Substandard Healthcare d/t high Patient to nurse ratios - page 2

To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter because I have most recently encountered the most horrid, eye opening experience of my entire 10 year career as a registered nurse. Throughout my... Read More

  1. by   shandy84
    Quote from obillyboy
    What if we were to E - Mial this letter to everyone we have on our lists and ask ed them to do the same. I know it might not get all that far, but it is worth a try.
    Anyone have any thoughts on doing this?

    Much Peace Billy

    Please do this
  2. by   MryRose
    I am dumbfounded by this letter. As a pre-nursing student I never imagined that any facility in this country could have these conditions.

    I am forwarding this letter to my State and Fed representatives with a letter from me asking for some changes in the nurse/patient ratios.

    I Pray with all my heart for nurses and patients in situations like this.

    MaryRose
  3. by   jnette
    OMG. This just turns my stomach.

    Truly, something MUST be done.. this CANNOT be allowed to go on. It is beyond appalling ! :stone

    This is what Oprah, 60 Minutes, et al need to convey to the nation. The sooner the better.





    ((((((((((HUGS))))))))) to you, Dear Friend.
  4. by   obillyboy
    Shandy
    Thank you for your permission I have sent it off to my entire list and my local, state and federal politicians. I hope this helps, and if you are ever in PA looking for a like minded LPN to work with just let me know.

    Much Peace
    Billy
  5. by   schroeders_piano
    As I read this letter, it is remarkable how similar your situation and mine is. I am an ICU nurse, I routinely have to take 5-6 patients with no aide or ward clerk staff. Our Med/Surg nurses routinely take 10-15 patients apiece. We have complained to administration but it falls on death ears. I am lucky that my nurse manager will actually come in and help, but she can't work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is absolutely apalling that hospitals are allowed to do this.

    We did finally get our CEO to order no admissions the other day. Within 1 hour, the ICU got 5 new admits and it took us up to a 8:1 patient to nurse ratio.

    The nurses I work with just keep on working. We all want to quit, but we don't because we know it is going to make a lot more work for the nurses who stay. The government needs to get involved and actually look at staffing in the hospitals and stop wasting time on things that don't amount to a hill of beans.


    Schroeder
  6. by   begalli
    Quote from schroeders_piano
    I am an ICU nurse, I routinely have to take 5-6 patients with no aide or ward clerk staff.

    We did finally get our CEO to order no admissions the other day. Within 1 hour, the ICU got 5 new admits and it took us up to a 8:1 patient to nurse ratio.
    I think this should be criminal with punishment the maximum by law. Shut this unsafe place DOWN!

    Do these patients require placement of lines, starting and titration of drips, pulmonary care, how on EARTH do you monitor these patients? What if two or even three drop their pressure at the same time? How on earth can this happen? How do families NOT see that their loved one is in profound danger in this situation?

    Seriously, are your ICU patients intubated, are any immediate post-op? How are trends recognized, labs kept on top of, turning for skin integrity accomplished, and then how does documentation get done? OMG!!

    I'm just absolutely FLOORED by this!
    Last edit by begalli on Feb 26, '05
  7. by   samaritan
    Your experience is awful, but really I am not shocked. This almost sounds like the story of the MedSurg unit and ICU at our hospital. Managers are frequently staffing the floor and so is the Director of Patient services. New hires are being hired, but not quick enough to replace nurses who are quitting. These days,the main focus of the nurse is to just get through the day and not kill anyone. No one has detailed knowledge about the patients assessment, labs etc and documentation is at its bare minimum. Classes and inservices are totally out of question. I dont know where this is all going to end. Staff are quitting only to find that there are problems of other kind in other places. Turnover is at an all time high...
    Sometimes, I ask myself, what is it going to take, to make someone up there to notice what is happenning and make some REAL changes....
    Samaritan.
  8. by   zenman
    Quote from shandy84
    To whom it may concern:

    Why should the hospitals care? They are making millions and billions of dollars and we as nurses are placed in a catch 22 from the get go. We show up for work, we can not leave because it would be abandonment. We cannot refuse because it would be insubordination.
    Just to clear up this point...many hospitals are barely staying open with the current reimbursement system. They are also caught in a catch 22. The entire system is about to collapse. But the place you are in doesn't have a clue and I'd turn in my resignation...and probably be sick, mentally and physically till my last day. It's not worth it.
  9. by   medsurgnurse
    You did yourself a favor when you got out of there. Do you think the hospital would stand up for a nurse if harm came to one those patients. Heck no!! I've worker in a place almost as bad except they staffed the ICU 1:1 or 1:2 but did not staff the floors. I was a staff nurse. the funny thing about this facility is there was literally dozens of administrative and management nurses ( who had not touched a patient in 20 years). How nice of the administrator to tell you to keep admitting while he was on a all expense paid vacation (oops, I mean meeting), no doubt.
  10. by   fallon_rn
    I find this story hard to believe. All of the admits in such a short time and all crumping in a small hospital. I don't believe it for one minute. How big is your facilty (beds) and how many of those are ICU? No ER would constantly keep dumping patients on you like that. And since when does a surgeon come assess a new admit without being consulted first? I find it hard to believe paramedics would dump a crumping patient on you on the floor without going through the ER first. All of this seems greatly exaggerated or completely fabricated. If you have nurses on the floors having 10 patients a piece it is not management's fault it is the nurses fault for accepting the assignments.
  11. by   CseMgr1
    I was on the receiving end of a similar atrocity back in early January, when I suddenly fell ill with an acute viral illness and collapsed at work. I was rushed via ambulance to the nearest ER which was three miles away. That place was a ZOO. As soon as the ER Dr. examined me and determined that I was not going to die, I was wheeled out of the treatment room and into a cold, drafty hallway. A nurse pumped three different meds into my IV line, before I was left to lay there, for the next five hours. If I hadn't had my heavy coat with me, I guess I would have frozen to death.

