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

  1. 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 Chicago.
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  2. 49 Comments

  3. by   OCRN3
    California max is 5 on med surg

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  4. by   noyesno
    6 on day/PM shift. 7 on nights.

    5 would be much better (but I don't make the rules).
  5. by   eatmysoxRN
    It can technically go up to 8 on either days or nights but they try to keep days at 6. That's the standard for all the floors. I work tele/icu step down and 8 can be crazy with cardiac drips and lots of active chest pain and positive troponins to call. When pulled to the other floors 8 isn't too bad.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  6. by   missladyrn
    6-7 on a normal night, but if you were to ask our boss she says never more than 5. She's full of it.
  7. by   kalevra
    6-8 patients a shift on med surg! I live in California, we have legislation that caps the nurse to patient ratio. I just find one nurse to 6 patients on med surg scary.
  8. by   ChristineN
    Quote from cheez1285
    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 Chicago.
    I have 4 patients max if working step-down and 5 patients if working med-surg. These ratios are the same for days and nights
  9. by   MInurse.st
    I work on a surgery unit, but we also get medicine patients when gen med floors are full. 3-4 on days and 5 on nights.
    Last edit by MInurse.st on Jan 7, '13 : Reason: typo
  10. by   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!
  11. by   ChristineN
    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!
    Honestly sometimes I feel like 5 keeps me pretty busy, so I can't imagine having 6 on days. If you had 6 walkie talkie independent pts maybe, but that is never how it works out.
  12. by   cheez1285
    Do you work nights? Yes, having 6 patients in a day is crazy. It's even crazier when you discharge 2-3 during a shift and get 2-3 admissions right back! The life of a nurse!
  13. by   Underoo
    I live in Washington State. We normally have 5 patients (4 on a good day). I have seen 6 but only when there was one being discharged, which would give you 5 in the end. I have noticed that our supervisor will turn away admissions if we aren't fully staffed for them. Then they go to another unit. I've also worked in Georgia and normally had 5, but I know of some nightshift RNs that had 6 occasionally. 5 seems too much to me, just because you don't have adequate time to spend with the ones who really need it.
  14. by   Caffeine_IV
    Not in med surg right now but we would have 6-8 on nights. 6 is doable but 7 was really hard. 8 is unsafe IMO.

    Sometimes we would only have 1 NA and get slammed with admissions. Also recall a night where we had more aides than nurses!

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