Dec 12, 2006


I was floated yesterday. For those of you who don't know, "Floating" is when a member of the nursing staff gets sent to another short-staffed unit of the hospital. We were overstaffed, they were understaffed.

When I signed my residency contract I was promised 6 months of no floating. I was one day 6 month's mark was today. They couldn't just give me one more day of float-freeness.

I now know why all my fellow nurse's HATE floating and bitch and moan when they do.

It was horrible.

We have one unit in the hospital where we always float. Why? Because they have terrible management, they are extremely disorganized, there is no teamwork so it's every man for himself, the staff is rude and lazy, and because of all these things they can't keep staffed for very long so we have to go fill in.

I got to the floor and the charge nurse, who kept her butt at the nursing station all day, gave me my assignments and begrudgingly gave me as little info as she could about where things were, codes for supply rooms, etc.
I noticed that out of my 5 patients I had FOUR who were not ambulatory (One was a with assist). I noticed throughout the day that my patients seemed to be the only ones who were not ambulatory.

Sure....that's smart management....let's give the visiting RN, who doesn't know where anything is, the hardest patients on the floor.......the ones nobody wants.

That way the rest of the nurses can sit at the station and flip through magazines all day.

If I asked for help I got attitude.

I did find 2 people helpful. An RN who was there just to do IVs. (Yes, they floated me up there even though they did have one of they're own on staff just to do IVs........we don't have IV nurses at our hospital)
However, She was helpful and nice. The other was a brand new assistant who was still in orientation who volunteered to help me do a bed bath.

I appreciate my unit so much more now. We maybe sometimes dysfunctional but for the majority of the time, we function, as a unit, like a well oiled machine.

When we hire someone new, they stay...for possibly years because we have the kind of staff that would never pile a heavy load onto a visiting nurse. (In fact our charge tends to give the easier patients to visiting nurses)

With a few exceptions, you would almost never find magazine reading at our nurse's station when there's a nurse running like a chicken with it's head cut off.

Not on my unit.


At 15:43, Blogger overactive-imagination said...

Just from my one semsester of nursing rotations I can so see them doing that to you. The one thing scaring me about nursing right now (thanks to being on a terrible unit for rotations) is how shitty other nurses can be. I am so not looking forward to the Diva attitudes. Hopefully I will get a unit like yours next time.


At 18:06, Blogger Deacon Barry said...

You need to speak to your management, not just you personally, but every nurse who's been floated to that ward. The ward is a drain on the hospital's resources if they have to keep advertising for jobs there, not to mention taking nurses from other wards to fill the staffing shortage. It's obviously bringing down the morale of the hospital. The present staff need to be transferred out and new staff inserted. It's a toxic ward and surgery is indicated.

At 09:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I never end up in that ward. But if I do, I hope you're "floating" there. Merry Christmas!


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