I am wondering about nurse to patient ratios in LTAC facilities and what is deemed to be safe. I work on a unit that has 40 residents and sometimes get floated to units that have 58 residents to one nurse. When I floated I ran around for about three hrs just putting Exelon Patches on people that all had to be signed off, (all on count, mind you). Unit manager was nowhere in site, (went out to a doctor's apt, Dunkin Donuts etc.). I had labs up the wazoo! Also, not to mention all the charting that needs to be completed (still paper for everything). Answering the call lights and telephone rings off the hook. Waiting for doctors to call you back because you have many labs to report. Dealing with behaviors, and then, you have to clock out by 3:30pm because they don't want to pay you overtime.
There is enough work for at least three people, that one must try and get done in 8 hrs. Break that gets taken out of your paycheck even though you never eat. Unfortunately, what they (management) wants us to complete cannot be done in the timeframe they want. So, the work gets passed on to the next shift and so on. I feel more like a secretary than a nurse. Definitely, cannot provide the kind of care that is so necessary. God forbid that you have an admission and a fall almost at the same time. Yes, it did happen. I know that I am complaining, but need to know if this is common.