I work in a 6 bed ICU/CCU at a small community hospital. The administrators are VERY money conscious around here to the point that they could care less about pt safety, in my opinion. Earlier this year, I was left ALONE with a pt on a vent that was a full code. :angryfire
The other RN was put on-call. Last Friday, after 3am, I was left with an RN, who is a new employee (this was her 4th night working here) and has NO med/surg acute care experience. She'd been a nursing home RN her entire career. We had 4 pt's. I of course had the vent pt that was a full code, with an a-line, several gtt's. Thankfully nothing happened but I felt that the entire situation was unsafe and I let the Nursing Supervisor know about it before I took report. She "tried" calling my nurse manager and never got a call back. They (nursing admin) felt that it was fine to leave me with a new employee with no acute care experience!!!!:angryfire
Tonight, I have one pt. She's a DNR. Nsg Sup pulled the other nurse up to the med-surg floor to float. Should there be a new admit to ICU the other nurse would be pulled back to ICU. So, here I sit ALONE with one pt in an ICU. EVEN THOUGH the staffing policy clearly states that in ICU for one pt there is supposed to be an RN and a nurses aide (ours is off tonight).
Apparently the CEO of the hospital would get really upset if they paid TWO nurses to sit in ICU with one pt. So, that's why they pulled the other nurse.
Personally, I don't think that this situation is safe either. This is why I get irritated with this place. My yr is up at the end of February. Hopefully, I can get back into the other hospital where I initially started my nursing career. To be honest, I don't see myself working here much longer when Nsg Supervisors pull stunts like this and don't see the problem.
What say you?
Dec 2, '06
I also work in an ICU/CCU with 6 beds in a small hospital. Your first scenario with 4 pts and a new to the hospital nurse sounds absolutely unsafe and would never happen where I work. Your second scenario sounds ok as far as the standards where I work. We, however, are just a step away from Med/Surg, and we monitor their tele pts. Yes, we have one nurse there if there is only one pt. At night we don't have a nurse's aide and will borrow someone from Med-Surg for turning, etc. Ours is a combo ICU and Stepdown Unit.
I work 12 hour nights btw. On days they have a tele-tech/CNA/unit secretary gal. She often gets floated, however, so they often don't have an aide if it's not super busy.
It can get instense at night if we fill up, but I'll be honest with you here, we can get quite a bit of kick back time as well. The census fluctuates quite a bit. I think in a small hospital you have to be flexible. But, your first scenario sounds totally out of bounds as far as safety.
Last edit by GardenDove on Dec 2, '06
Dec 14, '06
So, TODAY after working a 12 hour shift, 8 of which were with a new RN who oriented with me when I started at this place back in February but left our ICU for OB back in July, my boss tells me she has to speak with me about some issues.
One of which was my "complaining" about the staffing issues. Basically I was told to put up or shut up. "It's gonna happen, you are going to be left in here by yourself with a vent patient." I told her but it is NOT safe. She replied, "you have your CCRN you should be able to handle it". BUt that is not the point, even our staffing policy says I shouldn't be left alone. She said she knew what the policy said but that it's gonna happen.
Well, after THAT convo, I have decided that I am going to start to put together my resume and get some apps out. I cannot continue to work there when the manager knows that certain situations are unsafe, yet continues to allow it to happen.
Unfortunately, I was fired from a job at the beginning of this year and have been "black-balled" so to speak by the other large hospital where I started my nursing career. It's a small town so at each of the two larger hospitals, someone from one place knows someone from the other and vice versa and you know how people talk. I work at the "pet clinic" so says one of my friends. And it's for reasons like this that I can't jeopradize my license.
For whatever reason, I don't think that the manager realizes that HER License could also be on the line.
Last edit by RNforLongTime on Jan 1, '07