Do you feel you have enough time to safely care for your patients?

  1. This months survey question:

    Do you feel you have enough time to safely care for your patients?

    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button

    FYI-
    Here are the overwhelming results from last months survey with 1842 participants:

    Q: Do you feel you have enough time to safely care for your patients?
    A: Yes 17.28 % No 82.72 %
    Thanks!

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited June 17, 2000).]
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   TShetley
    No, unfortunately I do not feel that I have enough time to properly care for and assess the health of residents during my shift.
    It seems like I have to hurry through the first med pass, just to get done in enough time to grab a quick lunch, and then start the second med pass of the shift.
  4. by   mcrow
    Most of the time I don't feel there is enough time to safely care for our patients with all the added paperwork, etc. they expect us to do. Safe patient care loads are a rare thing. That is one reason I am getting out of nursing and going into my own business. I hate worrying about what I might have forgotten to do or what all I can't do at once.
  5. by   Margy
    Hi all.... my answer is no... and thats not a new revelation is it?
    Margy
  6. by   Lucy
    The short answer is NO. Patients get their drugs thrown at them, they get badgered into going for procedures with little understanding, they get hurried through any teaching, and thrown out of the door. And we wonder why they don't follow instructions and end up back in the hospital? I spend as much time on the telephine trying to get something arranged for a patient as I do with the patient. We have a great computer system -- but everything has to be followed up with a phone call because the other department doesn't see the computer posting -- another great systems improvement! Every other department can get away with anything, but the buck stops with nurses - we are the ones in front of the patient. I often wonder what would happen if we put the requests in the computer and refused to follow-up with phone calls for a week. That would really demonstrate how much time is spent on making the computer system efficient and not on patient care.
  7. by   jesrn
    I work in a skilled rehab on the med-surg unit. Our ratio has been upped as high as 11:1 with no aid. Needless to say, it has been crazy!! Now we have been warned that we have 6 weeks to improve on our patient follow up surveys or people will be let go!! I know skilled rehab is not acute care, but we get chemo, IV ABT's around the clock, ortho's, Hospice in between's plus the Alzheimer's/psych that has no idea where or why they are here!! We also were warned to smile and carry on because we are not getting more staff. When will it end?
  8. by   BillRN
    Safety, of patients AND NURSES is an issue rarely addressed unless some untoward event shows how pitiful the situation is in general hospitals. Working for the second largest for-profit corp has been a real eye-opener. Mortality and morbidity rates seem to receive more attention than the satisfaction of patients and staff. What is neglected is the insidious errosion of morale that can lead even the most skilled and compasionate nurse to "burn out". The ICU I charge on nights is chronically understaffed (3-4:1 not unusual), yet the company I work for, which owns its own temp agency, refuses to bring in temp nurses. Nurses on med-surg and tele units often have 12-15 patients. Somone is being short-changed here, but you can bet it's not the administrator's yearly bonus or his sacred corporate budget.
    Complaining takes so much energy and wastes our spirits, especially when it seems no one is listening. We need to hold our heads up and congratulate ourselves that we are doing as well as we are. And we in the corporate world have to realize that the interests of patients and nurses will never be on a par with those of the stockholders.
    And a big CONGRATULATIONS!!! to the nurses at St. Vincents (Mass.).
  9. by   LizRN
    I guess I'm alone but, in general, our staffing is adequate. I work in a step down unit in 250 bed acute care not-for-profit hospital. I work night shift- 11p-7a. We usually have 4 patients, plus an admit. We're busy but there's a charge nurse to fall back on and we usually share 2 CNA's for 26 patients.

    I count myself lucky. I'm no "Pollyanna" either.

  10. by   NoelaniRN
    I can't remember the last time I felt like my patients were safely cared for. I'm a charge nurse from 7am-3:30pm on a Med/Surg/Peds floor and can have anywhere from 6-9 patients. I'm responsible for orientating new staff and keeping track of the floor plus care for my patient load. We also cover any LPN's that work with us. If a patient satisfaction survey comes back with a negative response, it's our fault. If anything is missed or not done properly, we are responsible. Super nurse I am not. We're all burned out and exhausted. When will the higher ups figure out that enough is enough? Our patients deserve better.
  11. by   Joanne Levesque
    I work in a large intensive care and compared to medical surgical floors, I feel that I can give safe nursing care. It is not always the kind of care that I would like to give, but it is safe. I could never work on a large floor and have 6-8 patients everyday. I understand that nurses have even larger patient loads and then do mandatory overtime. Who will want to go into this profession??? How we will be able to attract new people into nursing? Who will be taking care of us when we are elderly? It is a frightening thought....
  12. by   traumaRUs
    In a word...no. I'm an ER nurse in a large level one and I just hope I make it through the shift decently. When we have full arrests, traumas on the drive and we've had two RNs call-in, all you hope for is that you can quickly stabilize them and turf them outta-my-ER. Our hospital does have a good reputation but I know from talking with friends who work the floors, that the acuity is up and so is the RN to pt ratio. Hold on, summer's coming!
  13. by   caddrn
    Hi, no we are not staffed properly, I have been a nurse for over 10 years. I never complain, carry my own load and am willing to help others, and keep to myself. I love nursing and the rewards it offers me. BUT.... a short time ago during one of those crazy shifts I was injured caring for a patient and the doctor's feel I may be left with permanat nerve damage . I have trouble walking and constant numbness in my foot and leg. This would have never ever have happenned if I had more staff. I am scared to death of my future. I am young have small children and HAD big plans. This is the thanks I get for working so hard.
  14. by   AMcGee
    I work in a very busy OB/Gyn office as well as first assisting the surgeons in daily hospital surgery. We take call with our physicians every other night and every other weekend. We average 2 major surgeries a day, then rush to the office to see 20-25 patients. And these are complete head to toe exams, ordering multitudes of diagnostic tests, drawing labs and making sure to Doctor remembers everything. In between all this we average 40 calls a day. I never get a break and average 1 lunch a week. I love my work and I love being a nurse and making a difference in the lives of women each and every day. But there isn't enough time, and I find myself waking up a night trying to remember if I called an insurance company or oredered a sonogram. I find myself calling patients and apologizing as I ask them if I had done something because I can't remember! I work Labor and Delivery in the hospital one or two shifts a month just to keep my skills up, and I find the hospital to be a joy for me. It's always crazy and I have to mop floors after deliveries to get ready for the next patient. But it's nowhere as stressful as the office. I think all RN's should try working in a busy office practice once in awhile and see what most of these doctors go through in one day and what it takes to get a patient to surgery or admitted to the hospital, it would be an eye opener.

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