What unit do you work in?

  1. I thought it'd be fun to talk about our respective units, how our shifts normally work out and whether or not we float to other departments and if we enjoy it. Because, why not?

    I work on the orthopedic/plastics floor. Half the unit is reserved for elective surgeries such as total joint replacements and breast surgeries, while the other half is more of an orthopedic trauma/surgical with lots of fractures. Usually car accidents, falls, etc. It can be quite a bit of heavy lifting, especially when patients have external fixators or they are left immobile and require us to turn them to prevent pressure wounds or purely for comfort.

    We do vitals q 4 hours on all our patients (all post-op, trauma and telemetry patients require it), so on my shift it would be 2000, 0000, and 0400. I do ice waters and ice packs at 2000 and 0400, while I empty my trash and linen hampers at 0000. If I'm working the elective side of the unit, I am responsible for making sure all our total joint patients are dressed in their own clothes (or pajamas) and that their foley catheters have been removed by the time I leave at 0700, because physical therapy starts right after breakfast at 0730.

    I have floated to different units only a couple times and it was an interesting experience. Once to a medical floor that reminded me an awful lot of my days at the nursing home. Checking vitals once a shift, turns, changing incontinence pads, etc. The other time in recent memory was to the cardiac unit. That was a whole different ballpark. Every one of my patients were physically capable of everything: going to the bathroom, ADLs, everything (they said it was a freakishly good night that night)! I had to do vitals every 4 hours like on my home floor (since they were all on tele), but everybody needed to have their standing weight taken at 0400 which threw me through a loop! This was tough to do since the entire unit (with 40 patients) only has two scales.

    I wouldn't mind floating again, but I do love my home unit where I have my routine down pat. Haha.
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  2. Visit thewhitechickoj profile page

    About thewhitechickoj, CNA

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 262; Likes: 117

    3 Comments

  3. by   EDnurseaid88
    I work in the emergency department and I get to do a lot of skills, and lots of assignments as well. A lot of the nurse aids in our department sit with psychiatric patients, other assignments include working with acute patients and going into traumas, checking in and helping place patients in rooms, and assisting in the pediatric section of the ED.
  4. by   NurseYoshi
    I work on a respiratory care unit. We have a lot of total care patients, so unlike the rest of the hospital we don't walk all our patients every morning (why would we force patients to get up and walk between 3-5am anyways?) on my unit we are responsible for half our unit baths, vitals Q4hours (unless otherwise noted as either do not disturb 10-6, Q shift vitals, etc. Once had a lady who was a "no vitals at 4 am"). We are also responsible for toileting and cleaning up incontinent patients. Day shift has to get I&Os (so glad I'm nights!) and feed patients who require assistance. Most of us night shift techs (PCT, CNA, etc whatever) prefer to be left with the total care patient baths and LOVE when day shift let's or makes a self care patient get in the shower so we don't have to wake them at 5 am to get washed up because more than likely they wanted to wait until the next morning like everyone else.

    I'm sorry for my rant about baths, but it's become a battle between days and nights as to who will do the LEAST amount of baths. I LOVE getting pulled to sit (especially if it's a confused person who wants to stay up and chat or watch TV all night) and I'm the sitter that'll actually TRY to get confused people to sleep. If it's 2 am and they're still up, then I'll leave it be, but from 9pm that TV is off and the lights are off or dim enough to where I can still read my clipboard and see them (if they're suicidal). I've never been pulled to tech on another unit and it looks like it's too late now since I've got 2 more scheduled shifts before I start my RN job (and being pulled to tech from my unit is REALLY rare).
  5. by   Arya526
    I work on a Med/Surg floor that also does ortho surgeries as a Nursing Aide. We don't get to do vitals, and basically we do rounds every 2 hours, pass out snacks/ water, and basic care including positioning, toileting, and bathing. We also might occasionally be sent to other units for 1 On 1s and to help in the ED (where we do vitals). Overall I love my job, and I've learned so much! It's giving some basic care skills while in nursing school.

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