Is this safe/normal??

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    Hey everyone, I am completely new to posting here, but I've been reading these forums for years. I just wanted to get some outside opinions on this nurse/patient ration on my unit. I work day shift on a med/surg non-tele floor, but acuity is usually pretty high (average age of my patients are usually in their 80s, and a lot of them are from nursing homes and require complete care)...and standard is about minimum 6 iso patients on unit....my unit holds 32 patients...we ALWAYS have 8 patients/nurse...we have a charge nurse. Nursing assistants are average 2 or 3 for 32 patients from 7-3, and 1 or 2 for 3-11. Is this normal?? I went to nursing school out of state, and now I work in new jersey, and i've never seen such a high standard ratio...absolutely no regard to acuity. In addition I've also worked several days over the last four years of my employment with anywhere between 9 and 11 patients during the day....which i believe should never happen. Anyone have similar situations out there?:heartbeat
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    That is a terrible nurse to patient ratio. It sounds like you have plenty of unlicensed help but you certainly need more nurses. I worked a med/surg floor for about a year where I routinely had 7-9 patients, no aides etc. and after a year of that I moved on, I couldn't take anymore.

    On a med/surg floor you really should only have 5-7 and 7 is pushing it depending on acuity and whether or not you have any CNA's helping you.
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    I work on a med/surg floor and we also have high acuity patients and one charge nurse. We have 2-3 NAs like your floor BUT, our ratio is 4:1 (for days and eves, more for nights). That just doesn't sound safe at all!! :/
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    @kimmyRNNJ: I work med-surg non-tele in NH with a similar demographic (lots of nursing home/dementia/ full care with LOTS of comormidities) I work days 7a-7p and max at 5 pts, nights have up to 6 patients, we have 20 beds and ussually have 3 aides ( and have PSA's as needed for 1:1s) . Icannot imagine having 8 patients and less aides, most days I feel like I am out straight with 5.
  7. 1
    You need to get a new job before you lose your license over some mistake that anyone could make with that kind of patient load.
    EleniRN likes this.
  8. 0
    I work in Jersey on a med/surg floor as well and, thankfully, our max ratio is 6:1. Even that can get insane at times depending on the level of direct nursing care required for each pt. Luckily, the powers that be try to even out the load by giving the nurses a nice balance of hard/easy pts. 8:1 ratios seem dangerous to me.
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    Is it safe ? No, per studies done, it is not safe.

    Is it normal? In many places, it is. I have worked oncology ( giving chemo and blood products), medsurg and telemetry units that have have that ratio or worse, as staff and as a traveler. Ironically, one of them was a union facility with a stated ratio of 5:1
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    I work on a Med/Surg floor... typically I do nights.. After 11 we have 9 patients total, if he have an aide *who cares for all 18 patients on that side* If no aide, we are at 6 patients. It can be scary and overwhelming at times... sometimes we have a charge and sometimes not. Sometimes we have a secretary, and sometimes not...
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    That is unsafe and scary. We run max 5 if somebody calls in sick, otherwise it's 4 pts with some only taking 3. We have 2 cna per shift and a FT secretary until 11 pm.
  12. 0
    8 is too much. but sometimes we get it too. 5-6 for me is safer


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