Jump to content

New nurse, not eating so I can pass 20-30 patients' meds

Updated | Posted

I'm scheduled as a medication aide and I am falling apart, literally. This not eating thing for more than half of my shifts has caused mouth sores and skin peeling around my nails. I am also getting more frequent headaches. And now, I can't focus worse than usual, and it's becoming unsafe. I almost didn't document the medications I had given, twice in one shift. I caught them, but this might not happen the next time, risking double dosing. I cannot keep up with all of my duties working to pass so many pills for so many patients, about 20-30 patients with 5-20 meds with 1-3 pills per med, and I feel too guilty for being behind on my med passes to go eat. I usually have at least 3-5 patients' meds in the red or overdue throughout the shift and stay late to finish passing everything, about 15-45 minutes. The other nurses are cold, passive-aggressive, and even indirectly aggressive. I feel so alone, like I can't reach out for help because it's supposed to be my job and my duties. I'm crying just about every other day now.

When it becomes more difficult for me to focus, I try to keep the patient's page open and mark PRN meds before I leave the computer so it forces me to save before I leave the page, which multiple nurses taught me to do. I'm not saving before I go to give the meds, but some nurses do. Other nurses tell me not to so much as mark it, so they can hop on any computer they want. The first group of nurses says that is controlling and unsafe of them to do, since this is a habit they follow and would additionally feel disrespected if treated in this way that the other nurses treat me. I'm lost. Please help.

Should I quit? I obviously can't handle the job requirements. Should I try to take breaks even if I have meds due and/or request assistance from other nurses? Might I get better? It's been a month and my efficiency in passing meds has not increased very much.

xmsanta

Has 1 years experience.

I had a similar experience when working in LTC for a few months. I was new too. Luckily the nurse manager allowed me to shadow different senior nurses a few more shifts. You will start to see how many steps they skip because it is 'common practice' or the reason they are so fast is that they remember all the medications already after 2-3 years of giving the same med to the same pt and know all their habit or they scan the med in first then give later or they really take a refusal as refusal and only try twice before they put the pt down as refused med in the chart. They can do check so quickly because they memorized all the med for each pt. I can't comment on whatever to continue and use bad practices in order to keep up or stay and memorized all the med and become as quick as they are. It's up to u to decide.

dream'n, BSN, RN

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 27 years experience.

8 hours ago, crudRN2020 said:

I'm scheduled as a medication aide and I am falling apart, literally. This not eating thing for more than half of my shifts has caused mouth sores and skin peeling around my nails. I am also getting more frequent headaches. And now, I can't focus worse than usual, and it's becoming unsafe. I almost didn't document the medications I had given, twice in one shift. I caught them, but this might not happen the next time, risking double dosing. I cannot keep up with all of my duties working to pass so many pills for so many patients, about 20-30 patients with 5-20 meds with 1-3 pills per med, and I feel too guilty for being behind on my med passes to go eat. I usually have at least 3-5 patients' meds in the red or overdue throughout the shift and stay late to finish passing everything, about 15-45 minutes. The other nurses are cold, passive-aggressive, and even indirectly aggressive. I feel so alone, like I can't reach out for help because it's supposed to be my job and my duties. I'm crying just about every other day now.

When it becomes more difficult for me to focus, I try to keep the patient's page open and mark PRN meds before I leave the computer so it forces me to save before I leave the page, which multiple nurses taught me to do. I'm not saving before I go to give the meds, but some nurses do. Other nurses tell me not to so much as mark it, so they can hop on any computer they want. The first group of nurses says that is controlling and unsafe of them to do, since this is a habit they follow and would additionally feel disrespected if treated in this way that the other nurses treat me. I'm lost. Please help.

Should I quit? I obviously can't handle the job requirements. Should I try to take breaks even if I have meds due and/or request assistance from other nurses? Might I get better? It's been a month and my efficiency in passing meds has not increased very much.

I have a question. The title of the post reads "New Nurse...", but the first line of your post states you are a medication aide.  Are you a Medication technician, a LPN, or a RN?  

xmsanta

Has 1 years experience.

Maybe a nurse but hired as a medication aide or scheduled as a medication aide that shift? 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 18 years experience.

I had the same problem when I worked for a year in LTC. I was not a new nurse! I had almost over 15 years experience but not in LTC. What EMR are you using? Some of them have settings that allow you to prioritize your med pass. Ie... insulins first ,dailies 2nd, Timed meds on schedule. By learning this you will develope the time management skils you need. Hang in there! The skill set you gain in LTC will serve you well as you advance your career. 

Hppy

On 11/17/2020 at 9:31 PM, dream'n said:

I have a question. The title of the post reads "New Nurse...", but the first line of your post states you are a medication aide.  Are you a Medication technician, a LPN, or a RN?  

I am an RN scheduled as a medication aide due to the staffing needs of the facility. An experienced med aide and RN are working as CNAs while I flounder as a med aide. They have enough staffing for nursing positions it seems, except when someone calls out. Then some nurses throw literal tantrums by slamming cupboards and all. Working eight hours a day, five days a week, no one wants to come in to cover anything extra. I feel like nurses would be more willing to come in on an off day if they worked 2-3 twelves a week. I quit.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 8 years experience.

Unless you have zero other choice, quit. Your health is more important that anything. No choice? Make peanut butter energy bites, freeze them, take them to work, shove them in your mouth in the bathroom every couple hours, and forge on. 

Hope you are well! 

CKPM2RN, ASN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency/Med-Tele. Has 3 years experience.

This is one of the reasons I couldn't continue in LTC/SN. If I could just throw the meds at the patient and dash to the next I could have done it all on time. I was never finished a pass on time, ever. There were the patients who had to ask about every pill, the patients that needed it crushed and/or mixed and/or in a feeding tube, etc. Injections, timed, nebulizers, etc. It was nearly impossible. 

No facility will every be staffed well enough to be perfectly safe. As for the missing the meals part...items stuffed in your pockets, or if you are allowed to have a water bottle, put something in it that a marathoner or long distance bicyclist would have, something with a good mix of calories to sustain you.

 

Welcome to healthcare.  I go in at 7 and many days don’t get a lunch until 1600 if at all.  It’s like that pretty much everywhere.

I usually drink a protein shake around noon.  

On 11/21/2020 at 8:40 AM, Curious1alwys said:

Unless you have zero other choice, quit. Your health is more important that anything. No choice? Make peanut butter energy bites, freeze them, take them to work, shove them in your mouth in the bathroom every couple hours, and forge on. 

Hope you are well! 

This.  And it reminds me when I was a hostess long ago at a Mexican restaurant. We had long shifts. No breaks. And couldn’t even eat at the restaurant AFTER our shift. Had to go home and eat.  
So I would keep energy bars up my sleeves (we had to wear those long sleeve billowy blouses)   

Edited by casa_bella