The most frustrating aspect of emergency nursing is trying to get patients up to their floor after they’ve been admitted. Back in the old days, when the ER called to say they were ready to bring a patient up, they came up right then, whether you were ready or not. But it seems that things have changed. Getting admitted patients to their rooms has become fraught with obstacles, delays and much gnashing of teeth. Over the years I have discovered that it is really no one’s fault. Every problem in admitting can be related to…….THE BED!!!!!!!Here are the top ten reasons why:
1. THE BED is not in the room. No one knows where it might be or when it will be returned.
The hospital “orderly” will be sent to look for it.
2. THE BED still has a patient in it. No one knows when this patient will be discharged or
why it was reassigned while still occupied.
3. THE BED is not clean. Housekeeping was called “half-an-hour” ago, but no one knows
who called and no one knows why they haven’t answered their page.
4. The nurse assigned to THE BED is at lunch.
5. There will be no nurse until 7:00 pm for THE BED. Please hold the patient in the ER for
the next three hours and no, there is no one to come in early.
6. The admitting doctor wants to see the patient in the ER, not in THE BED.
7. The nurse can’t take report because she is at THE BED of another patient.
8. The floor can handle only one transfer to THE BED at a time. The other four patients
waiting for their version of THE BED will have to wait.
9. The hospital is full. Each room has someone in THE BED.
10. It’s Change-Of-Shift and there is no one available to help put a new patient in THE BED
Never mind that report was recorded an hour before shift change and only requires the presence of the oncoming nurses.
As I’ve always said about ER, “The longer you stay, the longer your stay!” When you think about it, ER is the only department (with the obvious exception of Labor and Delivery) where you have no control over when your patients show up. In our world, THE BED is eternally ready…..