Showing posts with label Downtime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Downtime. Show all posts

What Is It Like Working the Night Shift as a Unit Secretary?



New unit secretaries want to know what it is like working the night shift. It's different from working the day shift. Night shift has its own flow and style, and I'll tell you what you might experience if you choose to work this shift.

  • The staff has a different vibe. They are wide-eyed, smelling good, and ready to work.
  • The unit secretary may be required to run down to the cafeteria and get food from the grill for the patients who arrive on the unit from the emergency room (at the change of shift) when dietary is closed.
  • The unit is usually much quieter once visiting hours are over. You will deal with patients, friends, families, and doctors, but not on the level of what the day shift deals with.
  • When the computers go down, you will not panic because you will know how to keep the unit running. Most computer systems are updated in the middle of the night, so you will be much more familiar with sending lab requests and ordering tests from radiology using the downtime form better than the secretaries who work the day shift.
  • Some night shift secretaries do not call in consults, which I will never understand. They will wait until the days shift secretary comes in and have them do it. Or they will call in all of the consults closer to the change of shift.
Do you work the night shift as a unit secretary? What have I left out? Put the answer in the comment section.

What to Do During Downtime as a Health Unit Coordinator? (Video)


There are a few things that I can recommend that you do during downtime at work.

1. Go through the patient's charts and make sure they have enough face sheets and labels. Also, make sure that the right patient's information is on the right chart.

2. Sanitize the nursing station. Remove as much as you can and do a thorough cleaning.

3. Go through the drawers and throw away outdated forms.  Get a binder and put the most used forms in there for easy access for everyone.

4. Clean and organize the workstation. Are there post-it notes all over the place?  A random piece of paper with a doctor's cell number on it taped to the computer screen? Get an empty binder and put all phone numbers in a book.

5. Make sure all supplies are stocked. Running low on pens and markers? Write it down and let someone know. Out of applesauce for the patients? Let someone know.

6. Read up on hospital policies. Do you know why I know so much? All of the hospital policies are on the hospital's intranet, and when times are slow, I read up on them.

7. Straighten up the pantry or breakroom. Label the drawers and cabinets so that anyone who walks in there will know where everything is. 




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