Published Aug 3, 2002
I work in a mostly LTC. facilility with a few acute beds.
There is a floor with about 36 pts., with consists of 7 tube feeders, 2 trachs., a few IVs, lots of wound care and sometimes one or to pts with a PCA pump.
The nurse who is regularly scheduled there has the floor wired, hes been doing it for years,gets meds out on time and all the work is done
Now we have to float there and the floating nurses dont get done with there o800 meds until 1200 and not all treatments get done.
Question is? Should a float nurse be able to go to a floor and get things done like the person who always works there? and if this is the case,how can a floor be changed so any nurse can go to a floor and work efficiently.
Or is this just the way it is and floaters should just "deal with it"
jschut, BSN, RN
Of course one shouldn't expect a nurse with no experience on a certain floor to be as efficient as one has been there forever! It takes time to get to know the routine and the people!
As far as things getting done, I believe treatments and meds should always be done, no matter how long it takes. And sometimes it may take a bit longer because of you not being on that floor regularly. But just keep on plugging along and get your work done, for the patients sake. You can do it...prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! :)
Have faith~ you can do it!
While some nurses may be lucky and never have to float, we are all required to where I work.
I was frequently in your situation, behind, unorganized and feeling frustrated.
I asked an experienced nurse how she organized her shift and prioritized her care... This helped tremendously! While I can't tell you I now get out on time everytime I float... I'm more organized to ensure all my meds, treatments and assessments are completed.
No, you shouldn't feel as if you should be done in the same amount of time as another nurse who works this floor regularly.
What SHOULD be done is... an assignment made that allows you to be the best help you can be at that time. I've been noticing though that, many of you on this Post don't work with very nice people and are forced into a situation where you have to "sink or swim." :angryfire
When I float... this is how I approach my situation: I get report (ok "duh, Lori" )... I take a quick "peek" in on my patient's to make sure no one is blue... ... then I look at the meds/treatments due and write all the times down.... Generally this shouldn't take more than a few moments. Then I have a plan for care and I can make allowances for interruptions.
Prioritize: Meds/treatments first.... Delegate what you can to your CNA... and ask for HELP if you feel you're overwhelmed.
Hopefully you won't have to do this sort of thing very often... try not to let it get you down, though... show a positive attitude and do the best you can... that's all anyone can do.
This is one of the reasons nurses hate to float; it is just impossible to do the same job as someone who does it all of the time. Assignments for floats should be lighter and take into consideration their abilities and competencies.
I've worked as an agency nurse in MN, WI, CA, and HI. I agree with the posts above. Basically, a quick look in each room, glance at the meds, check orders quickly, and go to it. From floating to so many different hospitals, I have learned that they all basically have the same floor plan. Just the supplies are a little different. The only charting system I wasn't too pleased with was one computer system. Give yourself a little time. The newer one is to nursing, the longer it sometimes takes.
My biggest floating pet peeve: when one unit manager doesn't even bother to take responsibility to staff/schedule her own unit...and relies on forced floating from other dept's to keep her unit open. She is the type who has pizzed off all her nurses and can't keep any.
These pizzy managers send their unit schedule to the supes...and we had to fill in gigantic holes in order to staff their unit... This was the biggest headache in the supe job, IMO, and I didn't do much of it for that reason.
The staff nurses got wise to this practice too and also resented it...I didn't blame them, I didn't like being forced to work under those circumstances either.
Most nurses don't mind helping out and floating if it's reciprocated and done with common sense...obviously if an ICU nurse floats to NICU she will be very limited in her ability to help. Same with a medsurg nurse in LD, and vice versa....
Sometimes we do the best we can and punt in a pinch, but it's sure not wise to rely on this type of 'forced floating' staffing, which is what way to many facilities do today.
I still do feel though if a nurse is floated and feels her practice is unsafe, she/he ethically must speak up, as it's it's too risky to everyone concerned in this case. This 'line of safety' is each nurse's individual line, and I agree that new nurses may have to draw the line sooner....the larger comfort zone may not be there ( yet....but it will come.:) )
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