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Rough Night


My last shift was the closest I have ever come to quitting in my life.

I arrived on shift to 8 patients. The 9th came up while I was getting report. A patient who had been on the floor for two hours was scheduled for a CT and the previous shift hadn't done the paperwork. While filling it out we foound that the patient's IV was not large enough. My normal charge nurse was on vaction. I asked the sub to please do the IV for me while I did the admission assessment on the new arrival. She told me I needed to try the IV. If I didn't get it after two attempts, then she would come do it. Transport was standing there waitint for the patient. Luckily the ER had replaced her IV at one point (in the reports that the previous shift had not read). After I get my new admission completed and settled I assessed the rest of my patient only to get 5 requests for IV pain meds and 2 requests for IV antinausea meds. I told the sub that I needed help and she blew me off. The beeped me to IVs going off and for the pain meds that I already knew about and was trying to administer. She even came down upset with me because she had to administer a patients meds because his family was complaining. Not once did she offer assistance in any form. Finally at 11, the other relief charge came on shift. Immediately he jumped in to assist me. However I did not complete my 9pm med pass until 11:30. Three of my diabetics had their sugar go out of control. One went hypoglycemic early in the morning from the coverage we had to give him from his meds being delayed.

The next morning when the family of the patient that complained the night before woke up, they demanded to know where I was all night. I let them know how their family member was doing at each set of rounds from 12 on. It still did little to smooth over their unease with their family members care.

I spent most of the evening from 8 until 11:30 on the verge of tears. Good thing that the majority of my patients have had me on numerous occassions and knew that I was getting them taking care of as quickly as I could. Most patients had to wait over an hour for their pain meds and some patients were not seen by me for over three hours.

How I am I expected to keep my patients safe under these conditions? The regular charge would have taken care of the CT paperwork and IV if necessary. She also would have given most of the pain meds and dealt woth the call lights for beeping IVs. She probably would have done the admission assessment and definitely done the paperwork. The charge who came on gave pain meds if the patient called the nurses station requesting them and told me to keep working on my charting. We ended up with 20 patients split between two nurse with the charge to assist. I heard yesterday census was up to 23, and there will still be only two of us. I almost dread even going in tonight.

Sounds like some poor team work on her part. Im sorry you had an awful evening.