Med Surg Nurses: How many patients do you care for? - page 3

by cheez1285

12,581 Views | 49 Comments

Hi all! How many patients are you allowed to care of at a time on your med surg floor during days or nights? In our hospital, on days, we go up to 6 and night shift can take up to 7. Just curious. I work at a hospital near... Read More


  1. 0
    We average 5 on days, 6-7 at night, but I don't work nights. And yes, we average 3-4 d/c's out of our 5 pts and get another RIGHT back in...99% of the time, no admissions/discharges at night, we fill them right back up on day shift.
  2. 4
    I like the phrase "allowed to care for" as opposed to "forced to care for".
  3. 0
    I am going to be starting nights, they have 5-6 patients/nurse and no PCT...
    I am a wee bit nervous, No PCT on nights is that common and doable?
  4. 0
    Quote from cheez1285
    Do you guys think having 6 patients on a med surg floor on days is too much? Just curious to see what people think!
    Basically, yes, though if you have CNAs, a lift team, a unit clerk, phlebotomists, and ample supplies then I think 6 is manageable.

    If you're flying solo and you have patients who are incontinent or ALOC or fall risks or skin breakdown or aspiration risks (sounds like about 95% of our patients, huh?), or you have to chase stuff down, patients are not going to receive high-quality care... you're just stretched too thin to accommodate disruptions. Even 5 patients can be a challenge in such circumstances.

    I'm in CA and our max ratio is 4:1 in the ED unless they're ICU acuity in which case we're at 2:1 or 1:1 depending on the situation.
  5. 1
    Quote from Belle Morte
    I am going to be starting nights, they have 5-6 patients/nurse and no PCT...I am a wee bit nervous, No PCT on nights is that common and doable?
    Well, it really depends... all it takes is one serious 'sundowner' to eat up buckets of your time... and lots of patients choose the 0300-0400 time to crump...

    You'll come to rely on your fellow nurses... you'll only survive working as a team.
    anotherone likes this.
  6. 0
    I work in NZ and our ratio in ED is 1:4 or 1:1 if they are in resus or really sick. In the US I worked various ED's and it was normally 1:4 or occassionally 1:5. I cannot imagine working a floor and having 4-7 pts!
  7. 0
    Well one night I had 18 patients on a med/surg floor. NYC. Usual was 8 and above.
  8. 0
    I work in med surge/ acute care and I have 17 patients days with 2 cna. And same for 3-11. We have wound care galore, Iv, wound vac, admissions and discharges. Most have a drain of some sort etc. they all go to therapy daily. But I manage. This is in New Jersey
  9. 0
    at my high accuity hospital even 4 is too much. 3 is tolerable.....
  10. 0
    6 patients, 7 only when we're short and Float pool has nobody. 6 is difficult enough especially when they all think they are your only patient, I'm giving med-surg another year and half and I'm out!


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