What nurse/patient ratios do you work with? - page 3

I'm just curious as to how many patients other nurses have. In my last semester of nursing school, during preceptorship, I had 5 patients, which would be reasonable except that these patients were... Read More

  1. by   aheiskill
    On day shift the ratio is 1:5-6, Nights 1:8-10, and we have Oncology, ERSD, Step-down Cardiac, and some ortho.
  2. by   sjerseymom
    I'm a new nurse with just 4 months OTJ. I had the pleasure of receiving 12 wks of a preceptor. With was great but needed improvement. Last night was the most pt I have ever had and I didn't clock out until 930am (730am is norm). I started with 5pts which I have been fine with (3 from past 2 nights). I got an admit at 2330 and this pt was my thorn in my side. God bless her but she was from a NHome and was AOx1 and confused (dementia). She was also a walker and very mobile. Thank god the other nurses on my side of unit and also the CN was great and helped out. But when you have a rash of call out (very high right now) and no one to come and cover it was a full moon. We also only had one aide to help out. She was such a blessing last night and all she could do is laugh with us and smile. I do work on a teley unit. We have a medical teley and surgical teley (mostly isolations) that was combined into one unit. Suppose to be 1:4 on surgical side and 1:5 on medical side. I had 5 pt on surgical and 1 medical. All my pts were great. In the long run I had 6 pts. And got 2 hours overtime with no breaks. So much for ratios but I still am starting to like my job and like in previous posts don't wish as much I get in a fender bender before getting there. I am so relived that I am not the only sadistic person out there:innerconf.
    Live Well. Laugh Often. Love Much.
  3. by   sweetmuffin48
    I have learned it is not the number...it is the acuity...I always get 5 patients some days are much better than others because of acuity...I sometimes get 3 complete care, nonverbal, very sick, patients on tube feedings with several dressing changes a patient going through alcohol withdrawl which can be hard to manage, and a fresh post op patient...it is rough...it is all about acuity.
  4. by   travelcrazyRN
    I agree, the acuity does play a very important role but 9-10 patients are not managable no matter how low their acuity is. I would never accept an assignment with that many patients. A friend of mine says she routinely has 12-14 patients on a med/surg floor. It's too bad hospitals would rather see more green over adequate patient care. I've read articles that show in the long run it costs the hospitals more with lawsuits and longer hospital stays so I'm not sure why the keep doing it. It isn't always about the nursing shortage either because I've been to a hospital that will send home a nurse when staffiing looks almost managable. They intentionally kept the nurse to patient ratio 1:9 on nights and 1:7 on days +lpn coverage. 1:6 NEVER happened. You either received an admit/transfer within a half hour (just long enough to have the room cleaned) or they sent someone home. This was also primary care.
  5. by   SillyStudent
    Just started in SICU

    Ratio is 1:1-2, depending on acuity. Of course, that 1 patient can leave you no time to eat or go to the bathroom. One of my co-workers had a hellish pair yesterday, and I am pretty sure I never saw her sit down for 12 hours.

    What have I gotten myself into?
  6. by   Piki
    I work on a very busy post-surgical unit with high turnover and high acuity (we get alot of ED admits and ICU transfers as well). Typically days/evening assignments is 1:5, nights is typically 1:6 or 7. But you can pretty much guarantee at least one discharge and admission on your shift, sometimes more. It's nice when you get to keep your whole team the whole shift. The charge nurses do seem to do a good job distributing the acuity of the patients and those that are in isolation but one shift 3 out of my 5 were in isolation, that is a real pitb.
  7. by   walda786
    Nursing shortage is there not because the hospitals are unable to get nurses!!!!!!! Firstly, they are unable to keep nurses due to the high nurse patient ratio....they quit and go to some other speciality. Secondly, management wants to save money by not increasing the number of nurses per shift.

    As new graduate nurse I have noticed the floor assignment for senior staff is less patient vs the new graduate nurses. Even if the new nurse stays longer to complete her/his assignment the management pays them less vs if a senior nurse would be paid for the overtime.

    To me the shortage is a self created one....it is a money saving agenda vs nurse patient ratio.
  8. by   rkrs6673
    My ratio is 1:2 the max is 1:3. I work a step down ICU and I picked this floor because I knew I would have this ratio.
  9. by   GRAD0507
    Walda786, I totally agree with you.... I think administration would much rather save money than staff a floor with another nurse to provide a decent ratio. Definitely a self created shortage.
  10. by   Dempather
    I work days on telemetry floor/step-down unit. On the regular acute floor, it's normally 1:6, although as of recent 1:5 because of our good staffing. Step-down unit 1:4. Sometimes we perform our own vitals/answer call bells if nursing aide staffing is short.
  11. by   bigreddog1934
    i work in a very busy er on the west side of chicago and our ratio for anything other than lower acuity is 3:1, as it should be. if we are on "green team" it is 4:1 and if we are in fast track it is 5:1. these are some pretty decent ratios for most hospitals and they should be mandated by law.

    and yes, the business/profit model does not work in health care.
  12. by   Jessy_RN
    I work medsurg/tele floor noc shift = 8:1
  13. by   ouizer
    I work 7p-7a med/surg/tele unit. Usually start out with 6-7 pts but can end up with 8-10 with the admits. There are many nights that I feel that all I did was minimal care. Sometimes I feel like charting ATBBFDW (appears to be breathing from doorway). Luckily I work with a great group and we all pitch in to help each other whenever possible. Like most hospitals, the bottom line is $$$. More nurses would be of benefit to the patients and staff but not to the profits. Maybe if administration, don, managers all went on the floor and had to actually work instead of walking through, they would see what really happens instead of living in their dream world of "we're in the money".

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