Wild day while charge...have to vent!

  1. Hi all!

    I know this will be a useless thread, but I have to take a deep breath and vent!

    I was charge the other day, with our census WAY down, around 14 babies, (We have 34 beds) and the day was going great. I needed to call off 5 RN's that night, as we were WAY overstaffed. Something told me to put 2 people on paid call, so I did. I walked over to L&D to see if they needed any extra RN's that night. They didn't, as they were slow, too, so I told them to drum us up some business, like a couple of 32-33 weekers, you know, ones that would do ok, but keep us busy for a while! So I get back to the unit, finish up my IV fluids, etc, and get ready for shift change. (It's 1730) Suddenly the phone rings, it's L&D, a set of 31-week triplets, 32 week abruption, 35 week abruption and 33 wk Mag just walked in, and they'll all be delivering as soon as the OR's are ready. NICU is in chaos.... We rush to set up our 3 remaining Omnibeds, and 4 other beds. The RT's are drawing up Infasurf, setting up vents, RN's are getting line trays ready, admission stuff together. We're only working with 6 RN's and 3 RT's. Management has gone home for the day, and I'm on my own. I call in my 2 extra people that I have on call, and start praying. ER calls, and begs us to send someone to get an IV on an infant with burns...Then the high-risk antepartum floor calls and tells me they're sending a 32 weeker down for delivery, as she's bleeding and dilating like crazy. Neo's on his way back from supper..... Finally, it's 1830, and we're ready. Night shifters start straggling in. 1835, the OR calls, they're ready.... by 1945, we have nearly doubled our census, have admitted 8 babies under 35 weeks, 5 sets of umbilical lines and 7 intubations are done/are in progress, and it's controlled chaos. Luckily I work with a great team, and we are caught up and have handed off to night shift by 2100. I even had a nurse call and come in for a couple of hours just to put in lines......Hallelujah!!!

    Well, it was my first day shift charge trial by fire, and I survived. I mainly wanted to post this as a shout out to all the great people I work with!!!

    (Oh, and I was in charge the NEXT day too, and admitted 5 kids then, too!!!! The neos and RT's are threatening to not work when I'm in charge...can't say I blame them!!!

  2. Visit SteveNNP profile page

    About SteveNNP, MSN, NP

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 3,517; Likes: 1,701
    Neonatal Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic)


  3. by   canoehead
    You are a poo magnet, but you did great work. Congratulations!
  4. by   twinkletoes53
    You did a GREAT job, Steve. It sounds like you kept your cool and had things in control. I know it probably didn't feel that way at the time.
    Oh, yeah, we have a charge nurse that I've worked with for 20 years. We may have a quiet week with just a few admissions, and when she's on, the phones ring off the hook with transports...and really critical babies, too.
  5. by   dawngloves
    WoW! We had a crazy day too! Had to call in staff that had been cancelled. Wonder if there was something in the air....
  6. by   Sweeper933
    There is definately a charge nurse "curse"!!! It gets passed around our unit - different for each shift. Currently myself and a few other night nurses seem to have crazy shifts the last few times we have been in charge. But thankfully - you eventually pass it on to the next person!!
  7. by   preemieRNkate
    Sounds like you did a great job! My coworkers hate when I'm in charge. Admit nurses have been all over the hospital for deliveries (main OR, ED, the parking garage...I've yet to get a call from ante that someone delivered a baby in the bed, knock on wood!) when I'm in charge. Last time I was in charge, when my boss left for the night she said, "I feel like I'm abandoning a sinking ship." Uh, thanks. I guess all you can do is take a deep breath, round up whatever staff you can and just work together! Nice job!!
  8. by   SteveNNP
    It's great how the staff sort of kicks into "combat mode" when stuff like this happens. No complaining, people just help get the job done.....
  9. by   muffie
    good for you steve, good crew

    that was a busy evening !
  10. by   Mimi2RN
    Good work!

    We could use some of those babies. Our census has been down, and staff have had to be docked. Sometimes it's good to get an extra day off, but this is getting ridiculous! We are more used to extra shifts.
  11. by   cherokeesummer
    Wow it sounds like you did GREAT!!!!