Some things, nurses love to hear. The sound of our badge punching out, the cry of a newborn baby or the reassuring beep of a heart monitor are all good things in our book.
However, some sounds we don’t like to hear, especially those phrases that are said to us that make our heart drop. Although we love our jobs, they are not without their troublesome times.
Here’s a list of five things you don’t want to hear as a nurse at any time. Usually, this means more work, something’s wrong, or trouble is coming your way.
1. Here’s a New Admission for You
Most nurses have as many patients as they can handle. When they see their charge nurse marching toward them bearing a slip of paper, they may want to duck into a room to avoid them.
Another admission means that your patient count just went up. Sure, we want to care for people, but we have enough, really.
Getting an admission means you have to do the paperwork, the assessment, and the orders. This means it takes time from the five other patients you have, and that can make a nurse decidedly not happy.
2. Can You Stay After Your Shift?
Your feet are sore, your mind is reeling, and you are counting down the minutes until you can punch out. Then your charge nurse comes up and asks you if you can stay after your shift because they are shorthanded.
What are you supposed to say? No, I’m tired. No, I’ve done enough today. No, I don’t care that they will suffer through the next shift. No, I just want to go home, please.
It always puts a nurse in a tricky situation when asked to work more time. It means balancing your needs with the needs of your coworkers, and that is never easy.
3. There’s Something Wrong with Your Patient
This phrase sets off alarm bells in your head whether you are a new grad or a seasoned veteran. It makes you dredge your mind for questions, asking yourself what could possibly be going on in that room.
Patients going south is part of nursing, though, and a systematic approach to the situation will get you through most of the problems you are presented. Remember: there are always people on your floor that you can turn to for help, and never be afraid to use them.
4. Can I See You in My Office
When your manager asks to see you in their office, you may have flashbacks to grade school and being called to the principal’s office. Sure, they may want to commend you on your excellent work, but they probably need to tell you about a mistake you’ve made.
Although we hate hearing this phrase, it is, unfortunately, a necessary one. We are only human, mistakes happen, and it is our manager’s responsibility to point them out.
Don’t go in with a chip on your shoulder, though. Take responsibility for what you did and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
5. Computers are Down
This news is enough to send a nurse screaming. We have become so reliant on our computers that paper charting seems to frighten us way more than it should.
When the computers are down, we don’t have access to patient information, we can’t chart, and in some facilities, we can’t even pass meds without a huge production. It is important to learn how to function without the computers, though, and maybe we need the wakeup call from time to time.
Still, not many inconveniences and stress a nurse more than losing their technology. If you are in a situation where you don’t have computers, take a breath, grab a down timesheet, and keep track of what you’re doing.