Staffing requirements/rules?????

  1. I have a concern. I am at work right now. I work in a small ICU/CCU at a small community hospital in PA. Right now I am all ALONE with ONE pt who is a full code on a ventilator? My concern is if this is legal or not? Where would I find this information? Is this governed by the Dept of Health or the Board of Nursing? I've worked small hospitals before and if there was a single patient we always had two RN's. I don't even have an aide here with me. Can anyone shed any light on this situation? Thanks!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   jmgrn65
    In my opinion it is a saftey issue in my hospital there is never less than 2 nurses on the floor at all times. who is going to give you a break? who is going to help if this patient crashes or you need help. if there isn't a law/rule there should be.
  4. by   momdebo
    you might find the info you need in the policy/procedure book for this unit.
  5. by   nursesarah
    i agree. there should be at least one other RN around to cover you for breaks, help you if the patient crashes, etc. its unsafe. perhaps it would be a good idea to call your state board of nursing. usually they can give you a good idea if this would be allowed or not and they can direct you to the proper people you need to report it to.
  6. by   RNforLongTime
    There is no policy/procedure for staffing requirements in this unit. This isn't the first time that they've left RN's alone in the unit with one pt on a vent. But if this keeps up, I won't be working here much longer, I'll tell you that.
  7. by   DEE 2006
    Nurse lou unfortunately the state can only make recommendations and hold the hospital accountable when they follow their own Pocily you need to find the policy regarding staffing in the ICU, in a closed unit like the ICU I would expect to see a min of 2 nurses simply because who is going to cover for your breaks that are required by law. This sounds like a compliance issue as well as a safety issue, call your house suppervisor and request to see the policy and make a call to the compliance line.
  8. by   RNforLongTime
    The house supervisor is well aware that I am all alone. Apparently management gave her a hard time about last Saturday when there were two RNs in the unit with this same single pt. So, that's why the other RN is on-call. I could go home on call but I need the $$ and I live too far away.
  9. by   grinnurse
    I know in the hospital that I just left, it is not uncommon at all to have 1 nurse in ICU with a vented pt. As far as breaks, etc. they would have some one that was familiar with these types of pts come in and releive them. This is also a small rural hospital and that same ICU nurse is responsible for the pts on tele as well (watching the monitors).
  10. by   NurseCard
    Quote from grinnurse
    I know in the hospital that I just left, it is not uncommon at all to have 1 nurse in ICU with a vented pt. As far as breaks, etc. they would have some one that was familiar with these types of pts come in and releive them. This is also a small rural hospital and that same ICU nurse is responsible for the pts on tele as well (watching the monitors).
    Sorry, that's just too much for one person to handle. Being a monitor tech in and of itself is a HUGE job and responsibility. Way too much for one person to watch a patient on a vent AND all of those monitors, plus answer phones.

    This situation... well, this one and the one the OP spoke about... requires at LEAST one RN to take care of the patient, and another RN (NOT tech; put the tech on call) watching the monitors. At LEAST that.
  11. by   buildingmyfaith57
    i know im not a nurse but i wouldn't want to be alone. to me its too risky.

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