Floating is a fact of life when you’re a hospital nurse. Simply, the demand for nurses surpasses the supply, and so hospitals have to cut corners by regularly shifting nurses from one unit to another. Most nurses dread this, and new nurses especially. Obviously, when you are a nurse in your first year you are still finding your feet in your home unit. That makes floating all that scarier. After you accept floating as part of your job, start preparing. You may get some added certifications, like an ACLS course Orange County, CA, to prepare yourself for emergencies. And you could brace yourself with a selection of floating survivor’s tips that we have gathered from our own experience and the Internet.
Introduce yourself to other nurses in the shift and befriend them. Feel awkward, insecure and like an outsider? You MUST introduce yourself to others, so go on. Bear in mind that things will start feeling better right after that point (in all likelihood). Just a simple: “Hi! I’m Emma from 3rd floor. I’ll be with you today. Don’t hesitate to ask me for any help you need.” Remember:
- The unit is short-staffed and they are happy to have you.
- The other nurses will most likely tell you to ask them for any help too. (Why shouldn’t they?)
- Nurses work as a team. You must get to know others if you are to work with them.
Ask for help & ask questions
Charge nurse is the person to talk to about any concerns and doubts. Some questions you could ask them:
- Is there anything particular I should know?
- Do you have a tip sheet? (Some units have this resource ready for floating nurses.)
- Who should I ask for a tour?
It could be a good idea to ask the nursing assistant to show you around. They should know the whole floor.
In general, the places that you should know the location of are: staff restrooms, break room, locker room, linen closet, store rooms and water and snack station for patients.
Be a team mate
Nursing is always about team work, as we’ve said. It’s obvious that no nurse can work individually. It’s vital that you act as part of their team. Don’t be a by-stander, own your presence there and always offer help. It will feel great, you will make their workload easier and you may get some spotlight with the managers.
In the end, the day will pass more quickly if you are doing something, instead of lurking in the corners.
Learn and show your strengths
If you have skills that make you stand out in your home unit, offer help whenever you can using those skills. Don’t really brag about it or show off, but if you see a nurse is struggling with something you do well, kindly offer to help and share how you do it.
Expect to see a different way of doing things, too. You may also learn something new. It wouldn’t be good to reject their methods, saying something along the lines of “That’s not how WE do it.” Just mention that you do things differently and try to explore the way they do things. You may be surprised at new discoveries.
Put a smile on & think positively
Your first instinct may be to start crying and whining aloud, dragging yourself to the new unit. But, that wouldn’t help ABSOLUTELY ANYONE. Yes, floating is frustrating, demanding, maybe even scary – but if you approach it with a positive attitude, it’ll feel better and it may very well make you a better nurse! Even though units are happy to have a floating nurse more often than not, sometimes they won’t put on a warm welcome, especially if they are typically understaffed. In that case, just fight them with kindness, as one nurse wrote on her blog.
When you need an ACLS course Orange County CA, we are here!
An ACLS course Orange County CA may help you in your career – your skills will be more appealing to nurse managers, which may help you with getting a position you want. If you want to get certified in ACLS, contact Advanced Healthcare Education today. We offer you stress-free, interactive and engaging classes, because we want to help you learn a new skill the best you can. Our classes are available in 5 locations across Orange County. Call us!