The Gypsy Nurse could not be successful without the support and contributions of it’s readers. Today’s Specialty Spotlight is from reader and Specialty Nurse Robin Williams, RN who works as a Resource Float.
Name: Robin Williams, RN
Job Title: Resource Float
List your education/certifications:
Where do you work:
Hospital based facilities. Includes small town community hospitals to large teaching/trauma facilities.
How long have you worked this Specialty?
Proficient 2-5 Years
How/Why did you get involved? Was there someone/something that inspired you to choose this specialty?
Well we all have to start somewhere right?. I love everything I do from sitting with my patients to jumping in to help with serious conditions. I started out with the basics on MS/Tele and being a quick learner and a knowledge junkie I have promptly advanced to a resource float nurse that does various areas and handles minimal to critical situations. I am very versatile in this position and I love how it gives me variety.
What do you do in a typical day?
Depending on the unit I am in for the night it varies but I always address patient needs. After all this is why we are here. What can I do for them to ease their pain, decrease their anxiety, or lesson their fears. I use my assessment skills, critical thinking, a professional attitude, and problem solving skills regardless of what unit I may be on. I also strive to work as a team player with my coworkers because a great team always does a great job. As a resource nurse you have to be OK with change, with that being said you can start out on one unit but end up on another by the time your shift is over and sometimes that means double the work. You could constantly be changing assignments or just be given the tasks with no ties such as being the “pick up/catch up” nurse. You truly have to be willing to do pretty much whatever.
What frustrates you about your job?
Unsatisfied customers that regardless how nice you are or go out of your way, it is impossible to make them happy. These are usually the drug seekers who makes sure you know your not caring about “their pain or needs”.
What about your job makes you proud to be a nurse? Is there a specific situation that stands out to you as a gratifying moment?
It’s hard for a patient to put their lives into the hands of a stranger. When they reach out and show you their trust and let you know they’ll never forget how good you were to them, that is what it’s all about. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing gratitude in a patient’s eyes.
Do you feel you receive adequate support for your responsibilities?
Honestly as a traveler, this may change from facility to facility. My last assignment not so much but my current assignment, absolutely. This current facility is BIG on teamwork and that makes a huge difference.
[quote author=" - Robin Williams, RN"] Depending on the unit I am in for the night it varies but I always address patient needs. After all this is why we are here.[/quote]
What (if anything) do you get called about on your off-hours?
To pick up extra time because most places I work always knows first off I am very versatile and like to work.
What is something a nurse who does not work in your particular field might find surprising about your job?
Constant change. Be prepared for any type of an assignment. Sometimes if you have not yet worked with other nurses in a unit, say ICU, you have to sometimes prove you have the skills to get the job done.
Does your position involve teamwork, or is it more of an individual job?
It’s always about teamwork!
Did you position require any extra training besides on-the-job training that you were required to complete?
Yes, I had to gain the skills to work in an ER and an ICU for months before I could just be let loose to take care of critical patients. I also had to have extensive telemetry training before working on a cardiac step down.
One of the biggest complaints given by hospital unit-based nurses is that they rarely have time to eat or go to the bathroom. Do you find that to be the case with your job as well?
Again depending on the facility and patient to nurse ratio. Currently this is not an issue.
What is your definition of “poop hitting the fan?”
1 confused patient pulling out tubes trying to get up. Your next patient going into respiratory distress. Third patient complaining of nausea screaming for pain meds and last patient in cardiac arrest coding.
Are there travel opportunities in your specialty?
I feel my position is unique because of my versatility, is extremely useful and yes in demand.
Is there any specific advice you would give a nurse pursuing your specialty?
Experience, experience, experience. Get plenty of it. Be versatile.