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.