No, really - what is your EMERGENCY?

This used to be the journal of a nursing student at a prestigious 4 year university that will still remain unnamed. This is now the journal of a Registered Nurse working in an Emergency Department in a major US city. All names have been changed to protect the stupid and the mean. There is no educational value in this journal, sometimes it will be downright mean and catty - this is where I come to vent!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Well, he is YOUR patient....

So, today I got to my floor after spending the weekend doing my USMC Reserve drills to find that they had only scheduled one NA. We had 26 patients, with a lot of pending admits. They are getting ready to renovate the other end of our hall, so they are having to move to another floor on Wednesday. Therefore, they are not taking new admits so we are getting them all. This wouldn't have been too much of a problem, but for some reason, today we had all the prima donna nurses on one shift. There are two specifically who refuse to do anything that might possibly be an NA skill. I decided that instead of shadowing one of the RN's, I would help the lone NA out and took half of the patients. That meant I had 13 patients to take vitals on, help with breakfast, get bathed, change linens, change wound dressings, help go to the bathroom, do blood sugar tests, and I also had 3 new admits to get settled and fill out part one of the admit form on. Not to mention the myriad of doctors, residents, attendings, and family members who all had requests. So, needless to say, I was a little busy. And yes, I understand that there are many people who do this all day every day with even more patients. Soooo, I was in the room with all of our guys who need one-on-one monitoring and one of the patients with a hip fracture asked to go to the bathroom. I had not ever had this patient, and I noticed that he had on a diaper so I went to find his nurse to see if he had been using a bed pan, the diaper, or a bedside commode. I finally found her (I had also never worked with her before), and asked what the deal was with him. She didn't know, so I asked if she would help me get him up on the bedside commode. SHE SAID NO. Yep, she said, "No, I'm busy, go find the other NA." I just kind of looked at her dumbfounded. I told her that the other NA was busy with her own 13 patients (like 6 were contact precaution and also needed to be fed....way more time consuming) and it would be great if she could just spend the one minute to HELP ME WITH HER PATIENT!!! Did I mention that it was her patient??? I got a little mad, so I left and went back to my other patients. I figured I would just end up cleaning him up later. But basically, I was appalled that she didn't even try to help me HELP HER PATIENT. She would die on one of the floors that don't have any NA's. And who is she to assume that her "busy" is more important than my "busy"??? Fortunately, I only had to deal with them for half of the day. The other half of the day, I had to sit through a class on "healing touch" (see previous post).

Lesson learned today: Never, ever treat the person who wipes your patient's butt badly. They will abandon you and you will have to do all of it yourself.....and they may never help you again!


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