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Split-Shift Floating

Travel   (2,609 Views 16 Comments)
by CameToSlay CameToSlay (Member) Member

703 Profile Views; 34 Posts

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11 Posts; 451 Profile Views

Your post brings back bad memories: I have worked at two hospitals that informed me that, "as a travel nurse, you can expect to get floated to another unit before a permanent nurse will get floated".

At Hospital#1, I was unprepared for how aggravating that rule would become. This particular hospital actually had nurses charting in three, yes *three* separate places: in the computer, on a chart outside the patient room and in a chart at the front desk. This assignment also found me caring for a patient who had meds due every hour and was in Contact Isolation so I had to don gloves and gowns every hour and it made it hard to care for my other four patients. I was assigned this patient for three days straight (which spared the permanent staff). My assignment was changed once his isolation was stopped and his med frequency lessened. Then came the dreaded float day: four hours into my shift, I was getting floated, so I had to catch up my patient care, chart in all three places, give report to an oncoming nurse, go to the next unit and get report on five new patients...and four hours later, you guessed it: I had to catch up on what I was doing, chart, give report to another nurse, float to yet another unit and get report on a new group. I had enough of Hospital #1 and it was the only time I cancelled an assignment before my 13 weeks was completed.

Four years later, at Hospital #2, I was again told that I would be first to float as a travel nurse. Over three months, there were only two occasions where I worked back-to-back shifts on the same unit and, at least once every other week, I got floated in mid-shift, usually to replace a nurse who had only picked up an 8-hour shift. Fortunately, all the charting is electronic and peers had shown me "shortcuts" to charting by exception.

I have a background in Psych and have learned that "Frustration = Expectations minus Reality". So, keep your expectations low: remember that that if your unit was *the bestest place to work in the entire world", nurses would be flocking to work there and they would not need travel nurses. I keep my expectations realistic so as not to become frustrated with the hospitals. Thirteen weeks can go by very quickly.

So decide how you will do three things every shift:

1) Arrive with a smile on your face

2) Make at least three other people smile during your shift and

3) Leave with a smile on your face.

Then you will find that you can handle anything they throw your way.

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34 Posts; 703 Profile Views

Thank you for the great response! Things are going a lot better now.

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,356 Posts; 45,208 Profile Views

Congrats on surviving! You are now a stronger nurse and traveler.

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82 Posts; 1,348 Profile Views

I am so glad things are better for you!

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