The patient shuffle

Stories - Theme Scale Patient Vs. ClientAs I searched for topics to write about this week, I glanced at this week’s nursing news for some inspiration.

I wanted to find something new to write about, but kept finding articles regarding lateral violence and toxic nursing.

I’ve written about toxic nursing before, but I haven’t written about the patient shuffle.

The patient shuffle is, essentially, when nurses come in a few minutes before the beginning of shift as a means to shuffle the patient assignments around so that they can get the easiest patients.

“I think it’s a combination of burnout and a lack of compassion.”

I, personally, haven’t experienced this, as I’ve always expected my patients to be in a sensible and logical order when I begin my shift.

I understand basic geometry: the fastest route between two points is a straight line.

If the layout of the land didn’t make sense, I just called ‘bullshit’.

I don’t know if my assertiveness always won the day or if it was just the fact that geometry is geometry, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some experienced nurses were just looking out for numero uno.

I’ve written before about nurses eating their young, a nursing best practice.

I haven’t figured out why this continues to happen yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.

If I had to speculate, which is typically dangerous, I think it’s a combination of burnout and a lack of compassion.

I don’t think nurses lose their ability to empathize, but after years of backbreaking work, I would expect that their souls solidify, at least a little bit.

If this happens to you, the nursing news article argues, you should consult your manager.

I don’t know if I totally agree with this assessment, as it could come back and bite you in the arse.

And I don’t like passive-aggressive behavior; I’d rather just confront whoever did it and discuss it.

If you go to your manager prior to attempting to handle it yourself, you’ll look weak.  And if you’re wrong, you’ll look like an idiot, which is never good.

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