I am a senior nursing student. I have been in your typical clinical settings (nursing homes, all types of hospital adult care, surgery, home health, psych..) and am now on a Peds floor. I cannot TELL you what a difference there is in the staff. They are SO good natured. They take breaks, lunch and even get to check an occasional email. However, the biggest difference is that they know their pts and spend time with them. They answer questions, rub shoulders, explain proceedures. My first day there, I was too busy finding my way around in a new hospital and new equipment to really put my finger on it. Was it just the difference in working with kids? Then today, it clicked. Ratios. These RNs were taking 3 pts a piece. One CNA, no LPNs, and of course, many parents do hygiene care for the kids. This is not a ICU Peds floor, mostly gastro and ortho. Wow, is all I can say. They actually get to do pt care. Is this the only area left in nursing in which nurses have time to do this? I never realized how stressed, busy,and sometimes unhappy nurses can be until I saw it NOT happening. This is my second degree, so I've already been in the "real world". Why do nurses NOT get time to spend time with their pts (or get to pee!), when I used to play solitare while on conference calls in my other profession for hours a week. Health is So much more important. So, ARE there other areas in nursing in which you can give true pt care?
Sep 21, '06
I don't think it's because it's peds - it's just a unit that is properly staffed. I work on a specialty med/surg floor that is crazy, and I don't get to eat/pee - so I'm transferring to PACU. They have no more than 2 patients at a time and have a "lunch relief" nurse, so they get to eat! So I think PACU is one area where you can spend time with patients. ICU's with smaller ratios are better too, but you can get crazy there if something goes bad.
Whatever you do, stay away from a med/surg floor!
I'm also a second career nurse, and I miss my Starbuck's breaks, real lunches, traveling on expense accounts, etc. Nursing is a different world!
Sep 21, '06
I am in my last semester. Just got home from clinical, boy I left there feeling so inadequate. I am on a very busy med surg floor. She only gave me 2 pt, but with high acuity, I get no cna help, and they are total care. Yikes, I know I am still learning, but I think Med surg is a scary place, thank goodness for those wonderful nurses who do it.........Your peds rotation sounds wonderful. My peds was intense, with very sick chronically ill kids