On my old tele floor (I left for another unit a few mos ago) we did cardioversions. The staffing ratio never changed, whether you had a cardioversion or not. It was a very high acuity floor, with cardiac drips, lots of central lines & TPN, pre-op/post ops, lots of isolation pts, etc. Usually 1 RN:4 pts days, 1:5 pm, 1:6 nocs. There were LVNs also, and each RN would "cover" 2-4 pts of an LVN. So, if you were taking care of your cardioversion pt, the rest of the staff would have to watch your other patients for you during the procedure, which as you know can be 1-3 hrs including set up & recovery.
We did most cardioversions on dayshift. The float nurse would do conscious sedation... if they were available, if not...then one of our RN staff had to do it (which was really a bad idea~ since you have to monitor 1:1 for at least 1 hr, sometimes two hours after).
We started trying to get docs to schedule cardioversions in another outpt procedure dept & then send em back to us, but the docs got VERY upset b/c we "always did on the floor before!" It caused quite a stir.
You know, I got tired of the high acuity on that floor & lack of support. It just was another example of unsafe cutting of corners & expecting the RN to do "just a little extra work" in a day already spread way too thin. Cardioversions are usually planned hours in advance (if not a day in advance), so why not staff extra for it?!!!!