Being transparent…time for confessions

I found myself feeling upset today, especially as we were discussing the case study. I felt so frustrated as a nurse when we were trying to figure out the accountable person for the patient fall. I felt like I had a weight on my shoulders. As nurses, we do shoulder a large portion of the responsibility related to patient falls. We talked this afternoon about how it is EVERYONE’s responsibility to help WATCH the patients in an effort to prevent falls.

I also confessed to my group that a lot of times I do not feel comfortable going to lunch when I am staffing. Why, you might ask? I know part of it is that it is hard for me to hand over control of my patients to another nurse, even if only for 30 minutes. So, I am working on that. The other part is that I work with a young group of nurses (young in experience), and so sometimes I am nervous about leaving my unit. I know that I need to build better trust. It will be one of my goals.

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2 Responses to Being transparent…time for confessions

  1. Mary K Parker says:

    I thought it was interesting you have difficulty handing control of your patients to another so you can take a break. Maybe you could benefit from a strategy one of my best nurses uses.

    He rounds on all his patients just before he goes on break. He explains that he will be off the floor for 30 minutes and that RN (name here) will be covering for him. He asks if there is anything he can do for them right now or if it can wait until he comes back in 30 minutes. His patients are very happy and understanding and most of them honor his request to wait for him to return. Perhaps this technique would help you to relinquish care to another and help the patient provide some “caregiving” to you in return. After all, healthcare is a team event.

    The other benefit to taking those breaks you are entitled to is the change in attitude and mood when you return. When you have a good meal onboard or some distance from a distressing event, the things that bothered you aren’t so bothersome, so your care actually improves. It’s not always good to stay on the floor.

    I’m also concerned about the mentoring you’re providing to those novice nurses. If you’re displaying those controlling tendencies (whether for good or evil (;-)), you’re role modeling for those new nurses and that doesn’t help them with transitioning to their nursing roles. Explaining your time management techniques or doing just-in-time training in an area you’ve observed a lack of knowledge can be beneficial, especially if you’re able to provide a resource they can read or can come to you for questions later. You should be seen as a seasoned resource they can rely upon, but not a crutch for quality care.

    Good luck on progress for your goals! I wish you well.

    • rnren33 says:

      Mary: Thank you for your comments and for sharing the successes of your coworkers. This is a good idea. Also, I would like to clarify…I do not go without taking a break, it’s that my comfort level is not where it needs to be. I think your strategy is one I could try.
      I also appreciate you pointing out how this impacts my coworkers. I had not seen this previously. I realize I was really saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”, and I do not want to be like that.
      Confession is hard. Change is harder. I have come home from Telluride, and am already making small changes.
      Thanks again for your suggestions, and support!
      Renee

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