Yesterday we were overstaffed. Really overstaffed. Our 26-bed unit had 16 patients but the nursepower for 24. Therefore L and I were put "on committee."
Our tasks for the evening:
Get people signed off on the new way of printing EKG strips for when we go computerized.
Have people sign an attestation that they have read and understood a new law regarding medical record privacy (inspired by the Octomom fiasco) that says if we look at stuff we shouldn't be looking at we are subject to immediate firing and a fine up to $250,000 for each person's record that gets looked at.
Watch people pass meds and document if it's been done correctly.
Watch people give reports and document if it's been done correctly.
Check the new transfer patients' skin to make sure that if a pressure ulcer is already present that it's documented so we don't get blamed for it, and see if nutritional and wound care consults have been made.
Find out from our "fall risk" patients if they've been offered help with toileting or activities. The main issue with this was finding fall risks who weren't confused because they tend to forget that they've been up to the bathroom etc.
Restock the grey carts that are in the rooms on the B-side of the unit with useful things like saline flushes and 2x2s and IV-start equipment.
Restock the mobile rolling carts with the same.
This is all fine and entertaining for maybe half a shift. After that you start to get antsy. Especially with the paperwork audits. Those feel very useless.
So this morning when I woke up I called Staffing and said "We were rand ather overstaffed yesterday due to low patient census, and if the census is still low today I'd like to be considered for a day off".
About 20 minutes later my phone rings and my heart skips a joyous beat. Turns out it's just a friend of mine, calling to ask about some food she left at my place. Siiiigh.
Then I get a call about an hour later. It's Staffing! Yippee! They ask if I still want the day off. Hell Yeah! They asked if I wanted to use it as a vacation day (meaning I get paid for the day off). I don't need the money as badly as I need spare vacation days so I decline. (I'm enjoying my days of low expenses... not sure how much longer that'll last so I'm making the most of it)
My energy level went up immediately. From the weariness of knowing what's in store for me later in the day to the bounciness of an extra day with limitless possibilities.
Went for lunch with a friend, went to the mall to get bathstuffs, went hottubbing with some other friends, late dinner. Oh so glorious!
I'll always take a day without pay over a day on committee.