Mandated Nurse-Patient Ratios - page 2

Ashley sank into a chair in the breakroom on her MedSurg unit in a large hospital in Florida. It was 0330, 8 ½ hours into her shift. She had not yet taken a break of any sort, including a bathroom or... Read More

  1. by   Been there,done that
    Quote from joseyjo
    Just reading this sounds like a dream come true. I would LOVE to have a 1:4 ratio! What good care I could give my patients...

    I work on an oncology/telemetry unit. We have 1:6 ratios and as a 1st year nurse I can tell you I can constantly overwhelmed. I have taken a lunch break 2x in my 7 months (both times cut short by calls from the floor). Everyone is expected to eat at their desk while charting (and not let patients see of course). I usually only get to go pee 1 or 2x in 12 hours.

    I love my job and my floor, but we need more nurses and a lower ratio, for safety's sake.
    You love that job?
  2. by   joseyjo
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You love that job?
    Lol, maybe I just am happy to finally be a nurse and don't know any better. I do love how my coworkers pull together and help each other out.
  3. by   CKPM2RN
    Quote from ROSE BSN
    Staffing ratios are a must., but it must include other areas such as long term care. I would like to hear what everyone's opinion is for appropriate ratios for long term care, assisted living, and rehabilitation,
    I just resigned from my LTC/SNF job because of this. One nurse with up to 40 resident patients is just not safe but it is the industry norm. I had patients that needed individual attention, I had order changes coming in, doctor communications to deal with, questions and calls from patient families...all while I was trying to care for the increasingly medically needy residents. Safe ratio would be a limit of maybe 20 residents per nurse but I am sure that the LTC corporation lobby is hoping for less ratio regulation.
  4. by   ThePrincessBride
    Amen.

    I work med-surg contingent and one of the reasons I left full-time was because of the unsafe staffing. One night, we had a full house (26 patients), one sitter case, four nurses and one tech (the other had to leave mid-shift). I was left stranded watching a patient while I had seven other patients who needed me. I had to call the house supervisor. I was LIVID.

    Another nurse (who has since left) told me one time (and this was the worst night ever), she had a full house, was charge and there was only one other nurse and aid. You bet that she went to management the next day.

    And then there was the time that one nurse refused to take on a seventh patient and the charge nurse, who already had seven patients himself, had to take an eighth one.

    Needless to say, our patient approval ratings are in the toilet and the turnover is ridiculous. The only reason I bother staying is to keep my skills up, the $$$ and pension and the people. If it weren't for the retirement and coworkers, I would've left already.
  5. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from ICUman
    With all the expenses lost in replacing burnt out nurses, fines for hospital acquired pressure ulcers, medication errors, and everything else listed above, etc., how come hospitals haven't realized reducing nurse to patient ratios will actually *save* the hospital money?

    Is it more expensive really just to hire a few extra nurses? All the hospital scores and safety numbers would rise, including HCAHPS.

    It would be a win-win for everyone. What am I missing?
    You would think so, but these hospitals are too short-sighted.

    And let's be honest, the nurses are not really breaking any budget for what they pay us versus what they charge and receive from the insurance companies.
  6. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    I completely agree. The proposed legislation calls for 1:3 Tele, 1:4 MedSurg!
    I strongly believe that quality of patient care (in med-surg) declines when a nurse has more than four patients. There is something about having that fifth patient that just throws things off balance. Six is hard, and seven is ridiculously unsafe.
  7. by   ICUman
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Patients are expendable. Plenty more where they came from.
    Then why are hospitals so obsessed with patient satisfaction scores? They aren't as expendable as one would think. Word of mouth travels, even between patients.
  8. by   ICUman
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    And then there was the time that one nurse refused to take on a seventh patient and the charge nurse, who already had seven patients himself, had to take an eighth one.
    Good for that nurse! Protecting themselves and their license. More nurses should follow this example.
  9. by   AngelKissed857
    We did it in California, Now we ALL need to pull together tpake it national.
  10. by   ponymom
    More nurses should also start informing families, and then hook them up with administration
  11. by   kcochrane
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    I completely agree. The proposed legislation calls for 1:3 Tele, 1:4 MedSurg!
    I haven't finished reading all the posts...but will that mean they will do away with techs or CNAs in order to cut costs?
  12. by   AngelKissed857
    We still have CNAs in California. Strong unions and ratios go hand-in-hand.
  13. by   LadysSolo
    State of Ohio says 1:50 is safe in LTC, I disagree. I did some agency for awhile, it was me and 2 STNAs for 48 residents, there was a 3rd STNA in the building doing laundry so they were allowed to count her. I believe 1:24 is safe if you know the residents, with adequate STNA staff.

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