July 7, 2014 at 7:15 AM #13808
New at charging – RN for 1 yrs. Getting overwhelmed; having a hard time knowing what to delegate when handling own pt. load, short staff, answering intake & all phones & managing misc. on unit. Any tips to help keep me sane?July 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM #13817
Jason Hautala RNMember
When I first started doing charge in the ICU, I gave my co-worker an awful assignment and gave myself a pretty light assignment (Sorry Booby) because I was afraid of getting bogged down and not getting all of the little task things completed. Needless to say, that didn’t go over very well. If you work where the charge has to take a full assignment, don’t give yourself a terrible assignment, but take on a descent load and delegate some of the tasks that need to get completed on that shift, (hey, my patient load has me a bit behind, would you please check the crash cart in room 5 for me?)
Some people love to see the new charge nurse fail because they are jealous that someone else with less experience is in charge of them. Figure out who these people are and watch your back. The others (hopefully several of them) will want to help you out. Find an ancient nurse who has been in charge for a long time and confide in him/her that you are new, struggling a little bit, and ask for some charge mentoring help and let them know you are open to being pulled aside to someplace private and informed if you are being unfair or botching things up too badly.
If they come to you professionally with a complaint, listen to it and take it into consideration, but if they put your plan down in front of the group, take them aside and tell them to come to you directly if they have something to say, and don’t let them walk all over you. Right or wrong, you are still in charge, but try not to ruffle too many feathers … a happy crew is a good thing, while an unhappy crew can make your life miserable, and they will be going to the boss with every little thing.
Good luck … I’m sure others will have better advice. I’m usually a hands off kind of charge and expect everyone to do their job without me telling them, but I work with some people who get used to the micro-manager charge nurse and asks me permission for every little thing. It will take them time to get used to your style of being charge … give it time and let them know how you do things differently than they are used to when you realize that your style isn’t what they expect.September 26, 2014 at 11:47 PM #16320
I know it has been a while since u asked and I hope u r getting ur feet. Remember the first IV or cath u inserted? The overwhelming feeling of just that task and u were perfect! So now just trust yourself no second guesses u will find a routine that works or like me a complete lack of a routine and no plan just jump in get it done help when I can and always be approachable and never question your staff or reprimand them in front of anyone. U r unique so ur system will be that way too. Good luck!
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