Blocking beds when understaffed

  1. Don't laugh - does anyone's facility do that? I left work today having already put in 24 hours this weekend and determined that it wouldn't be 32 (this is just supposed to be a PRN job now...) The oncoming shift was short a nurse. When informed of this by the house supervisor, I inquired whether we would then consider the remaining empty beds on our unit blocked since we had insufficient staff for the patients we already had. Nope.

    (And, no - there's no union.) Just curious if anyone's facility allows for that type of contingency planning for short staffing.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   sunnygirl272
    not a hospital nurse, i do home care...but our agency does close to admissions for extremely short periods of time when shortstaffed...in these cases, we will take back clients that are still open with us, and will honor any referrals that we have already accepted, even if the tentative referral was called to us a week earlier...
    i know this has nothing at all really to do with what YOU are asking..just felt like inserting my 2 pennies,.,....
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    Sunnygirl - that's very applicable - definitely a correlation. Thanks .
  5. by   LasVegasRN
    Yep, they do at my facility. They list the open beds as "closed" on the census when there's not enough staff.
  6. by   luvrn
    Don't work in the hospital any longer....but still friends with the nurses there and yes they have blocked beds when short staffed...
  7. by   Q.
    They didn't at my facility when I worked on the floors; in fact, they would often count our LABOR beds for potential admits! And not yer labor admits either!
  8. by   simao pt
    No, that never happened and i'm pretty sure it never will. I've worked really understaffed and no aditional help appeared, but... when that happens no one can expect all the cares to be as if there's no problem. I put the patient and it's needs first and the paperwork and all the tedious burocracy to second or third.
    They expect us to work, work, work and say nothing? And expect excelent cares? Someone's dreaming...
    Humf!...No wonder i'm 24 and my "backs" hurt... and no wonder some of the older nurses become so disapointed that they find ways to escape work (i'm young, so i'm not doing that, yet. Maybe i'll learn that in time).
    Ever felt like you're a slave?...
  9. by   cactus wren
    Small hospital I used to work at would close for admissions at times if not enough staff...always caused the docs to go ballistic....and I know that the big guys in Phoenix do at times...because of conversations with bed control folks while trying to find a bed for someone who needed togodown....Docs have troble with seeing an empty bed...and then being told...no nurse...just pretend it isn`t there...
  10. by   dadrn
    When we get so low on staff in the medicine/oncology ward where I work, we start sending medicine patients to other wards. This is obviously now appreciated by the surgical and ortho people. But we get to the point where we can't take patients from the ICU's and then we go on divert. We stop admitting and send patients to other hospitals.
  11. by   emily_mom
    We block beds and then they go to Med-Surg or Rehab if they have the room.

    We go shift by shift.

    Kristy
  12. by   Flynurse
    Wish they would do that to a particular floor in the hospital I work at.
    It would be better for patient safety if you ask me.
  13. by   BadBird
    When I was full time staff the only time the unit closed to admissions was when we were trying to get a union in. Once it was defeated it was the typical "screw you" attitude by management.
  14. by   baseline
    We block beds on some occasions, but right now we have patients in "contingency" beds.....meaning waiting rooms, cast rooms etc. Winter in Fla. Snowbirds flocking......

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