Should I have stayed?


The other day I had to call a rapid on a patient at shift change. I stayed for the rapid (I was the primary nurse) and gave a stat med that was ordered after the patent stabilized. By this time, it was nearly 1 hour after shift change. I gave report to the oncoming nurse, asked her if she needed me to stick around then left when she said no. I had to return that night so wanted to get home to sleep.

I got an e-mail from my supervisor asking why I didn't stay to transfer the patient. I didn't stay because at that point, the patient didn't have a bed on another unit and as the patient was stable, I didn't see a reason to wait around. Apparently, I should have stuck around and waited the 30min before they got a bed.

I feel like a colossal screw up right now. I have been a nurse for 4 years but only 2 of those have been in acute care (I worked LTC for 2 years) and I do struggle with RR's and Codes. I am now second guessing myself. Today I just want to curl up and cry, not go into work. I'll go because we are short staffed.

So, should i have stayed?


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

Hope you billed for the overtime.

Why would you stay to transfer the patient? Your shift had ended and a fresh nurse was responsible for the patient. I've known staff who leave as soon as the oncoming shift takes report, they do their charting and leave.

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,430 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

You stayed for the critical part, gave report, ensured your relief was okay with you leaving, and left. I see nothing wrong with that. I've left the OR during messy cases after giving report and ensuring that my relief was okay. It's part of the world of healthcare- if we all stayed until everything was done, we'd never leave. I think your supervisor is expecting too much in this scenario.

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

Patient was stable, you gave report. You did NOTHING wrong. When you left you had no idea how long it would take for transfer. Could have been hours.

It's ridiculous that you were called out for that.


5,978 Posts

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

You did nothing wrong.

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Someone is a pot stirrer ... ask your manager if she could meet with you and the oncoming nurse to clear up this "misunderstanding." And in the future with this person chart report given to m.potstirrer rn at 2005.


1,871 Posts

Woah woah, calm down. Don't curl up just yet.

Shift is over, you gave a safe/adequate report and even offered to help the incoming nurse passed your shift time. You did your job.

If my manager had a problem I would LOVE to address the issue in person, on the clock of course.

Has 6 years experience.

I agree with everyone else. You did what any reasonable nurse would have done- maybe a little more, but certainly no less.

MunoRN, RN

8,058 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

At everywhere that I've worked you would have gotten a nasty-gram for staying that long, you should clarify what the expectation is, personally I would have asked what the manager would have preferred I do differently.


454 Posts

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

Staying more than an hour past shift change to wait to transfer a stable patient with no bed assignment in sight and a fresh nurse who has already taken report? That is a crazypants expectation. That's what report is *for*- so new staff can assume care.

I could understand her being upset if you'd clocked out mid-RR- that would be inappropriate, if your patient crashed at shift change, you stay and wrap that situation up, as it's not safe to stop and give report to the oncoming shift while somebody is unstable. But once it's under control? Go home! Acute care is a 24 hour business- there will ALWAYS be another crisis arising, that's why we staff in shifts, and when your shift is over and you don't have anyone actively crashing, you clock out and leave.

I've worked at facilities where patients who needed ICU beds were boarded elsewhere for hours or even days due to overcrowding. If the staff who originally coded/RR'd them were required to stay until they got tucked in to their real ICU beds, everyone on the floor and in the ED would have died of sleep deprivation by now.

If this really does turn out to be a big issue with your manager, and if everything happened as you describe it... you're working for an unreasonable person. Cold comfort, but as written, you did nothing wrong.

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

When I was an ED Tech, there was a particular night shift tech that would come in, and while others would complain about uncollected urine or an EKG that had just popped up before shift change, etc. Eddie would always say "Man, we're open 24 hours, that's the point of it, go home and rest." Always stuck with me. As a nurse now, if night shift has things they weren't able to do, I do my best to be understanding.

In reference to your specific event, I don't see where you did anything. Report given. Nurse says they're good. Shoot, I'm gone. See ya in the morning.

Has 29 years experience.

I would respond to the email detailing exactly what you told us and then I would print yours and your managers email and put them in the big book that I know you keep ;)