I arrived at work today to discover I am in charge. Again. I have been in charge everyday this month. Even though it is the shortest month of the year. And I was on vacation at the beginning and starting vacation again in a few days. So I am only working seven days in February. But I really do not like being in charge.
In this unit, charge nurse has a lot of responsibilities. We create the assignment for the next day. We have to figure out who gets floated and who gets canceled when we have low census. We go to all high risk deliveries and admit the babies when they require coming to the NICU. We check the crash cart and intubation boxes. When we have no secretary after 3pm and on weekends, we answer the phones and door. Also when there is no secretary all day, we check the thermometers in all the fridges and freezers, print out a few copies of the census for different books and people, and do controls for the accucheck.
Plus, we have to call around for extra nurses when we get sick calls or are understaffed. We do not have many extra nurses and really do not have many that are willing to do overtime. Some say “I will work tomorrow but only if you can give me off Saturday.” I do not have that power. Finding staff is the biggest stress of this job for me. I usually am willing to work extra to help out the unit but when I call and beg my coworkers to do the same and they decline, it is frustrating. I have pleaded and offered to buy lunch at times. When we get nurses from the other hospitals that come to our unit to work, I give them $5 giftcards for the cafeteria. And we also usually have an assignment, which means taking care of one or two babies and their families on top of all the other responsibilities. I would rather just do patient care. I would even rather do admission everyday rather than be in charge.
The night assistant manager was here when I saw the assignment sheet. I was so upset about being in charge again, I told her that I have been getting a lot of job offers from other hospitals ever since I received my BSN in May. Another nurse chimed in that this the best NICU to work in and much better than any other. I asked how many has she worked in and she listed hospitals in this area. I told her I worked in other hospitals elsewhere that were better staffed and I do not agree this is the best. It might be the easiest, at times, but then other times it feels unsafe when we have two nurses on, twins are delivered, and no staff are willing to work extra. I also said I would rather work in a level three. I miss taking care of critical babies. The assistant manager told me if that is where I want to go, then I should go. She also said that a lot of places would love to have me now that I have a BSN.
(I never felt appreciated here for achieving my degree. Even though anytime someone gets engaged or has surgery or retires, one of the nurses will collect money to get them a gift and card. I did not get anything when I graduated last May. Not even a card. I have been bitter since and stopped contributing to group gifts.)
Shortly after, the day assistant manager called to check in on the unit. She calls everyday when she isn’t working. First, I complained to her that I was in charge again. Then I told her not to make the May schedule two months in advance. She asked why, did I get screwed over in the April schedule? I said that I won’t be here in May. She asked why. Then she said she will make sure I am never in charge again. I just said I will discuss it with her tomorrow. She said “are you leaving? Please no! You can’t leave!” Made me feel slightly good and slightly bad. I was appreciated but guilty.
So I feel I set the wheels in motion. The nurse that bragged about this place overheard me on the phone, so I am sure the rumors will start. I feel a bit of weight lifted. I have been fretting over when I would tell my bosses and how much notice I could give. I am still not sure when I will start in Saudi, or if I will get the license and visa, but I am pretty sure it will be sometime in April. I am not telling anyone where I am going yet. I will just say I am waiting on a nursing license until I know for sure. Maybe I will tell them my last day. But the end of this job is in sight!