I just transitioned from Med/Surg to ER nursing and started at a new ER and it's a lot busier than I thought it would be. I "thought" that most ER nurses saw around 8-10ish patients per night. But where I just started working 10 patients a night is slow. I'v been told we get between 160-200 patients a day. I work in a major city so I new it would be busy, but I am kind of overwhelmed. I know I'll get faster but its a huge change and I was just curious what other ER's average patient load per night is. Thanks for any info.
8-10 a night?! I'm guessing that was just based on wishful thinking and not doing research.
The pediatric ER I float to now assigns nurses to rooms. I have 3-4 rooms (depending on our staffing that night) and any patient that goes into those assigned rooms are mine. Some nights might be slow so I only get 12-16 patients. Some nights might be super busy and I get less than that but they are high acuity. Some nights I may get a new patient in those rooms every hour. I don't focus on how many patients I get total at the end of my shift.
20-ish? Depends on what part of the ER you get assigned to, patient acuity, how heavy-handed the docs are with orders, etc. Some facilities end up in total bedlock and you hold admissions in your beds for hours. 8-10 would be a very very slow day. Think about it — look at your number of assigned beds, a 12-hour shift, and your ER's door-to-dispo goals and trends. If I have four beds (on a good day, haha) and we're moving patients well (two-hour length of stay), I might fill those beds up and empty them out 6 times in a shift. That would be 24 patients. Put me in fast track with a PA or NP who knows how to move patients and that number goes up. ER nursing is rarely a slow or low-volume career.
Depends. If I'm in the main (ESI 1/2s) my whole shift I might see 12ish. If i'm in fast track, heaven only knows. 40? Gah.
I can have anywhere from 1 to 12+, depending on acuity and how fast rooms turn over. I worked a double yesterday and had 3 rooms but that probably only turned into 10 or so pts because of bed space and holding pending discharge or admission (one was serial trops to see if she trended up or down, which dictated would dictate disposition). One was a roll-over accident who needed a bunch of imaging before he could be sewn up. He was probably there for 5-6 hours. I had someone in DTs, but no beds, so he just sat there waiting on admission. Other days I'll work our UC hall and have 20+ pts if we aren't boarding BH pts in those rooms. CSB: it all depends on the day.
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