Help on Med Surg from OB dept.

  1. I work in a 30 bed hospital. We also have a 4 bed OB unit. Many times we are running all shift to care for 5 to 9 pts. per nurse. The OB nurses may have 1 mom or no pts. at all but come in because they need the pay. They refuse to come and take pts on M/S because of the possibility of a mom coming in and they don't want to give them an infection they picked up on the floor. So they are being paid to read a book while we run our b--- off. Does this happen any where else in the world? I know in the good old days we changed into scrubs and then scrubed and went to do OB. I'm looking for feedback on how other small hospitals handle this.
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    About Ekaye

    Joined: Sep '00; Posts: 12; Likes: 1
    Agency R.N.


  3. by   fergus51
    We have the same thing. Sometimes LD nurses sit and play computer solitaire and other times they work their asses off with a half a dozen moms. My advice, talk to management about it and if that doesn't work get a job in LD .
  4. by   TracyRN
    I float to OB and function pretty well there with mother/baby. In talking with the full-time OB nurses, they admit freely that they couldn't function on MS. Perhaps you could suggest that your hospital administration institute cross traing. I've learned thru run-ins with my admin that you are received much better in a complaint if you also are able to offer possible solutions at the same time: prevents you from looking like a whiner.

    Some solutions? Changing into scrubs after MS pts isn't an unreasonable idea. Besides, you could always be careful about who is assigned to the OB nurse to minimize/prevent potential spread of infection. How about using the OB nurse as a med nurse? ...floating over and taking off orders (no pt contact)? ...helping with stocking (no pt contact)? ...admissions nurse?

    Good luck with this problem. I hope you all are able to find a solution that works for everyone.
  5. by   JennieBSN
    Excuse me, but at MY hospital(14 L&D beds), it is the OB nurses (I am one) who run our b---s off, but can't find help from anyone else in the entire hospital to help because they're afraid of OB!! The L&D nurses are required to float everywhere, but whenever we need help, there's none to be found. We solve our staffing problems by covering our own unit with call. And as far as all the OB nurses coming in when there's only one patient? It takes 3 nurses to run a c-section if you have no scrub tech. One to scrub, one to circulate, and one to first assist the surgeon. THAT is why they won't give up their nurses when they only have 4. If 3 go back for a stat c/s, you still need ONE to watch the unit. Things can get ugly in L&D fast, and when they do, you only have SECONDS to act. Maybe you could do what we do when we have to float. We either float and perform tasks only (vitals, beds, empty foley bags, etc.), or take an assignment with the express understanding that if the s*** hits the fan on L&D, we WILL drop everything at a moment's notice and go to help. That way, the unit in need gets our help, but our unit doesn't get left out in the cold in a crisis.
  6. by   aila
    I work in a 28 bed hospital. The OB nurses float to m/s when there is no patient. They can be low censused, but no one is allowed to clock in and just sit.
    We used to have OB nurses just on call, the charge nurse would check the pt then call the OB nurse when the pat was dialated to 5 or more. Yikes! Not for me, I work ICU. It is nice to have scheduled OB nurses, and yes, they are expected to work the floor.

    Cross contamination can be prevented with good hand washing and extra scrubs for when they get an expectant mom in.
  7. by   willie2001
    I work in a small rural hospital with 26-28 bed med/surg unit. If OB is closed or low census we do have OB nurses that work on Med/surg. If things start popping in OB, the OB nurse will be pulled to OB and the rest of us absorb her patients. We have some OB nurses that absolutely refuse to work on MS and vice-versa. No one is allowed to come in and just sit and play games.
  8. by   Nay
    Hello,like KDAY I am a L&D nurse.At my hospital we have 11 beds(1 stretcher),6 of which are LDRs.We run our own sections as well as handle tests that come in.We are made to float to the other areas of OB when they feel the rest can pull the load of L&D one short.We however,have to do the best we can when we are running because no one returns the favor of helping .It has made for some bitterness between the areas.If we are slow and no one is pulled we often feel like we can regain our sanity.We work on putting together charts and other neglected tasks.We also staff our own unit with call,and if we can do it why can't the other areas like MED/SURG do the same.For all the nurses who think L&D doesn't "Work Hard For The Money" let them come run a day in my shoes.
  9. by   waggy-2
    When we are really busy on the med/surg floor,(small hospital also), and there are no patients on OB floor, each nurse from OB (usually 2 on night shift) will come up for four hours each and we have them do vitals, restart IVs, fingersticks in the AM. They can't take a district because a labor patient may come in. But just doing the vitals helps a lot. Sometimes they're not real happy about it, but OH WELL. This gives us time to effectively assess our patients and give meds, etc. I now work in CCU and if we don't have any patients, we do the same thing or go to the ER to help out.
  10. by   jamistlc
    I once worked in a small 39 bed hospital in East Bumble-**** It had a L&D (2 beds and a delivery room). The Nurse assigned to do L&D also did PP, and the E.R So I think it is a matter of keeping your skills up, not what your background is. We all are trained as Med/Surg Nurses in school, right?
  11. by   bagladyrn
    As an L&D traveller, I've worked in many settings where I get floated. Usually I ask to be assigned "tasks" rather than a team -i.e.:do all your vitals, accuchecks,iv starts etc. Have been asked to do some things that seemed less than safe, such as pass meds on a cardiac step-own unit (until I pointed out that it would take me hours to look up precautions on so many unfamiliar drugs). One hospital I was at repeatedly pulled me on weekend nights to work ER. I think they just enjoyed the "deer in the headlights" expression on my face.
    By the way, how many of you M/S nurses float to L&D when they are slamming?
    The ones I didn't mind floating to repeatedly were the units where the staff let me know that they appreciated the help.
  12. by   JennieBSN
    Originally posted by jamistlc
    I think it is a matter of keeping your skills up, not what your background is. We all are trained as Med/Surg Nurses in school, right?
    Okay, then, Jami...and all of you who tout this thinking...we were all 'trained' to do OB in school as well...why don't all you med-surg nurses come down to labor and delivery and work a shift and take a laboring patient? After all, we all had labor and delivery in school...

    Look, the med-surg people don't float to us because 'they don't do L&D,' yet we're required to float to them? I DON'T THINK SO. If I have to float to med-surg and take an assignment because "you were trained to do med-surg in school" and I should be 'keeping my skills up,' then I want a med-surg nurse to do the same thing. Hey, she should be 'keeping her skills up' and going to OB conferences...
  13. by   tonchitoRN
    I am currently pregnant. When I go into labor I do not want a nurse who was floated to a med.-surg. floor. I have worked med.-surg. and know what infections there are. No amount of hand washing is going to make me feel better. Plus the last I heard hand washing does not wash away 100% of the germs. Anyone in infection control have any statistics?
  14. by   panda_181
    I don't work yest as I'm stull a student, but my sister works in a 34 bed hospital and there is only 1 Maternity nurse there at a time! They don't have c/s there, so they only really need one. And the business can go both ways...either she's helping everyone else around the hospital, or if they have more than 1 person in labor, it can get pretty busy! That's when all the other nurses come to help here. They work very well together too...

    Amanda :)

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