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Playing secretary and receptionis during med pass??

Safety   (5,328 Views 20 Comments)
by SoCalif1979 SoCalif1979 (Member)

SoCalif1979 specializes in SNF, Psych, Sub Acute, Long Term Rehab.

830 Profile Views; 17 Posts

:confused:How many of you work in facilities that require the nurse to answer phones and play secretary and receptionist for the facility and patients during the med pass?

I feel this is too dangerous! It opens too much room for a med error which endangers the patient.

There are just three facilities that I know of here that require it. One has just one phone to be shared by all of the patients, all 60+ of them and the nurse is expected to answer the phone then track the patient down. Sometimes the phone is misplaced and the nurse needs to find it. The CNAs always disappear. I've found them in the room with a sleeping patient watching TV.

I've been "talked to" because I refuse to interrupt a med pass. These are also the facilities with 32 to 40 patients to one nurse and only two aides on a good day 3 aides.

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1,343 Posts; 5,653 Profile Views

I finally decided that I did not think it was good or right for me to have to run up and down the hall once, twice, ten times during my med pass or whatever other care I was giving. I just quit answering the phone. I did not discuss it or ask permission, I just quit doing it. Others took up the slack.

Some facilities have cell phone for the nurses. I guess yours doesn't. I'm sorry you have to have this aggravation and danger but, in the words of a woman I don't generally admire, "Just say "NO"".

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allantiques4me specializes in Brain injury,vent,peds ,geriatrics,home.

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When I do my Med pass I focus only on the med pass,(unless an emergency arises.)(.If a pt. is requesting or c/o minor disorder).I tell them I will be back as soon as Im done with the meds to assess them. As far as the phone ,Id let it ring!! if its important,theyll call back and the company c/o me not answering the phone ,you should request a secretary."Tell the person who talked to you""They need to hire a secretary,pts safety is priority as well as your license could be on the line.Good luck!

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Gromit specializes in ICU-Stepdown.

821 Posts; 3,332 Profile Views

Same here. I don't interrupt medications for anything short of an emergency. That does NOT include answering phones, taking notes, or chasing down patients to give them messages.

Assessment and drug passes come way before playing 'secretary'.

When my annual came up, and that was the main complaint my boss had against me, my reply when they asked "what do you think could be done to help improve your performance in this area?" (nice form-letter question there) my reply? "Hire a unit secretary."

No, I'm not the most popular guy with management, but my patients are safe, and their meds are on time. Everything else will just have to take care of itself.

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Cmariehart specializes in LTC.

116 Posts; 3,293 Profile Views

Sounds like the lovely LTC I work at... Have to run and answer the phone, find the resident, bring phone back.. Help transport residents to places, toilet, feed, do treatments and the list goes on.. I spoke up once and stated I felt it was unsafe to do all these things and I was told no one else has ever complained but me....

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278 Posts; 3,340 Profile Views

What is this one-phone-per-40-patients business? Don't they have phones in their rooms? Is this Little House on the Prairie? That's ridiculous.

I like the idea of just not answering the phones and concentrating on NURSING responsibilities. Maybe if the other nurses followed suit, they'd get the hint and hire someone to do that job - like most businesses in the United States. Or, why don't they have phones in the patient's rooms, so the patients can help themselves? I think too many LTC facilities take advantage of nurses. They expect you to handle interuptions during med pass, but then if you make a mistake, it's your license on the line. Just say no!

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1,927 Posts; 14,513 Profile Views

We have a unit secretary until 11p so night shift is responsible for getting admits in the computer, answering phones, putting orders in, etc. I'm an aide so I answer the phones most of the time because I know the nurses are busier than I am. Unfortunately, most of the callers are looking for a nurse so I end up bothering them anyway.

Talk to your other coworkers and if they feel the same way then go to management and ask for a unit secretary.....unless management wants to lose all their nurses because they don't have licenses anymore d/t answering phones during med pass.

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StNeotser has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN.

963 Posts; 25,101 Profile Views

I heard once from a much older nurse that nurses used to have little cards on medication carts saying "Do not interrupt the nurse during med pass"

How nice that would be.

In answer to your question, we answer phones past 6pm.

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psalm is a RN and specializes in Staff nurse.

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Prioritize! When the NM asks why you in particular don't answer the phone etc, tell NM you are prioritizing...the residents/pts. need their meds on a timely schedule and when that is completed then you may have time for phones. I like the answer, hire a unit secretary! But at some LTCs and even acute floors either don't have them after 11pm or floors share...(unit clerk stays on one floor for 4 hours and then another floor for 4 hours). Sigh...

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TalldiNY has 37 years experience and specializes in most of them.

49 Posts; 2,252 Profile Views

You need a new job. you are doing the right thing and you could even report your employer to the health dept.

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lujological specializes in rehab,geriatrics.

28 Posts; 1,707 Profile Views

gerinurse-nothing frustrates me more than trying to answer phone for calloffs from 5am-6am when i am trying to do 6am med pass.cna's are giving care so there is noone but me,even though we have a portable phone we usually have to go back up hall to nurses desk for scheuld or something.It is really unsafe and means medications are late.

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rn-ka1977 has 2 years experience and specializes in ICU/CCU/ER.

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WOW do I hear you! I work in ICU and I feel as though I don't have time to do my nursing job because I am putting orders in the computer, giving baths, doing finger sticks, calling doctors, drawing blood......the list goes on forever!!! Then I turn around and my patient's pressure is in the toilet!!!!! I could just scream! Is this the case everywhere???? Could I just do my job???

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