In the eight months I’ve been working as a PCSA, I’ve floated only three times. And all three times, I’ve spent the day helping out in the ED. It’s very different from life up on the floor, but it’s fine, just depends on how busy they are down there. But I’d also like to see what life is like on other units. So yesterday when I saw that I’d be next to float, I thought that maybe I’d get to see life on other floors, compare and contrast. Well, I got my wish, and while all is well now, I was a giant stress ball this morning.
When you float to the ED, there isn’t any report to get, you just take over stocking and taking vitals and helping out when you’re needed. Mornings are usually slow, and it’s easy to find your own pace. Now I am on a different unit and not only did I have to worry about getting report, but finding nurses I wasn’t familiar with, for patients I don’t recognize, and find supplies in new places. It’s just one big adjustment, and I had a full load of patients. There are trachs and vents here, something I am not familiar with (save for my few weeks in ICU rotation). For a whole hour and a half I was trying to prioritize, see patients and figure out what I was going to do.
Turns out a few deep breaths and some smiles gets you a lot further than you’d think. Everyone’s been so helpful, and all I really needed to do was calm down! We’ve got students here helping out (YAY for students!!!) and they’re awesome. Looks like it’s turning out to be a good day after all. It’s tough adjusting to another unit, especially when you’re so attached to the one you work on, but just remember that you’ve got what it takes in your head and your heart. Take a few minutes to breathe, reorganize your thoughts and you’ll be just fine as a float.
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN