7.21.2008

The Plight of the Shortage

There I was, going through Wal*Mart getting dinner food, when I got the phone call telling me that census was down on our floor and I didn't need to come in. Because of that I'm sitting here, blogging, eating lunch, and watching movies with the good intention of folding clothes and later, making cookies. We'll see. I think I'm going to be looking for another place of employment soon, unless the atmosphere at SCH improves.
Sunday was just awful. There were only two of us, with 6 rooms apiece. No secretary to do chart stuff and all the paperwork that comes with arriving/discharged patients. The CNA we had was new and unaccustomed to computer charting, though I hope she'll catch on quick.
Think of all the bad things that could go wrong in a hospital-just about all of them did! I started with 6 patients, while the other nurse had 3, though one was coming. That one that was coming, came about 10am. We discovered that she had discharge orders written at 8am...so she didn't have to come, she could have been discharged from her previous room.
The docs came around and discharged like 2 of Kim's remaining 3 patients, at the same time she go 2 more assignments to her empty rooms. In the hussle and bussle of sending out patients, she accidentally grabbed the prescriptions for one of *MY* discharged patients. Fortunatly, I was able to run down the halls, exit the elevator and catch the ex-patient just before she left. We got it all straightened out. Then, my patient that was going home, decided she liked the hospital and the attention she got, that she didn't want to be discharged and kept making excuses as to why she couldn't go home. First, I don't have a ride, then I can't go to the bathroom myself, then I don't have any money. We finally got her out of there by 630pm. One of my patients was having trouble, right about the time I was gonna go to lunch. Bummer. I didn't get lunch until about 345, and I had to tell Mark to go home and eat by himself :(
All day long, I had no time to chart, or enter orders (something the secretary would do), so I had to stay late, like 815 to finish charting and enter those blasted orders.
If we had a secretary, like we're supposed to, I could have gotten other things done. If we had more nurses, I wouldn't have had all 6 of those patients. One had fallen twice, a little foggy in the head. One was getting a unit of blood, had a private sitter (such a blessing, I tell you what! She did potty things, food things, keeping-in-bed things). One was an alcoholic with pancreatitis. One was another alcoholic with pancreatitis. One was a big woman with breathing problems. One was another alcholic with pancreatitis. Hmm, something sounds skewd. I guess the 4th of July sent everyone's pancreas on edge from their drinking and now it's rearing its ugly head.
The staffing issue isn't just today, or even just recently. Since they've opened 3 James and took half the staff from 3 York, we've been struggling to stay afloat. The general medical-surgical floor has that kind of ratio 6 to 8 patients per nurse, but the type of patients we get (normally) are more serious conditions-heart attacks, cardiac caths, strokes, and the like. The ICU have 2 patients apiece, and our floor is considered a step-down from ICU, so it stands reason that we should have a lighter patient-nurse ratio, no? Anyways.
The clothes are chanting my name, cheering me on. I must go

1 comment:

  1. Hey- I am a fellow nurse out there and have been for 9 years. I absolutely love being a nurse, but what you described is unfortunately everywhere. I have worked before when I have had 9 patients. I have had 6 patients, been in charge and had no CNA. Sometimes you have great staffing and sometimes it stinks. We went for a very long time without a secretary on a lot of shifts. I still have a love for my job, but there are days when I could hang it all up. I understand the late lunch- some days I am happy just to go to the bathroom.
    I am thankful to God's grace that gets me through the hard days. Hang in there! Not saying it couldn't be better somewhere else, but a lot of hospital nursing is like that. I understand your pain.

    ReplyDelete