Me? Primary Charge Nurse?

I’m enjoying a night off, thanks to gods of staffing.  It’s probably punishment for signing on to work extra this weekend (yes, I’m an idiot for working Halloween…) however.  Even if I use “vacation” time to pay for the night off, I won’t get the extra shift differential on Friday, but I may get overtime.  It sucks, but after talking to the charge on duty tonight, I’m glad I ain’t there.

Last year after much negotiating, repeated asking and at the end, abject begging I agreed to become a relief charge nurse.  That means I work every other or third weekend and get to adulate in the praise of my peers.  More likely I am the big target for every issue, question or family disturbance that comes up.  I’ve enjoyed it.  There has been good nights, decent nights and really shitty nights, but overall, it’s been an adventure.  Thanks to this I’ve earned myself a nickname, and apparently the respect of my peers.

One night as I was getting report from the day charge nurse, she hands me a note, which says, “call me, signed, Your Manager.”  I’m a little dumbstruck, scared and nearly ambivalent.  I hope that if there was a real issue, I would know about it before I came to work.  I’m going about the early stages of the shift, luckily I have a preceptee with me, so that is rather limited, when I get a call.  It’s my manager.

She says, “So, have you ever given any though to being a primary charge nurse?”

“Uh…no.  Never really crossed my mind.  Why?”  fearing the worst.

“Well, Anne is leaving, she has an opportunity that is really too good for her to pass up.” she continued, “I want you to take her place.”

“Why me?  I know I’m one of the relief charges, but me?” I said.

“We were looking for someone who would be a good fit into her spot. Mellow, easy to get along with, y’know, all the things you are.  Besides, since I’ve been doing a lot of reviews lately, they all rave about you and wish you were a primary.” she finished.

“I’m going to have to think about it.  It’s a big deal.  I mean, it would mean I don’t get to work in step-down (we’re a split PCU/Step-down unit, I would be in charge of the PCU side) hardly ever.  That’s why I came here in the first place, the post-open hearts, the caths…”  I sputtered.

“That was a worry we knew about.  It’s my biggest concern to why you would say ‘No’.” she responded.

Trying for a little more time I said, “Besides, I want to run it past my better half, she’s the rational one.  Can I give you an answer by Monday?”

“Sure, give me a call.  I hope you say ‘Yes’.”

I hung up the phone and turned around.  Anne is sitting there with a shit-eating grin on her face.  “How long have you known you were going to do this to me?” I asked.

“Oh, about the time I gave DeeDee my notice.” she said.  “It’s really not that bad, you’ve been doing chanrge long enough to know.”

So I thought about it.  The word spread and people kept coming up to me that night and further reinforcing why I should do this.  To a single one, they all said very nice things about me.  I still wasn’ convinced they weren’t part of the conspiracy.  On my break I talked to the wife.  She brought up her concerns, which were few and easily laid to rest.  That’s when I realized that this could be a  good thing.  If I was able to sell it to the wife and how it wold play out into our 5 year plan, then it must be the right thing to do.  Right?

So by the end of the night I had it made up in my mind.  I would take it on.  I cut a deal with DeeDee, basically to the tune that I would get to work in step-down a couple of times each month to keep those partciular skills sharp.  The other charge agreed to this as well, so it looks promising.

There was a huge hassle geting the schedule fixed, as our scheduler instead of doing the easy thing and sliding me into Anne’s spots, he tweaks it to hell and back trying to figure out what to do.  But in the end it worked out where it’s actually pretty pleasant.  And considering I’ve been the weekend bitch for some time now, not having to work weekends is a really nice idea.  So we’ll see how it goes.

When I told other folks on the floor that night that I had pretty much decided, I looked over at them and with a maniacal grin, clenching my fist, “Hahahahaha…now I will have ultimate power!!!!!  And you are all unable to oppose me! HAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!!”

I’ve got a feeling that I’ll have so much more fodder to write about now, but time will tell.

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3 Comments

  1. Congratulations, and welcome to Admin. It can suck, and it can be fantastic, and I’m sure you know it’s all in how you approach it. You’re going to be fabulous!!

    Reply

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