Need twin cities nurses input

  1. Happy New Year everyone!

    I'll be graduating in May and am trying to find out what the working conditions are in the area hospitals. I'm looking for honest feedback on both the good and bad aspects of where you work. What kind of new grad program does your hospital have, nurse to patient ratio, turnover, etc.

    If you would prefer to, you can email me. I will really appreciate any info you can give me.

    -Roberta

    email me
    Last edit by bassbird on Jan 1, '02
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   defibvt
    I can't really help you much. I work in ICU at Southdale. So my patient ratio is 1 nurse for 2 patients or better.
  4. by   WriteStuff


    bassbird,

    Welcome to the profession, and I hope you enjoy as many years as I have so far........30.

    Your question actually is better able to be answered depending on what you choose to do in terms of first time employment. It sounds like you are going into the acute care setting (hospital).

    In that setting it really depends on which area you choose.
    All of the intensive care areas have the "better" nurse-patient-ratios, but there is still no guarantee in those areas that the ratio that "should" be, actually exists.

    The non-intensive care areas are pretty much where you will begin to experience the true meaning of the "nursing shortage." This phenomena is not "peculiar" to selected hospitals, here and there. It is a nationwide disgrace, across the board, and one that portends to get worse, not better.

    If, for example, you select a Med-Surg Unit you can expect a minimum of 8-10 patients under your charge. In some hospitals the number of patients you have depends on the physical layout of the unit (some have the "pods" layout with 4-6 patients in a "pod")......many of us have heard of Nurses who are responsible for more than 10 patients.

    Nurse-patient ratios are subject to many peripheral influences: sick calls overall, patient acuity profiles, management decision-makers, Staffing Office politics, and on and on.

    Go wherever your heart is leading, and you will do well.
    Good luck, and welcome aboard!!
  5. by   egmillard
    I work at Abbott Northwestern on a telemetry unit, and on days and eves I have 3-4 patients, nights average is 6-8. Our orientation program lasts 8 weeks for new grad, and is plenty of time to learn everything. Abbott is an excellent place to work, and the people are always pleasant and fun to work with. You should check out the benefit packages for all of the major twin cities hospitals. I chose Abbott by reputation and distance. Its probably a good idea to go to one of the union hospitals, then you wont have to work mandatory overtime.
  6. by   Brian
    bassbird,

    Happy New Year to you too and welcome to the nursing profession!

    In the past have worked at Fairview Riverside (Now Fairview University) on the Telemetry floor, Day shift it was 5-6 pts, evenings was 6-7 pts, and nights it was 6-8 pts if I remember correctly.

    I also worked at HCMC in CCU and the ratio was 1 nurse to 2 pts, occasionally you would have 1:1 ratio if the pt was more critical (i.e. on a balloon pump etc...)

    There is always going to be managers and administration that may drive you crazy at times, but that is everywhere and in almost every profession.

    Between the two hospitals, I preferred HCMC; I love the teaching hospital atmosphere. Oddly enough, I also enjoyed the vast selection of clientele that a county hospital offers you, you get a little of everything, sometimes not so pleasant, but at least it is a change. You wont get as much diversification in a private hospital, so it depends on what you think you'd like better.

    Another thing to consider, are you a big union person or not, HCMC is a non-union hospital (at least when I was working there a few years ago) and Fairview you had no choice, but to be in the union and pay union dues?

    Anyways, hope this helps, Good Luck where ever you decide to go
  7. by   Jenny P
    Hi Roberta! Well, you know where I work and how much I like it here (ANW). Our orientees on our unit get a minimum of 8 weeks orientation by some of the sharpest nurses I've ever known. In my unit (CV-ICU) our nurse patient ratio is 1:1 or 1:2, on rare occasions we will have a patient sick enough to have 2 nurses caring for 1 patient. Often over half of our patients will be sick enough to be 1:1. We are not a teaching hospital, and I really like it that way. I'm glad you're asking around; see you later this week!
    Jenny
  8. by   egmillard
    Jenny, where do you work, I work on 41.
  9. by   nurseyoda
    Hi Roberta! I work at ANW's sister hopsital in St Paul, United Hopspital. I'm a new grad as of May 2000. I ve done clinical work all around the TC and I like the Allina system (lesser of all the evils) Fairview does have Mand. overtime you might want to skip them. I've worked str.nights and D/N. On nights I've had (98% of the time) 5 patients. Days=3patients. I "hear" we have better ratios than ANW. But I have alot of classmates that work at ANW and they love it. What I did was call each hospital and request info on their benefits. WHAT EVER YOU DO......START AND FUND YOUR 403B(401k) whatever % you can. So pounding the halls at 50 will be an option not a "have to"
    Good Luck
  10. by   bassbird
    Thanks for all of your input, it is much appreciated. I did attend the Abbott open house yesterday and was impressed with the new grad program.

    egmillard, station 41 is one of the units that interests me, is it possible for a new grad to work there? I'm shadowing on station 10 tonight and am looking forward to that!

    Nurseyoda, I'm also interested in checking out United. I live on the south end and it would be a fairly short commute. Do you feel safe there? How was the new grad orientation? What type of unit are you on? Great advice on the 401 and 403b. I put 20% into my 403b now and that should hopefully add up if the market will switch directions

    So many questions.....

    Please keep those replies coming, the voice of experience is probably more accurate than that of the recruiters! I'm actually starting to feel like being a nurse is a reality! That makes me happy and scared at the same time.

    -Roberta
  11. by   egmillard
    I have spent 1 year on station 41, previous to that I worked in England, so things were very different when I came here. The orientation program I had was excellent, and the staff very friendly. My time there has given me the experience and confidence to move to the ICU setting, if so I wish in the future. Telemetry or med-surg provides you with a good fundamental nursing experience. You can certainly start at 41 as a new grad, there are many new grads on the station, as well as experienced nurses. You will always be oriented by a experienced nurse. The staff socialize out of work too, which is nice and fun, it is like a extended family. You should look at all the stations, and pick a topic of nursing that you like. If you are interested in cardiology then either 35 or 41 Telemetry are good choices. As you know 10 is the CV ICU, 45 CCU, 20 Med-surg/neuro ICU, and 44 interventional cardiology. Enough of the sales pitch.. Hope this helps......Emma
  12. by   nurseyoda
    I really like United. It is much safer than ANW's area. (everyone knows about the area around Abbott) I worked for a year(a very long year) on 4400-Medicine and came down to 3500Telemetry/Cardiac ICU. This unit is one of a kind because out of the 26 beds, 6 are cardiac icu beds. The 6 ICU beds are for the fresh open heart patients(valves, CABs). Once they are down-graded to just tele status then the tele staff can take them. Its nice for the fact that the patient can stay in the same room through out ICU to tele status(most of the time) Since about half the staff are cross-trained icu and tele, the patient knows one nurse (or at least a few nurses instead of the norm of every 8 hours a new face.) I feel there is a lot of room to grow here and everyone is very nice! Yes they do hire new grads but check with the nurse manager(Julie Ann Scott) about that because they only take so many and I dont know the number. Our Nurse manager wears scrubs everyday(this blew me away when I first met her) how many NM's do you know that wear scrubs everyday to work. She's very Cool. gal/guy ratio is 55/45. The heart "hospital" here is brand new as well. anyway Good Luck!!

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