Med surg patient ratio

  1. 0
    Would 1:5 be considered good? Thoughts? That seems doable right?

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    Depends on what part of the country you work. In NYC it is much, much higher than that on a med/surg unit.
  4. 0
    I work Med-Surg. It's 1:6 (in the South), and it's TOO MUCH.
    It really ought to be 1:4. 1:5 would be "okay". 1:6, I RARELY leave before 8pm, and way too often it's 9pm.

    And I have EXCELLENT time mgmt skills.

    Good grief, what is the ratio on your NY hospital?
  5. 0
    Depends on the shift on our floor. Ideally, we will have 4-5 patients on days (6 is a REAL busy day), 5-6 on evenings, and 7-9 on nights (we are always short on nights)
  6. 0
    5 is good.

    Ours is typically 6:1 and it blows.
  7. 0
    Cheryl. you dont want to know. When I was a new grad the census on my floor was 40. 3 RNs and 2 CNA and a clerk on a good day. If the floor was not full to capacity rest assured that the ER/ICU would be calling to take care of that. And to top it off we were not told until we finished orientation that we only had one weekend off a month.
  8. 0
    1:5 is standard med surg ratio by law in California where I work. It can be okay, or it can be too much. It depends on the acuity of the patient. Sometimes you have a few patients that have soooooo much going on, and it is barely manageable unless your other patients are easier. Also, it depends on ancillary staff...do you have a nurses aid, a charge nurse who can pitch in maybe pass a med here or there or help with an admission? When I was a new grad, I took 6-8 patients on med/tele pm shift.ON a bad night we would have up to 10 patients. It was very challenging and stressful. I had to take direct admits straight from the doctor's office with active chest pain on med/surg/tele! :-( (Why didn't they go to the ED first?!) Personally, I think 1:4 for med surg would be more manageable, but you never see that ratio EVER on med/surg. I always loved it if I had one or two ambulatory patients who were stable, because you know you're going to have another one or two who are on isolation, needing Q 1-2 Hr frequent pain med IV, complicated dressing change, ambulation, frequent suction, a million piggybacks every hour, TPN, accuchecks, etc. I think 1:5 is as good as you'll get. But it isn't always easy. Depends on what is going on with the 5 you have! Good luck!
  9. 0
    a 1:5 ratio would be perfect. Our day ratio is 1:6 and nights are 1:7. There have been occasions where I had only five patients and what a big difference it makes. Unfortunately, I feel as though as healthcare continues to change, we as nurses will be having an increase in our nurse/patient ratio :-(
  10. 0
    I am not currently working in med/surg but I have several friends who do here in the South Florida area. Everyone I know that works on days seems to have 1:8...
  11. 0
    I'm on a med-surg floor and we do 1:5 days and nights. Our acuities have gotten higher so sometimes it can be pretty tough, but I am counting my blessings that we don't have to take more than five a shift. Ratios need to be federally mandated (in my opinion) because it is safe for both the nurse and the patient.


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