So, guys, I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year! And welcome back……this is my first real blog post for the year and it is definitely a good one! So this holiday season, I worked a 4-day stretch into Christmas, so it was December 21st, 22nd, 23rd and Christmas Eve. Normally during the holidays', nurses will tell you the patient census gets really low. Well, as I’m walking into work tonight, determined to have the absolute best night because, hey it’s Christmas Eve and tomorrow I get to go home and be with my family I hear the 3 most dreaded words ever, YOU’RE BEING FLOATED!
Yallllllll I hate being floated because the first two times I was floated on orientation with my preceptor, we were stuck on a floor with people who didn’t want to be there, and who didn’t wanna help us! It’s just frustrating because you don’t know where anything is and it’s nothing like being on your home floor. So I’m like in the midst of gathering myself together when my charge nurse tells me I’m going to 6 West. Guys, that’s the postpartum floor. I had a celebration in my head I’m like yassssss finally I get to see something that I like! I won’t have to deal with the craziness of 8 Tower tonight! So I collect my stuff and I’m headed to the 6th floor. I get down here and honey....they only have 5 patients TOTAL! All the nurses were so helpful in telling me where I could sit and put my stuff etc. So I’m like cool! I put my stuff up, then I asked who was charge.....lmfaoooo. One lady looked at me like they didn’t tell you, I’m like tell me what 😅 Then she said it oh darling, you’re the charge nurse tonight we’re both LPNs. Y’all I’m could’ve crapped my pants, my heart sunk down and I just got really quiet. Thank God one of the day nurses was missing and they were too busy looking for her than looking at me with the metaphorical egg on my face 😂
So after calming myself down and making the assignments for the night, I politely asked who has my patients? Well, it was the nurse that had disappeared lol. So I waited for her come back, let her give the report to the other nurse and then I got the report. Being that I’m not a women's services nurse (yet), my two patients were strictly med surg! This was absolutely fine with me! I hadn't had two patients since I was on orientation! This was literally the biggest Christmas miracle! So I finally finished getting the report and gathering myself to go see my patients. They were the sweetest little old lady's I ever met. One lady was in her 90s and still up moving around and walking! I told her I wanted to age like her because that was a blessing! One of my patients didn't have any night time meds and the other one had maybe like three so it was a really easy night. Being that I had charge nurse duties, it was really comforting that I didn't have so much to do! So I got my vital signs, met my patients and started charting. Let's be honest the hardest part of nursing is doing all the charting! It takes up so much time because there is so much that has to be charted on. The system we use is Soarian and it's not that bad but still a tedious task. So after I finished charting, I went passed meds and took both of my patients to the bathroom before they got ready for bed. By 10 o'clock I was basically finished with all of my tasks. Being that I was the only RN on the floor I had to do all the IV pushes. There are certain roles that LPNs can do. (I will do a scope of practice post later on!) But moving on, I had to push all their IV meds but that was fine, hello I was the charge nurse!
Since this was a role that was pretty much foreign to me, I did what any other self-respected novice nurse would do...........I called somebody else. I ended up calling my charge nurse from my home floor. She definitely was a big help! Nurses helping other nurses is what it's all about! So basically my list of duties was simple, print and pass around the report sheet, check and enter the refrigerator temperatures, and fill out the charge nurse rounding report. All of this was pretty much self-explanatory and I filled it out with ease. The two other nurses were really helpful in telling me where everything was and filling out the sheet on time before I had to fax everything to the staffing office. At about 11 o'clock, I got my midnight vitals and took both of my patients to the bathroom when I noticed a memo on my computer that the refrigerator temperatures had to be input into the computer before 12. This unit had two fridges and one had all the temps showing where you could find it easily. The other one wasn't so easy but we figured it out with the help of our friends from 6 Tower! I told you, nurses, really stick together and as far as I can tell DO NOT eat their own. More time passed through the night and both of my patients practically slept through the entire night. Around 4, I got my last set of vital signs. There were only two babies in our nursery that night. One was under the bilirubin light and the other one slept most of the night. I was so excited when the nurse asked me to hold one of the babies while she checked on his mama. He was the cutest little baby and for 2 weeks he thought he was a grown man lol. I gave him back to the other nurse and we all got ready for the day shift to come in. One of the pediatricians came to see the babies and he was the nicest doctor I had ever been around. Most doctors don't know how to hold a decent conversation with the nurses but I guess if I worked with babies all day long I would be a pretty pleasant person too. This entire experience validated my true calling. I believe I was put on this Earth to work with women and children. I had so much fun visiting a new floor. It was just a cherry on the top being the charge nurse for the night.
Have you guys had experience as the charge nurse? How did you deal with it? What advice would you give to new nurses who make get the opportunity to charge one shift? Drop all the gems in the comments below!
The Klassic Nurse💋
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