Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Best of Both?

I had a rough, rough shift at work last night. Was working with a nurse that is new to our floor, and coming from a floor that's notorious for having RN/CNA conflicts up the wazzoo. So I made time to sit and catch up with NewNurse when he came on shift halfway through mine. I already had 13-14 patients of my own, and the way we have it set up, all the call lights come to the CNA's first. If we don't answer, then they are forwarded on to that patient's nurse. So you can imagine how busy I am on these nights. Of my 13-14 patients, I'm likely to have at least 5 diabetics who need their blood sugar checked before meals and at bedtime. Another 2-3 who are confused/fall risk/non-English speaking. And 4 or 5 who are fresh post-ops, which means they're in a lot of pain, bed bound, and possibly needing to be strapped in and out of devices to move or steady their joints.

NewNurse got pissed at me for two things, one of which I think was valid (although I had no way of knowing about it) and the other which was absolutely not; one of our regular floor nurses scoffed at NewNurse when she heard him getting angry at me about it in the nurses' station.

Anyway, everything turned out fine, all my patients were okay (although one did give me a terrible scare, then when it became clear that my fear had been because of one of the machines giving a wrong reading the first time, the patient asked "Are we in trouble? I'll cover for us. What should I say?" which made me laugh despite how upset I'd been).

But I'm now mentally comparing that to my shift last week when I filled in over at the inpatient rehab unit (physical rehabilitation, not drug or alcohol rehab). I had such a mellow night, I was able to cover most of the unit by myself. And if I got tied up with something, the nurses were aware of it and went and did things for their patients themselves. I even had time to help a very sweet older lady get her Kindle working again, which delighted her!

It was more like a nursing home, in that it's lower acuity and the patients are there for longer periods of time. But it's a smaller unit, so that makes teamwork easier. And it pays at the rate of the hospital, not at the rate of a nursing home.

Is inpatient rehab the best of both worlds? Less stress, more time with patients, and the same pay and benefits?

Could be...

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