patient/nurse ratio

  1. 0
    Hello to everyone,

    I am interested in patient/nurse ratio, e.g. at a medical/surgical unit.
    Are you supported by RPNs and unlicensed care personnel?
    Is primary care provided regularly? (In Germany very rare, because cost-intensive)
    When is nursing considered to be unsafe, regarding patient/nurse ratio?
    Has nursing shortage already an impact on patient safety?


    Thank you for your answers!

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 0
    There are a several teams of 8 pts. RNs are 4:1 with a RPN who is also 4:1 so you have those 4 to do if they require something that is a RN skill, but they are the RPN's responsibility.
  4. 0
    Oh that`s a good patient/nurse ratio, we have to care for 12 to 16 patients ( in some hospitals even more), without RPNs support ( the nursing programs were abolished in 2004 in our federal state), nursing students assist during their clinicals. Optimal organization and time management are crucial!
  5. 0
    Mona: are you moving to Ontario? Ontario is the only province that uses the term RPN, the other provinces use LPN. To add confusion to the picture caused by Ontario, the term "RPN" mean Registered Psychiatric Nurse in most of the rest of Canada.

    My hospital divides Medicine and Surgery into two separate services, so the ratios are different as is the staffing. Surgical Services has 3-4 patients on day shift, five after 1900 and after 2300 it increases to between six - eight depending on the staffing situation. RNs work with their patients, LPNs work with theirs and if you are lucky there is a nursing assistant on the floor to help with the total cares, otherwise, you make sure you work well with others. In my province the PN-RN scope of practice is very similar and experienced LPNs often have more complex patients than RNs with less than three years experience. Unless TPN or blood products are involved there a very fine line between the skills.
  6. 0
    RPNs don't act as a support for the RNs, they are responsible for their own patient load and answer to the charge nurse the same as the RNs.As Fiona said, there is a fine line between the two roles. The med-surg unit where I work has the same ratios as Fiona outlined.
  7. 0
    Sort of off-topic - do you guys out West have a broader scope of practice than the RPNs do here in Ontario?
  8. 0
    Quote from RescueNinja
    Sort of off-topic - do you guys out West have a broader scope of practice than the RPNs do here in Ontario?

    YUP.

    We are also clearly recognized as independent professional nurses. We practice under our own practice permit and are responsible for our assigned patients.

    Our scope of practice is restricted by the facilities we work in. But with the health care $$$ being in short supply, Alberta Health Services has realized we should be permitted to work to full scope.

    LPNs are found in ERs, ICUs, the ORs, Dialysis, School Health and community based care and the ever popular LTC/Continuing Care. I haven't heard of anyone working in NICU, PICU, or CCU. Rumour has it there are few working L&D in smaller communities.
  9. 0
    Our LPNs scope of practice is far below yours in Canada, they can act independently, regarding ADLs, but all responsibility has the RN.

    But as I mentioned you won`t find them in the hospital setting anymore.
    I will move to BC, but the different terms are confusing, in CRNE prep guide
    also UCWs are mentioned, which I think doesn`t have any nursing education!

    Normally our medical/surgical units are divided, but I work at an interdisciplinary and subdivided ward with all speciality areas, responsible for 12 patients! Subdivided means that one day you work at the inderdisciplinary ward, the next day emergency, and the day after day hospital care!

    I can`t really imagine how it is to work as a RN in BC it seems completely different, although we provide patient centered care, seeing the patient in his entirety, with a focus on evidence-based nursing, communication skills, health promotion and prevention, discharge management regarding the patient`s resources at home and we are used to provide cultural sensitive care.
    In september I will be in Vancouver, perhaps it is possible to find a hospital which can offer me an orientation day to make my own "little" experience!

    One more question:
    I read about 7.5h, 8h, 11h and 12h shifts, but I can`t make out which is the most likely to work in.
    I work 7.25h day and afternoon shift, night shift is longer, 9,5h but you care for 20-26 patients, alone.


    Thanks for your explanations!
    Last edit by Mona77 on Jul 11, '10
  10. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    YUP.

    We are also clearly recognized as independent professional nurses. We practice under our own practice permit and are responsible for our assigned patients.

    Our scope of practice is restricted by the facilities we work in. But with the health care $$$ being in short supply, Alberta Health Services has realized we should be permitted to work to full scope.

    LPNs are found in ERs, ICUs, the ORs, Dialysis, School Health and community based care and the ever popular LTC/Continuing Care. I haven't heard of anyone working in NICU, PICU, or CCU. Rumour has it there are few working L&D in smaller communities.

    That's pretty much the same as in Ontario.
  11. 0
    UCWs are Unregulated Care Workers. They don't have any nursing education but have received training to assist with personal care and unregulated tasks on the unit.


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