    Anyway, towards the beginning of my fifth hour in this hellhole, I found myself needing to pee like a racehorse. I tried in vain to flag down someone to assist me to the bathroom, because I was too doped up to safely walk by myself. But everyone (including doctors, nurses and housekeeping) kept walking past me as if I didn't exist. Finally, I got the attention of a visitor who was with her elderly mother who had just been admitted to the ER. "Ma'm, I hate to bother you", I told her apologetically, "But I really need to go to the bathroom, and I am not able to go by myself. Would you please ask someone at the nurses' station to help me?" She did, and after what seemed to be ten more light years later, a unit clerk arrived at my stretcher and let the rail down. She started to walk away, but I stopped her, pleading: "Ma'm, I am under heavy IV sedation, and I cannot walk by myself. Please go with me". She went with me as far as the alcove, which was approximately 20 feet from my stretcher...and another 20 feet from the door to the ladies' restroom...before she let go of me and kept on walking.
    I couldn't believe what was happening. I was groggy, dizzy and nauseated, but somehow made it to the bathroom, my bag of D5-1/2 N/S draped over my shoulder...as I held onto the wall, praying to God that I wasn't going to fall. I had NO help coming back to my stretcher, either, and by the time I got myself back onto it, I was fit to be tied. I lay there crying, because I was sick, miserable, cold and exhausted...praying for someone to come and rescue me....before I fell and cracked my skull open.

    A few minutes later a male nurse arrived and announced shortly that I could go home, thrusting several prescriptions and discharge paperwork into my face to sign. As he looked at my chart, he became very annoyed, because no one had bothered to take any vital signs on me since 11:30 AM...and it was now 4:30 PM. He went and got a dynamapp machine, and when he was unable to get a blood pressure on me after two or three tries (I thought he was going to amputate my arm in the process, for the cuff was so tight), he made me stand up by the stretcher. After two more tries, he literally snatched the cuff off my arm and flung it against the machine and stormed off, muttering: "nothing in this place works!"...and left me standing there. He never got my vitals.

    I'm telling you, when a coworker of mine finally arrived to take me home, I could have leaped into her arms. No one even bothered to ask if she needed help getting me to her car, a wheelchair...nothing. "Get me out of here", I pleaded, and she walked me every step of the way to her car.

    My family, local doctors and other coworkers were horrified when I told them about my experience in this ER, which was the worst I have ever had in my life. Another co-worker, who had just been through a similar experence in this same facility was so angry that she wrote a scathing letter on behalf of both of us to this Hospital's Administrator. "It won't do any good", I told her, but she wrote it anyway.

    It was abundantly clear that this facility (along with many others, including the hellhole in which you just left), are dangerously and critically short-staffed. And, it didn't stop their business office from sending me a bill for $1,400.00, which arrived in the mail less than ten days later. I immediately ran that sucker through my shredder, for I knew that this hospital was one of my HMO's contracted facilities...and they would be paid at their contracted rate....regardless of the quality of care that I received. They didn't deserve a penny, for the care I received was so substandard. It's just a damn shame that we, as consumers can't withold payment or do a chargeback for this lousy and unsafe health care...like we can do for other goods and services. If that were allowed, just think of the impact it would have on these provider's bottom lines...a valid consequence for their failure to provide safe care! :angryfire
  12. by   begalli
    Quote from fallon_rn
    I find this story hard to believe. All of the admits in such a short time and all crumping in a small hospital. I don't believe it for one minute. How big is your facilty (beds) and how many of those are ICU? No ER would constantly keep dumping patients on you like that. And since when does a surgeon come assess a new admit without being consulted first? I find it hard to believe paramedics would dump a crumping patient on you on the floor without going through the ER first. All of this seems greatly exaggerated or completely fabricated. If you have nurses on the floors having 10 patients a piece it is not management's fault it is the nurses fault for accepting the assignments.
    Multiple Accounts
    Creation of secondary accounts is discouraged. Use of 2 accounts by the same member simultaneously is not permitted, and one or all accounts may be banned or suspended without notice, especially if the multiple accounts are being used to troll the board.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31788
    Last edit by begalli on Feb 27, '05
  13. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from begalli
    Multiple Accounts
    Creation of secondary accounts is discouraged. Use of 2 accounts by the same member simultaneously is not permitted, and one or all accounts may be banned or suspended without notice, especially if the multiple accounts are being used to troll the board.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31788
    I'm confoosed. Who using dual accounts?

    NurseFirst

close