Patient safety

Nurses General Nursing


I had a horrible experience the other night at work. I was assigned 7 rooms on a 3-11 shift. I admit on days that had not been completed and was left for me. I got a admit at about 1600 with a new abdominal stent repair with vitals q 15 min x 4 then q 30 x 4 then hourly x4. At about 1800 i got a pt back from cath lab with a new ICCD (old one removed at the same time from the other sc.) I had a confused male who had an amputee a few days earler who was confused and had a sitter who was off at 1800 and not replaced till 2300. and 2 stable patients. my cna had 20 pts to watch over. Now getting to the best part. I am trying to keep an eye on the confused pt by going bythe room every few minutes and peeking in, I go by once and dont see him at all EKKS! Thankfully all is well and he is sitting up on the edge of the bed way down at the end. I try to get him to go to be, to no avail. Fine, I get him up in the wheel chair, now what..................So, I took hime to the front desk where the unit clerk was keeping an eye on a female pt and told her that I was buried and could not keep a close enough eye on this pt. she says ok and that i owe her big time. so i go back to work and i continue to go up and check on this pt. while trying to enter orders on one of my new admits i hear and see nurse running past the door. My confused pt had opened a door at the end of a hallwy (where the stairs are) and was found at the bottom of about 6 stairs. No injuries except for a couple of superficial scapes on the shin of his leg. we got a head ct and the patient is ok. telly showed no increase in hr at the time of the incident (?) anyway now i am scared to death of being fired, sued and I dont want to go back to work. I am a new nurse (less than a year) and everytime i go to this floor I am so overwhelmed and overworked that something will happen and now it has. My manager screeched at me and asked me if this was neglect!!!! Hello isnt she supposed to be on my side? I work 2 days a week here and I am always on the first hit list for new admits. I dont know what to do!!!! I never get a lunch break. I told the charge nurse that night that i was buried and drowing. she helped me for a few minutes and then she was gone. We dont have enough techs so the nurse does both jobs which means neither one is done well. sorry now i am rambling but I dont think i can cut it here....

Change jobs. Get out of there.


43 Posts

I guess that will always be the scenario for a floor nurse anywhere you go. If I were you, since you just started in nursing, I would just wait until I had a whole year experience in that unit then I'll go and try my luck in other nursing specialty area.


652 Posts

Had more than a few shifts like that..totally overwhelmed..sometimes makes me wonder wth am I doing..and this is worth it why? last night was pretty rough..dreading going back tonight..~sighs~..only advice I can give is to talk to your DON about the stressful/dangerous situation you were thrown into..see what her feedback she concerned? does she blame YOU for the outcomes? express your concerns in's sad, but seems more and more often we are 'thrown to the wolves'..and we as well as our pts suffer from it..voice your concerns and if no improvements are made GET OUT !!! it's not worth's too short (((hugzzzzzzzz)))

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I have shifts like that all the time. But my manager doesn't screech neglect.

Get out of there now. Sounds like you have a nonsupportive manager that will fry your butt rather than be supportive and look at the process of how this came to be.

We do our very best, we get overwhelmed and then something happens...(DUH!) and we get the blame. I'm a bit tired of that myself. Cheerfuldoer would call that nurse abuse. Don't stand for it!

Good luck to you in whatever you.

plumrn, BSN, RN

424 Posts

It sounds to me like you were doing your best in an impossible situation. Even a seasoned nurse could not keep up in a scenario like that. If that is routine on that floor, I say leave and tell them why in your exit interview. Scary.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.
...........................cheerfuldoer would call that nurse abuse. don't stand for it! good luck to you in whatever you.

hi tweety!

you bet your boots i call that nurse abuse! big time! :chuckle

suebdoo......get out, get out, get out! do not stay in a situation like that! you are putting your license at risk by doing so, and opening yourself up to being sued by family members. you don't want that! :nono:

i worked in a hospital like that once. i hung in there for eleven long excrutiating months before i quit! i will never work in a place like that ever again! the nurse manager didn't back up her nurses at all, so i lost total respect for her. i cannot work for anyone i do not respect. we don't have to like our managers, but when we get to the point where we lose respect for them as managers it is time to say goodbye to the job! there are more out there to choose from, so don't waste your time working where you are not respected either. :kiss


614 Posts

has a form for their union members to sign:

"Assignment Despite Objection" form, if they feel that they are taking an assignment which is inherently unsafe due to staffing levels....



13 Posts

thank you all for writing, I am looking for a different job. I just hope one comes up really. I cant bear the thought of One more shift in that hell hole. thanks again!!

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 6,621 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health.

Yes, these are the days where I wish folks in the community could shadow what a nurse REALLY goes through from time to time; sometimes, more times than often. I'm sure we all had similar experiences. On days like that, you are only as good as your back up. If your back up leaves your back open, it is time to back out and leave that kind of environment. Get a transfer or look elsewhere. Put yourself back in the driver's seat, not at the mercy of poor leadership and management. What folks fail to realize is that this is a REFLECTION of the charge nurse/nurse manager, poor at that, and not a reflection of you. You deserve better. It's out there. Go find it.

Farkinott, RN

581 Posts

Specializes in Renal, Haemo and Peritoneal.

Your job sounds like hell! Surely there are plenty of others around.

akcarmean, LPN

1,554 Posts

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

I would have to agree with the others GET OUT ASAP. I am working on my RN, BSN I am learning a lot about what nurses of higher athourity and doing and I am going to try my best to be just the oposite. I am going for that b/c it has always been my dream to work in NICU. I wanted the extra degree to help incase my back should prevent me from doing to much physical contact. I would never dream of leaving a nurse without help in a situation like that. Good luck and hope another job comes along soon.


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