Reassurance Needed!


I came off nightshift this morning and ended up in my car in tears. Not because I did anything wrong with my patients, but I admit I gave a basic report this morning and was put down for it by a more senior nurse. I didn't have the answers to the questions she was asking and it made me feel like crap. It was like I had no idea about my patient, when in fact I felt I provided good, safe care all night. Let me explain further..I have been there for sometime now but was on maternity leave for 4 months and only came back recently. This was day 5 of working a shift since my return and to be honest I have been working on tuning up my assessment skills and my time management skills. I have not gone too deep into my patients' history beyond what I am given in report or what I hear in rounds because beyond the basic history and plan I do not need to worry about that right now. In my eyes, providing safe care is number one and providing a clear concise plan of care in report is important as well. I definitely covered the plan of care and a good assessment of the pt but I was being asked random questions that I did not have the answer to and I felt soooooo stupid. I even told her I would stay and look into things for her, but of course she said I was being ridiculous and told me not to worry about it. I guess I just need some reassurance in some way...and maybe some pointers for giving a report that covers everything and that would be good enough for every personality type I work with to accept!!!!

Emilysmom2, RN

28 Posts

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I am a older new grad on a busy med surg floor. I work 4nites a week I have been there about 6months now. I still get a AM nurse that asks questions that I do not know, for example do they need help to eat (not 11p-7a), or how do they transfer again they slept all nite. Also once in awhile I do not get a chance to make sure everything is written on the kardex for the last few days. I get the eye roll or the sigh. Some nurses are more understanding than others, but I still get attitude alot. I have even discussed it with my nurse manager. She said she had noticed many AM nurses expect to be spoon feed all the tests and results that they can look up just as easy as I can. I truly think some AM nurses think we sit there all nite not doing a thing. I do not have a magic answer, I have been telling nurses that I am working on my report and if they liked my report or any suggestions most say it is fine. Put it on them.We all do our best our pts are cared for and meds given and are safe. That is our goal. Good luck

Specializes in ICU (med/surgical/transplant/neuro/ent).

Warning: Nurse Venting!!

I know how you feel. I'm a new grad in the ICU. I work nights (during my internship I worked mostly days) and no matter how the night went good or bad it ultimately comes down to when I give report to the day nurse whether I'm going to leave in tears or not. Part of my problem is one particular nurse that is determined to get me fired and is nitpicking everything I do and also lying/stretching the truth about things and reporting them to manager (of which I get no chance to defend myself). Some nurses are great to give report to and some want us to have the entire chart memorized. I feel like I spend most of my shift making sure everything gets done for dayshift. grrrrrrrrr. Even my manager (when I got my verbal warning) talked about how dayshift needs to hit the ground running and know everything for when the docs come in, etc, blah, whatever. I understand dayshift is different, but they are not the be all end all that I work for :bowingpur(which some, and I mean only some, seem to think). Anyway, let me get off my soapbox.

I have 2 more weeks on nights before I switch to dayshift (because I requested it and because I need to be "watched" better stemming from that krap from that bullying nurse). For the record, I refuse to be one of "those" day shift nurses that start the day interrogating the exhausted night nurse.

Also, for a variety of reasons (this reporting issue krap is only the icing), I've decided bedside nursing is not for me and will be leaving it asap.

I'm sorry if this post is too negative sounding (hence the warning). Nursing is a great profession. I'm a second career new grad. My first career was in research and I think I'm going to try to go into clinical research. Thus combining what I like about my two worlds.

As for the OP, all I can tell you is to just give the best report you can. The dayshift is not entitled to a dissertation about the patient. You are working during your shift, not sitting around twiddling your thumbs with all the time in the world to look up everything and find out information you can't possible know (eating/mobility when they don't eat/move on your shift and you didn't receive anything in report given to you). All you can say is I don't know/I wasn't told anything regarding that and if they don't like it they can get over it.

Man I'm on a mean streak . . . Maybe my blood sugar is low or something :D

Anyway I just wanted to give a big internet hug to all my fellow nurses needing some reassurance!! :icon_hug:


11 Posts

Specializes in HOME HEALTH.

I have to hold my tongue. breath, breath in through the nose out through the mouth to calm down then I ask myself did I do my best If no I'll do better next time. If yes then I know that maybe the other person is having some difficulty in their life and to show as best I can compassion Last I pray. ask God to deal with this for you. truly and completely let go and give it all to God when I have no control and I am at my witts end. I know for a fact that if you do this he will answer your prayer. Just don't forget to listen for His answer! Good luck It has taken me a long time to this far I just hope you aren't as stubborn as I was

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,001 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Sounds like you're doing a great job. There's always going to be questions we can't answer. When I give report to the next charge nurse that's relieving me there is always an "I don't know........." thrown in there somewhere, as well as "I didn't get to...and I need you to.........."

You're going to make mistakes, you're going to fall short, you can't quite possibly know everything there is to know about your patient, you're not going to be able to complete 100% of the tasks 100% of the time. It's a 24 hour job.

Bottom line is that you are a safe, knowlegeable and competent nurse and you need to stop beating yourself up over one (minor) incident. Try not to mind-read and put feelings on other nurses that might not be there, or make presumptions about what she was thinking because you really don't know. I'm sure the very second you left, she didn't give you another thought as she told you to forget about it. Even if she did put you down, don't give her any power and space in your head.


121 Posts

I have learned that despite a baby being in our unit for 4 plus months people will still ask for apgars and such. Well, i don't know. It may be the first time i have seen the baby, it may not be. OR i say well i got report from someone that only have the baby for 4 hours so i too, didn't get a chance to look it up. Seriously apgars on a 4 month old???? Back of kardex should be milestones.....last tests, etc. you can read as well as i can. Do I sometimes get a chance to look stuff up? Yea, but then who gets them the next am ---- their primary. And to all the veteran nurses, when I give you a good full report don't look down and avoid me and act like nothing i am telling you matters. I am watchful of time, i am not keeping you from usually lasts 5 mins or less. Love it when I get report again from someone who worked after me for 12 hours only to be told same garbage. Give it a break, do what you have to do to survive the shift, I have made the excuse before, I didnt' get the best report and no i didn't have time to look up the extensive history. It's a NICU not a overnight patient (short stay) whatever we used to call it in med/surg. I feel better now......

Has 10 years experience.

I too am a second career RN and I've learned to just ignore it.

It's unprofessional, it's childish, and most of all it's unnecessary. I give them the honest, "I don't know", and sometimes if it's something I really feel I should have known, I will apologize (or if it's something I should have looked up). But as Tweety said, it's a twenty-four hour operation, and just because I work nights doesn't mean I sat here twiddling my thumbs doing it. They've got to do chart checks just like I do - they'll see the labs when they get there. If I forgot - trust me, it's not the end of the world, even if they want to think it is.

And I don't bust day shift for not knowing an H&H a pt had b/f a transfusion. That's why God made computerized order entry.

And you know what? These people are everywhere - not just as nurses in report. There is always going to be someone who expects to be spoonfed stuff somewhere. I saw it in clinical research, I saw it in the military, and I'm sure I'll see it Wednesday night in report.

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