I don't know the answer for your hospital, but when I hear "staffing", all I can think of is my last shift I worked (actually more than one shift I had this kind of ratio), FIVE patients on vents (some weaning, so needing even more attention, pulse ox is really not the answer for oxigenation in some cases), tube feedings (all of them), IV's and all the other good stuff, all conscious... and me, with one brain, two hands and a broken back taking care of them to the best of my abilities (with one CNA that was exhausted of how many patients she had, so I just left her alone, I didn't "delegate" anything on her, out of fear that she was going to have a meltdown and just collapse, I already saw her crying that day)...what were they thinking? I mean the people that gave me the assignment. I forgot to say, I also "covered" one LPN, that had 30 years experience...so I actually felt embarassed that I had to cover her, but rules are rules. In some cases it is just pure evil greed not to assure adequate staffing, I know a lot of nurses that are not working right now, because of the economy and it would be as simple as asking us, the nurses, for extra staff (we can call in our friend nurses to help when we are shortstaffed), but no, let's suck the juice from the limited number of nurses we have
...who cares about what can happen to the patients or the nurse?