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What the....??


Specializes in med/surg.

Ok so I work med/surg nights... this particular night I had 7 pts... all on IV fluids, one fresh post op, 2 on precautions, 2 on ngs with TPN & 3 on PCAs, then I had a bunch of IVPB & scheduled meds qhr except 0100... plus numerous PRNs... did I mention I had to of course change EVERY stinking IV bag on every pt including the TPNs for both pts?I was running all NIGHT! So my 2 coworkers had 8 pts a piece & almost everytime I came past the desk they were sitting & chatting... ok everyone needs a slower night on occasion, but when the supervisor calls at 0530 & says there is an admit coming, it's assigned to me because I only have 7 pts vs the other 2 having 8 pts... WHAT THE???? I still have numerous meds, an ng flush, fleets, PRNs, central lind blood draws on 3 pts for lab & charting charting charting... and a few other things I forgot... oh... I was just waiting for them to call me & tell me my admit was there... I never got the call... they ended up doing it together... however, by the time I finished up... they were long gone, punched out & on their happy way home... I'm going to burn out quick at this rate... oh did I mention I've been a nurse only 3months & 1 week??? Does it get better???


Specializes in med/surg.

Did you ever ask for help?

Yes... I did... and I explained why an admit was not feasible at that time. But this particular charge believes in the sink or swim theory... so I sink or swim.


Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

If you are busy and you see your co-workers are not, do not hesitate to ask. You said that you asked your co-workers for help, but you did not mention whether or not they did.

If they are really not busy and you are that busy and you ask for help and they refuse, ask the charge if she will call the house sup or if she would like you to do it, because you are very busy and need help from someone. That should get you what you need.

If you didn't ask for help, you can't complain. I always try to offer help if I can, but I don't always know someone needs help if they don't tell me. Also, there are many people I work with who are willing to lend a hand, but they won't offer to do it. Also, if your coworkers are busy as well, then you might have to call the sup to get a hand. And a lot of new nurses have that fear of asking for help because they don't want to appear unable to handle things. And that is how accidents happen - things get missed, pts get hurt, etc. Your coworkers need to help you if you are drowning - as long as they know you are drowning. And if they don't, go to your boss. A lot pf people are afraid that that makes them look like they can't handle things, but it's not like that. Sometimes the acuity is just more than one person can handle alone. You have to do what is right for the safety of your pts and yourself.

Hmm.....if you asked and they didn't help, and they knew you were drowning, then it's time to have a chat with the NM. "Sink or swim" is not a good attitude to have in nursing, because a pt's life could be at stake.

Dolce, RN

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

The tendency in nursing is to rush around and do all of the required tasks and push charting to the back of the burner. This isn't safe because we are forgetful and don't always remember everything in the correct order or we leave out important details. So, make charting one of your "tasks." It is just as important as everything else you have to do. But, it is unique in that only you can do it. Next time this same scenario comes up (and it will more than likely with the ratios you are describing) think of specific tasks your co-workers could help you with. For example, they could have drawn your labs and hung the TPN. Those are easy tasks for someone who has all their "ducks in a row" and would have allowed you to finish some charting. The fact that they took your admission shows their overall goodwill and willingness to help.

In time your time management skills will improve and you will find yourself less overwhelmed. But, with ratios like 8:1 don't expect to have a "slow night." Those are very busy ratios for even an experienced pro. Please practice safely!!


Specializes in Everytype of med-surg.

Also, do not assume because the nurses look relaxed that they are not working. Perhaps they are charting while talking? If you are always behind and they are sitting and chatting, it is not their fault, ask them for tips how to become more organized. Unless the night is totally going to h*&% I usually do not get worked up about anything, not worth it. However, some nurses spend so much time stressing out about how they are so busy, if they jumped into the work and stopped complaining, they would have time to sit down and relax.

No...honestly, it doesn't get any better

hypocaffeinemia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

On a side note, how did you have NGs with TPN? Wouldn't that by definition be enteral?

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

It does get better and you're probably exactly where you should be as a new grad. It's always going to be a tough job though, that's the nature of floor nursing I'm afraid. But it will definately get better as time goes on, so hang in there.

Those nurses you work with were probably exactly how you were once.

You did say you didn't wind up getting the admission and they wound up doing it together for you? That was nice of them.

I hate the sink or swim theory, but sometimes you just have to let a new grad find their grove, but if patient care is every compromised and it's unsafe, then shame on them.

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