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RN's required to be sitters???

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by anneRN96 anneRN96 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Special care nursery. Has 25 years experience.

So, our unit decided that if we have low census they are floating us to be "sitters" elsewhere in the hospital. AND apparently we can't refuse. I personally would rather be called off then go sit somewhere. What are your thoughts? Am I just overreacting?

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

I can understand the frustration, but this reminds me of a similar post about working in laundry.

You're getting paid to sit and watch someone, for RN pay. If it were me, I wouldn't complain.

🤷‍♀️

I would reluctantly rather do that than use up "vacation" time paying myself to sit at home. Maybe. Pretty sure after one block of time doing so I would be fine just sitting at home whether I was paying myself from PTO or not getting paid at all.

Given the expectations at my place (no activities allowed other than sitting inside the doorway and watching or interacting with the patient) it would be rough; I can start up with the yawns and yawn-tears just thinking about it.

Personally I think full-shift sitter duties (or anything more than about 2-4 hours at a time) is a cruel assignment regardless who is asked to do it. 😕 And people act all holier-than-though when someone is caught sleeping or being less than vigilant.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

I absolutely hate being a sitter, because I absolutely hate sitting for 12 hours. It is super-easy $$$ though. I've been lucky enough to have had patients who binge-watch something good on television once in a while, too.

What's worse is being a sitterx3. I work in an older hospital that can have up to three patients in one room. Sometimes I've been assigned a "room-in" nurse for three confused patients. I do all of the nursing care, medications, charting, etc. and can not leave the room. It's like purgatory.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

When I worked Peds ICU- Summer was our slow season and we were sitters on the adult units all the time. It's part of being a team player. A patient has a need. You are available to meet that need.

RNNPICU, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU. Has 13 years experience.

OP:

I can understand your frustration on having to sit for 8 or 12 hours. Just remember that is what sitters do. It is in the job description of an RN.. It could be a good way to see what the sitters experience as well as gaining a different perspective of pt care for those pts that need a sitter.

I would rather do that than waste my hard earned vacation hours for a day off when I did not want it

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

I have a feeling that some people commenting have never been sitters for a 12 hour shift, especially on nights. I've done it, and I'd rather use vacation time. At least I was allowed to read or look at the internet, the poor techs had to just sit there. On nights, watching people sleep. 🤢

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

3 minutes ago, Elaine M said:

I have a feeling that some people commenting have never been sitters for a 12 hour shift, especially on nights. I've done it, and I'd rather use vacation time. At least I was allowed to read or look at the internet, the poor techs had to just sit there. On nights, watching people sleep. 🤢

I hear you about how mind-numbing boring it can be, but all in all, I'd rather save my PTO for something planned ahead of time. Boring (once in awhile) is preferable to crazy/stressed/manic as some regular shifts can be...

RNNPICU, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU. Has 13 years experience.

14 hours ago, Elaine M said:

I have a feeling that some people commenting have never been sitters for a 12 hour shift, especially on nights. I've done it, and I'd rather use vacation time. At least I was allowed to read or look at the internet, the poor techs had to just sit there. On nights, watching people sleep. 🤢

Many on this site who are nurses also worked as techs prior to becoming a nurse and have had to sit as part of that role. I tend to disagree with your statement. While nights are toughter, it still is better than using a vacation day.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

I bet that if in every single case you offer to trade sitter shift for the worst assignment in the unit, there will be a small line of nurses eager to switch.

Boredom vs. PTO, it is anyone's choice. I could afford it and I always picked PTO. But I knew many others who would do night 1:1 sitter at any time and quietly use the time for schoolwork.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

On 7/26/2020 at 10:45 PM, anneRN96 said:

So, our unit decided that if we have low census they are floating us to be "sitters"...

Being a Sitter is better than being a Door:

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

7 minutes ago, Davey Do said:

Being a Sitter is better than being a Door:

I'm not too sure about that. Listing "door" on one's resume certainly would allow it to stand out from the rest...

KarenMS

Has 4 years experience.

One shift as a sitter, which is most definitely in our scope? Absolutely.

Last fall I had to do ER transport for 12 hours overnight because they were short RNs, so they couldn’t leave to transport critical patients. I was the best paid transporter on that night 😂

Chickenlady, ADN

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 7 years experience.

If they are paying me my RN salary, I'm on board.

3 hours ago, KarenMS said:

One shift as a sitter, which is most definitely in our scope? Absolutely.

Last fall I had to do ER transport for 12 hours overnight because they were short RNs, so they couldn’t leave to transport critical patients. I was the best paid transporter on that night 😂

Transport would be in a totally different category for me...still interacting various with people, still moving around, etc.? No problem. Sitting and staring at someone while not allowed to do anything else (such as school work as mentioned by someone earlier) which is the rule at my place...I would take my turn but if it was a very long time slot it would be rough.

Edited by JKL33

anneRN96

Specializes in Special care nursery. Has 25 years experience.

I should also say we sit for 12 hours, no pee break, no lunch breaks because they are too busy ☹

Well...that ^ is bull.

Call the supervisor when you need to use the bathroom. Also call them to provide your lunch break and if they can't then have a snack while on duty and punch out no-lunch.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

54 minutes ago, anneRN96 said:

I should also say we sit for 12 hours, no pee break, no lunch breaks because they are too busy ☹

Not because they are too busy, but because they know they can take advantage of you in that sense. That’s one of those situations that you need to speak up and advocate for yourself and not take no for an answer.