So I come into work this morning and find that I'm in charge, no biggie, and that we are down 2 nurses...kind of biggie. The one thing that keeps me from screaming~~ the group of nurses, techs, and providers that is on are all fabulous and hard workers! We decided to "look at the glass half full instead of half empty." Lots of patient care, nurse stories, charcoal fun and Thai for lunch is making this day that could have been horrible~~ quite nice!
Staffing is always an issue in the ER it seems....Both ER's I have worked in have an above average number of call outs... I think that it is the stress of this type of nursing...working 12 hour shifts with constant noise, patients in pain, death, sometimes no breaks and working short staffed~ often....can kind of wear you down a bit. Lets face it our patient population is very UNIQUE....we go from days old to 102yo...we have drunks that are yelling and vomiting up and down the halls, heart attack and stroke patients next to each other...we may have a rape victim or 2...we do sutures and casting, IV's and NG tubes...and lots of foley's... let us not forget the BEHAVIORAL patients (1-4 a day)...we have the septic patient and the one with pneumonia...we have to know CPR, BLS, ACLS, PALS and TNCC...some of us have SAFE training.. and we all must have superior IV skills, EKG reading and we of course need to know how to read minds!! and oh yes, we must not forget that we must acclimate to each provider in order to get the patient's needs met most effectively.
I also think that a reason for the multitude of call outs ...is BURNOUT~the syndrome that afflicts medical professionals, esp those who work in intense environments.
As we nurses pondered the call out situation today we were discussing some ways to increase moral for those staff members that are left ....we decided that the staff that is working short should get an extra dollar an hour...and if we are down 2 nurses we should get 2 dollars an hour extra. What do you all think about working short staffed???