The Underestimated Benefit of Ancillary Staff - page 2

Having worked in multiple healthcare settings, many of us have seen how differently each unit can function. While no two units will be the same naturally, differences can be attributed to many... Read More

  1. by   Ms.UndastoodRn
    I worked in a very busy Neuro unit in Indiana with NO PCAs!! It was purgatory! The PCAs were unlicensed so they didn't do vitals, accuchecks, pass food trays or retrieve them, empty foleys, no I & O.....nothing. They could sit if you had a confused patient and maybe give a bath but mostly tell you everything YOU the nurse needed to do or hadn't done. It would've made a huge difference for that nursing unit who lost 6 nurses during my 6 week assignment. All were travel nurses and ratio was 5-7:1. Very dangerous conditions, license in jeopardy every shift. PCA, PCT, nurse tech, whichever your facility uses are GOLDEN!!! I respect anyone in their money making profession, but for nurses this part of the team is invaluable!! You need a village to take care of patients! Case managers, social workers, secretary's, phlebs, etc are all necessary to provide exceptional patient care.
  2. by   sergel02
    The staff makes it so much better! I was at a place that only had nurses and a secretary. No nursing assistants or phlebotomy. My new place has secretaries, nursing assistants, and a lab team who does our labs for us. It makes a world of difference.
  3. by   Ashley Hay, BSN, RN
    Quote from Ms.UndastoodRn
    PCA, PCT, nurse tech, whichever your facility uses are GOLDEN!!! I respect anyone in their money making profession, but for nurses this part of the team is invaluable!! You need a village to take care of patients! Case managers, social workers, secretary's, phlebs, etc are all necessary to provide exceptional patient care.
    Couldn't agree more. Thanks for your comment!
  4. by   FranEMTnurse
    Very well written article. Being a nurse myself, I have seen the necessities of all of the afore mentioned staff members, and as a patient who has needed most every type of support staff members including the healthcare team including the first responders who helped sustain my life. As currently being a home care client, I am experiencing a shortage of health care workers. I had a very efficient home care worker who was with me a long while, but due to a family necessity, she was forced to leave her job as my wonderful home care worker, and work at her first job full time in the hospital. She was the member of a fantastic home care agency that provides quality staff. I MISS HER SO MUCH!
  5. by   vintagemother
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    My hospital has a few CNAs, but many nights we're staffed with RNs, only. They also give us 2-3 med/surg patients each whenever possible (which is almost all of the time). I have to say, it's not a bad set-up. Although the CNAs we do have are wonderful, I don't really miss them. Four or more patients without support staff can get rough depending on the patients, though.
    I do agree that it's not a cost effective way to do things ...my place even staffs 1:1 patients with RNs routinely.
    Nights...med-surg, no other pt care staff. 5:1 ratio. Plus 1 extra nurse per 10 pts. It's not working well some of the times.

    We are facing a choice of losing a nurse and gaining 2 pt care staff members....

    Tough choice. Because sometimes 1 nurse has 1+ pts in isolation rooms plus 2 pts at high risk for falls, with zero other staff members located anywhere within eye or ear shot.
  6. by   eicamad
    I work on a small inpatient pediatric unit, so we naturally have a lot of fluctuations in patient census & acuity. Our unit secretary, who we share with our NICU, is invaluable in the assistance she provides to the RN's to keep the unit running smoothly & efficiently. Unfortunately, we are an all RN staff & miss having well trained ancillary staff available when our census or acuity goes up! This is not always provided to us & we must make due with what we have.
  7. by   Watchme81
    We have NAs in our PICU.

    They run samples to the lab, stock our bedside carts, fold linens, stock blanket warmers, retrieve blood products from blood bank that aren't in our Hemosafe, answer phones when the unit clerk is on break, empty garbages & linen bags, and some of them help with repositioning of larger patients (not all of them are comfortable with, or want to do that). They are also responsible for retrieving the necessary equipment for emergency surgeries that can happen in the unit.

    While some of them put more effort into their duties than others, we definitely notice if there aren't any on shift!

    Definitely valuable team members.

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