How does your unit run?


I was asked to help better my unit and suggest some solutions to problems we have been having. I know one of our big complaints from staff is the 8 hr shifts. Everyone wants to do either 10's or 12's but the way we have it set up, I don't see how we would manage it. I work in a 13 bed PACU and we have a ratio of 2 nurses to a patient. We have 1 UA until 6, no aides. We stagger our shifts. So we have two or three 0630-3pm people who open the unit, then about 3 9a-5p people come in and provide first breaks for the 0630 people and pick up patients since our early surgeries are coming out. Then we have one 10a-6:30p, one 10:30a-7p, and one 11am-7:30pm nurse. Usually the 10am nurse takes a team, and the 1030 and 11 nurses go and start relieving the early birds. When that person has ate, they relieve the next, and so on. So we don't have one designated lunch nurse.

Our charge nurse gets busy and she takes up to 2 patients. Sometimes our lunches lag behind because she doesn't assign the nurses to go relieve someone, or we have to use the 1030 or 11 person to take a team. That leaves the 11am person with a rushed lunch break because they have to get back to relieve the 0630 people to go home.

Then two afternoon shifters come in and work till 11pm, when our unit closes. Usually we send people home early, but it depends what shift you work. The 0630-3 and the 9-5 nurses get the busiest part of the shift so they don't go home early a lot. The 1030-7 and 11-7p get sent home early a lot because it really does down after 5:30-6 pm. There is a huge difference is the amount of work days vs afternoons has. After 4pm it slows down, and it's a snooze fest by 6. By 7:30, I'm ready to rip my hair out. There's only so much stocking and cleaning one can do!!! Every once in a while we get a busy night and work all the way until 2100. It's hard to tell.

My question is- if you have 12 hour shifts, how do they do them? I feel like we could work this differently and make it work better, but I'm not sure how.

Also, another problem on our unit is low morale. We really do have it good in PACU, but some nurses act like its so terrible. I think they might forget what it's like on the floors. How do we boost morale? 12 hr shifts might help, because it's hard to work 5 days a week with negative nancy or b****y barb. On Fridays, everyone is a Barb or Nancy!!! :banghead: I also want to have another suggestions for boosting morale if this 12hr idea fails.

Thanks so much !!! :up: