How many of your get PTs sent up or transferred without the proper precautions or even precautions at all??
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Do you ever feel like you are losing your love for nursing? Well here are a few tips to keep that passion ALIVE!
- Try not to think of your patients as their diseases, procedures or room numbers. Make the extra effort to learn (and use) their names. Hospitals can be dehumanizing enough without our adding to the problem.
- Remember your roots. Last week I heard a nursing student say, “I had the best day! I gave a shot and I cleaned up the same gentleman eight times.” When asked how this made for a great day, she said, “Well, he was pretty embarrassed about his medicine giving him diarrhea but I told him that happens to lots of people and convinced him not to feel bad about it.” She’s got the qualities of a great nurse.
- Offer grace. Nurses see people at their worst during very difficult circumstances. Overlooking grumpiness, showing patience with the confused in general, cutting our patients a little slack helps them enter the healing state and saves us aggravation too.
- Don’t mouth empty words. It’s unfair to your patients and bad for your conscience. Yes, I know it’s hard to say the same things to different patients day after day. Be inventive practice finding new ways to get information across.
- Treat everyone with respect. And, yes, I mean everyone. You may be the only one who does and it may make all the difference. The Bible says, “Dignify those who are down on their luck; you’ll feel good—that’s what GOD does” (Psalm 41:1, MSG).
- Nurse stories are the best. But, don’t use your patients as fodder for gossip or entertainment, even among yourselves. First, it’s illegal, what with HIPAA and all; second, it’s disrespectful to tell stories that show them at a disadvantage. Even though it’s hard, keep your lips sealed as a secret gift to the people you care for.
- Really see your patients. Look at their faces; notice their expressions and their demeanor. That slightly confused elderly gentleman giving the call button a workout may be a World War II veteran, once handsome and brave; while the well-dressed but jumpy Junior Leaguer may be fighting battles at home that you can’t imagine. You may never know their stories, but you can be sure they have one.
- Be present to your patients. Don’t hurry into their rooms on autopilot with a mental to-do list. Pay attention. Forget yourself. Take time to get “in the zone.”
- Listen to what your patients are and aren’t saying. Imagine yourself with “antennae quivering.” It’s rare for people to feel heard. Think of it as another gift you can give them.
- Support life in your patients. Give the best patient care. Work to put them in a place where healing happens. Be sensitive to their emotional state and try to match it, offering hope, kindness and, above all, truthfulness. When physical life wanes, offer comfort and support their spiritual life and loved ones.
What they don’t realize (or maybe they do but choose to continue behaving badly) is that studies show that being “hard” on someone when they are in the learning phase of their nursing job doesn’t make them strong but actually does the opposite, being hard makes the learner weak.
A Classic Example
Katie, a new nurse, works on a medical surgical unit with a nurse patient ratio of 5:1. Today is her first day off of orientation. Katie is given the following assignment: two patients in isolation, one patient going through the DTs, one in 4-point leathers, and one with the most difficult family members who have already threatened to sue the hospital and every doctor and nurse in the building. Most of her experienced co-workers have four patients; many who are stable waiting for discharge.
As an ethical issue in nursing, is Katie being set up to fail?
What helps new nurses become competent?
New nurses become competent when they feel confident in themselves. Confidence equals competence. The best way to help new nurses gain confidence is to give them the easiest assignments, fewer patients and provide a constant vigil of support. We need to do this until we see evidence that the new nurse is gaining confidence in his/her skills. Once confident, slowly add more complicated patients to their assignment.
Just like in Katie’s situation, who ultimately pays the price for the “hazing” of our new nurses? Our patients ultimately pay the price. As a nursing ethics issue, we have a responsibility to our public to ensure that we are doing everything we can to ensure that every new nurse has the skill set necessary to provide high quality care. Period. Remember, confidence equals competence. Stop the hazing, stop the violence and start the supporting!
Came to work an hour early ready to start my 12 hour shift. It was about 12 patients at the beginning of the shift, within an hour we discharged four leaving us with eight patients leaving room to get ten admissions throughout the night. ER was packed so I know we were going to get slammed with admits.
Staffing was a mess as usual and we ended up being short staffed. At least every thirty minutes to an hour somebody got a new admit so the previous admit assessment or charting was not complete. Call lights stayed going off, phones steady ringing, everybody wanted pain meds every hour. Then I lost my badge & locator badge for the rest of the shift, from running in and out of rooms helping turn patients & putting the confused ones back in bed.
One patient pulled out his IV, making it look like a murder scene in his room. The next patient who was “allegedly” paralyzed on her right side managed to get her clothes off and get out the bed. Then another patient down the hall Colostomy bag was constantly leaking all over the place and her PICC line did not work (absolutely no blood return). Another one is throwing up every time you walk out the room. While all of this is going on another confused patient who cannot ambulate is climbing over the rails trying to get out of the bed & two other confused patients are screaming from the top of their lungs.
Meanwhile a patient who is nearly seven feet tall that can barely ambulate refuses to use his cane. Then a patient who was just in a MVA asks for a T-Bone Steak as soon as he gets admitted to the floor. To top it all off I had to make the assignment for day shift & after all that happened that actually was the most stressful part!!
This night may have been absolutely ridiculously insane, but with the help and laughs of my other staff members it actually made it a better night. One Nurse who had to stay over to day shift because she could not finish all of her charting decided not to come back tonight. The other one stuck it out and will be working & lucky me I’m off for the next three days ;-)!!
Ever had a shift that was crazy from the time you clocked in until the time you clocked out? If so, how did you handle it? Were you stressed the entire shift or were you able to keep your cool? Did you call off the next day/night or did you come back to work hoping it would be better this shift? Most important were your other staff members helpful?