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New Charge Nurse

Critical   (4,769 Views 24 Comments)
by Chilled1121 Chilled1121 (New Member) New Member

Chilled1121 has 3 years experience and works as a ICU RN.

1,541 Visitors; 31 Posts

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Quick question.

This is my first nursing job and have recently oriented to charge nurse on a critical care floor. I have been charge only one time but I have heard from other nurses that nurses will request to have a new group for a number of reasons. I have personally never done this outside of having a shingles patient (per company policy as I was pregnant). I understand wanting to change assignments due to being burned out by a heavy patient. However some nurses change assignments because they want to be next to a certain nurse or not next to a certain nurse. Sometimes they don't want to get report from a certain person. My first day of charge I had a nurse tell me to not assign them to a patient the next shift before I even had a chance to clock in! Is this normal in other units? Is this okay behavior? Wasn't sure if maybe this is normal and I'll just roll my eyes at it and keep moving like I have been doing.

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3 Likes; 34,402 Visitors; 3,950 Posts

I have never heard a nurse say they want to change their assignment because they do or do not want to work next to a colleague, if I did, I would respond with, no I'm not changing the assignment, I do not enable divisiveness, we all work together as a team.

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macawake has 10 years experience.

2 Likes; 72,085 Visitors; 1,101 Posts

However some nurses change assignments because they want to be next to a certain nurse or not next to a certain nurse. Sometimes they don't want to get report from a certain person. My first day of charge I had a nurse tell me to not assign them to a patient the next shift before I even had a chance to clock in! Is this normal in other units? Is this okay behavior?

That's in my opinion not okay behavior. If I was charge nurse I'd tell them that I expect them to be able to work together as the adults that they are. You don't have to love your coworkers, you don't have to socialize with your coworkers during your free time, but I darn well expect them to be able to do their job without requesting a lot of extra considerations. If a nurse had a specific, concrete concern and hadn't been able to solve the problem with their coworker despite making an effort to do so, they'd be welcome to bring it to my attention. Barring that, as I said I expect them to do their job.

The only time I've changed an assignment around was when two nurses asked if they could work adjacent rooms. One was a recent graduate and the other an experienced nurse who loved and was great att precepting. I thought that made sense that the new nurse had the experienced nurse close by, since she was both willing and able to mentor and offer support to the new nurse.

This is my first nursing job and have recently oriented to charge nurse on a critical care floor.

OP, you say that this is your first nursing job. Are you actually orienting as charge nurse on a critical care floor when you're both new to the floor and the profession at the same time? If that's the case I honestly think that's too much to ask of a new nurse. Or perhaps you're not so new to the profession any more, despite it being your first nursing job. I guess you could have been there for a couple of years? I hope that's the case.

Edited by macawake

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Altra works as a staff / charge RN in a teaching hospital - I work .

1 Like; 40,042 Visitors; 6,255 Posts

Childish, at the very least.

If you ask me to change an assignment, the reason better be related to the patient and/or family.

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Chilled1121 has 3 years experience and works as a ICU RN.

1,541 Visitors; 31 Posts

It's my first nursing job. I have been there for a year and a half. They can ask to orient after a year of working on the unit per their policy (I think it should be longer which is why I postponed). They had two shifts of orientation to charge then you can be charge from then on.

There is a lot to they have to work on when it comes to charge nurses and orientation but unfortunately they have had a significant turn over so there is a higher ratio of new nurses compared to experienced nurses which makes it difficult to have a mixed skill set but it's a problem my organization is trying to work on. A lot of obstacles but possible.

Should of clarified that.

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quazar has 20 years experience.

2 Likes; 9,740 Visitors; 603 Posts

In almost 20 years of nursing, I have never, ever asked to have my assignment changed for any reason other than the patient was violent towards me. That's it. They are being childish and ridiculous and I would not honor their "requests."

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Okami_CCRN has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Like; 13,939 Visitors; 787 Posts

Switching an assignment because a nurse does not get along/like their pod-mate is ridiculous. There are plenty of nurses on my unit that I do not particularly care for, but I put on my big boy pants and work through it.

I have on occasion asked to not have a certain patient re-assigned to me, this is usually due to family dynamics or over-bearing patients. Sometimes we cannot care for a patient more than one shift and that is OKAY, care has to be rotated for our own sanity.

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a CRRN, now a case management RN.

21 Likes; 1 Follower; 228 Articles; 315,332 Visitors; 27,607 Posts

Moved to the Critical Care Nursing forum for more replies.

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sjalv has 1 years experience and works as a RN, CVICU.

11,908 Visitors; 897 Posts

I have only ever asked for an assignment change after having a difficult patient (as in, delirious and unresponsive to reorientation attempts) for 5 nights in a row. Another time, a nurse and I asked our charge if we could switch patients as she had had my patient for 3 nights in a row earlier in the week and I had just admitted her patient last night. Asking to switch assignments so you can be near or not near a certain nurse is incredibly childish. It shouldn't be granted or encouraged.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

942 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,843 Visitors; 13,727 Posts

Quick question.

This is my first nursing job and have recently oriented to charge nurse on a critical care floor. I have been charge only one time but I have heard from other nurses that nurses will request to have a new group for a number of reasons. I have personally never done this outside of having a shingles patient (per company policy as I was pregnant). I understand wanting to change assignments due to being burned out by a heavy patient. However some nurses change assignments because they want to be next to a certain nurse or not next to a certain nurse. Sometimes they don't want to get report from a certain person. My first day of charge I had a nurse tell me to not assign them to a patient the next shift before I even had a chance to clock in! Is this normal in other units? Is this okay behavior? Wasn't sure if maybe this is normal and I'll just roll my eyes at it and keep moving like I have been doing.

Asking for an assignment change for any reason other than the most dire ("the patient is my cousin and I can't be objective about his care" or "the patient is a former POW and because I'm Asian, he keeps having flashbacks to the Vietnam war and his imprisonment") is something that didn't used to happen. It seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. I personally would refuse to change assignments for "social reasons" such as wanting (or not wanting) to work next to someone, get report from them or give report to them. UNLESS the concern was placing an inexperienced nurse next to a mentor.

To answer the question, this does happen in other units, and it is not OK behavior. Just roll your eyes and keep moving.

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gonzo1 has 15 years experience.

20 Likes; 22,900 Visitors; 1,687 Posts

I have worked several places where this happens. When I was a new nurse people would ask me to change with them all the time and I did. Then I started asking people to change with me. Two times in a row I got even worse patients and so I have never again asked. I take what God gives me and it has always worked out for me.

I do ask to float if someone is floating to another unit I will ask if I can go instead and they almost always say yes. I'm comfortable floating to med/surg, ER, PP, EMU and a lot of nurses hate floating so it works out good for all.

Do you have to take pts as the charge?

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ayejay09 has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse 2.

792 Visitors; 14 Posts

I've never heard of switching assignments for social reasons. There have been a couple of times I've REQUESTED not to have a certain patient back, but it doesn't happen often. And I request that way if it doesn't happen it isn't a big deal.

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