Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Assignment

Why is it that nurses fight/argue and bicker over the assignment? It doesn't matter how you split the patient's up, at the end of the day you are still going to be tired and what's the big deal?

I've never been one to jostle for an assignment. Of course, if I was here the day before, I would expect as much of the same patients as possible but if I wasn't? Then I'm easy. I feel that the Universe decides what patients I should interact with and touch that day...and so I'm not arguing with the Universe. They are my assigned patients for a reason.

Today one of the nurses changed her assignment and threw the whole thing out of wack. She switched 2 of my patients with 2 of hers thinking that mine would be better. Guess who was running around all night? Yep, she was. I helped her out by giving her 9pm meds on 2 of her patients, leaving her with only 2 to take care of and I still got out of there faster than she did.

I've had bad days, rough days and crappy days, but I've never had a bad assignment. There is always 2 or 3 patients that are really sweet, just going through alot and need someone to talk to. That's my job, that's what I give me whatever assignment you want, it will never faze me.


raecatherine said...

I think the key is that the charge nurse makes the best judgement possible at the time when the assignment is made. I never want to overload any one nurse, and I have to take the clinical skills and expertise (or newbie factor) into consideration. I think it's ok to question assignments with legitimate reasons--sometimes I've overlooked assigning multiple discharges, or maybe give a nurse 2 patients with chemos that needs to be hung/premeded too closely at the same time.

Its great not to complain, as it seems to be infectious and bad for unit morale. You sound like a strong, confident, and happy nurse.

But when someone questions an assignment that it based on the combined patient acuity/skill mix or other legitimate reasons, I think it's fair to give it due thought. Once you accept report/assignment, it's a done deal. And I've had a couple of instances where I've been given an unsafe assignment as a floor nurse, and had to speak up about it. Sometimes for the nurse that is unhappy with the assignment when it really can't be redone in any other way, once you explain out the 'puzzle' of why the assignment is the way it is and let them know you can be available to help them, they understand.

There is no such thing as a perfect assignment, or an assignment that's intended to be 'bad'. One can just never predict what patients might experience next...

JayNurse said...

I agree that often when you just let the universe decide (ie nursing manager on shift!) he he, you always end up with who your meant to and meet some great patients.... I have so often found the patients I'm slightly intimidated by end up being interesting and entirely loveable, and teach me something new I need to know!!