit, the more it seems to happen.
    As for me? If you see me working on 4 charts, putting orders in and answering the phone and you YELL at me, we're going to have a big problem. Unless we have a code on the floor and you're yelling to get my attention, you had better not raise your voice to me. It's unprofessional and I personally won't tolerate that for a second. Like the song says, you may not like me- but you WILL respect me.
    No matter your age you should be treated with respect from your coworkers and it doesn't seem as if this is happening.
    While it MAY be true that the nurse can do what you do, the fact is that it's YOUR job. And I'm certain you want to do it the best you can.

    But if they're NOT BUSY, they need to do some things for themselves...like paging the doc or whatever other mundane thing they think they're "too important" to do. They can be replaced too, ya know.

    Don't ever "fetch" a nurse coffee. She's got two legs and can get it herself if she wants it badly enough. Now if she's having a rough night, that's a little different, but I don't ever get them coffee. I'll brew some, but I'm not a waiter. I'm not there to babysit them, either.
    Yes, you are valued, if moreso from an administrative standpoint than from a nursing one. You serve as a valuable link, the docs write the orders, you take them and send them to the appropriate department..pharmacy, lab, ultrasound, whatever...you notify the nurse of new orders, let them know their patient's needs...and as a unit clerk, you will find that your knowledge of whom to call/what to order/procedures for the unit is an absolute necessity on the unit.
    Sometimes it seems your work never ends, I know.
    You need to make it clear that anything they need you to do must be requested in a professional manner. That means ASK. You don't have to say "please" (it helps) but a "Can you find me 322s chart" goes a lot further than "322s chart's gone, go find it!" They'll get a quick "Whatever" or an "Excuse me?"
    Sure I realize we're all busy, but courtesy should prevail no matter your position in the hospital. Are we not all there for the same reasons??

    It sounds as if the people you work with could use an etiquette course or two. As other posters have said...many nurses value their unit clerks highly, I think your floor is an exception to the rule.

    Good luck. Let them know you're not there to be a punching bag.

    Going back to bed soon.

    Quote from Jenni_H
    Hello Everyone,
    I am a Unit Clerk working in B.C., and I will be entering into the BsN program next year. I have just recently become a unit clerk, after an 8 month course through the local college. What I want to know is if the majority of nurses value their unit clerks? As I am only 20 years old, I've dealt with a lot of older RN's commenting on how young I am and that "Unit Clerks aren't supposed to be so young...". But by far, the worst comment I've heard was when an RN told me that it was a waste of time taking the Unit Clerk course, because anything we can do, can be done by a nurse, and that we are useless and replaceable!!! I do feel a definate heirarchy amongst the nurses and unit clerks here in my town. Some of the nurses just think we are there to do whatever they want. I work in ICU, and while the nurses sit around reading magazines or playing on the computer (when they don't have patients), they yell at me to "page staffing", "sort this chart out!", ect. I know what my duties as a unit clerk are and I am very meticulous and like to be busy, but when there are only 2 patients in the unit, and the Dr hasn't been in to write orders, there is only so much that I can do. If I sit down for one minute, I'm barked at and told to go fetch the nurses coffee. I don't feel that I use my knowledge like I could, I feel more like a maid than a unit clerk. I am posting this because I am hoping for feedback as to how unit clerks are treated or if they are valued in other hospitals.
  11. by   goats'r'us
    to me, the unit clerk is god. treat them with respect and they can make your day, but p**s them off and all hell breaks loose.

    my unit's clerk is wonderful. just today, she waited by the phone for a page to be returned for me, collated all my patient's files so that she could be discharged via a clinic without me even asking, continually updated the board so that everyone knew exactly where all their patients were, paged the development nurse multiple times when i wasn't sure what to do, and sent her to the room i was in, took messages for a few phone calls when she knew (without me telling her) that i was swamped and didn't have time to come to the phone, kept on pharmacy all day to find some medications for me, gave me a brilliant handover on the post-op patient i was about to pick up from theatre, so that i knew what i was getting when i collected her, and filed and organised my post-op ladys charts.

    i rely on her to point out who all the doctors are, so i don't page them from across the room, she knows where everyone is, what everyone's doing, and who has the red keys (for the s8 cupboard) at any given time.

    for a new staff member like myself, the is nothing short of miraculous!.

    don't let the nurses undervalue you, you keep their ward smooth so they can do their jobs easier.

    i have, however noticed that sometimes nurses undervalue the younder ward clerks, while the older clerks i've worked with demanded respect and got it, because they were damn good, and they tended to show people what times would be like if they weren't treated right. don't attempt to assert yourself like this unless you're very sure you're doing everything right though, or it won't work.
  12. by   JessicRN
    Been in a lot of hospitals only one unit coordinator I can honestly say was a waste. She was friends with the charge nurse so between her socail chats and her many trips to the break room(30 minutes each) to discuss some personal subject with a fellow staff nurse. While she did this, the nurses did there own orders and labs.. ALL OTHER TIMES I do not know what I would do without our unit coodinaters wait a minute I work nights WE HAVE NONE :uhoh21: Oh how I miss them.
  13. by   bubblymom373
    Most of the unit clerks I have worked with are invaluable. Life savers.:wink2: There are one or two that I have worked with that were not worth spit.
    For the most part good unit clerks are needed to keep things running smoothly and are a very important part of the team.