nurse-patient ratio - page 4

Within the last year, we restructured our Med-Surg nurse patient ratio to be 1:6 for days/eves, and 1:8 for nights. I am interested in hearing what other ratios in Med-Surg are. I work in a 400 bed... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    I also depend on a charge nurse. There may be an alternative. What is it?
    Also I depend on O2, H2O, and nutrients. Sometimes what we depend on is necessary.
    The nurse manager who posted was overworked so couldn't possibly take up the slack as my manager does when the charge must take a full assignment.

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  2. by   plumrn
    Joy, Your comments are resounding across the nation I'm sure.We feel the same way where I work.Hang in there;It can't get any worse...can it? If it does,I will just have to leave this profession I love and am actually very good at.(Charge nurse (who takes a pt load also) on a busy surgical floor.)

    Originally posted by JOY, RN:
    I WORK ON A SURGICAL UNIT AND AVERAGE ON AM'S 1:4-5, PM'S 1:6-8 AND NOC'S 1:6-9. OUR UNIT AS YOU MAY IMAGINE IS FAST PACED AND MOST OTHER NURSES IN THE HOSPITAL DO NOT WANT TO "FLOAT" TO OUR UNIT. IT SEEMS AS THOUGH MANAGEMENT IS IGNORING OUR PLEA FOR SMALLER, SAFER RATIOS. HEALTH CARE IS NEGATIVELY AFFECTED BY THESE STAFFING CUTS EVERY DAY YET WE ARE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE OUTSTANDING CARE WITH THE MINIMUM RESOURCES WE ARE GIVEN. IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW, I'M NOT SURE NURSING WOULD HAVE BEEN MY CAREER CHOICE. WE FEEL OUR VOICE WILL NEVER BE HEARD. I LIKE WHAT I DO BUT I WISH THINGS WERE DIFFERENT.
  3. by   Redeye
    What is all of this talk about leaving the profession? We are a large and potentially powerful group. This means that if we don't like what's going on in our profession (staffing) we can change it. We just need some dedicated people to devote some time and effort. There are things we can do other than giving up and leaving the profession. There are nursing unions that have been successful at fighting for nurses' rights. There are also nurses going into business for themselves and calling their own shots. We can do it too. And the quality of patient care will be all the better for it. Please don't give up. Let's get together. Email me.
  4. by   WendyRN
    I work on Med/Surg and the ratio is 1:7 days, 1:10 evenings and usually 1:15 nights. Over worked and under payed. When will a bill be passed to mandate nurse patient ratios as they have with teachers. Patient care is suffering. They keep adding paper work, forms to be filled out...what happened to quality of care.
  5. by   NUR 310
    I work on a 50 bed unit. The ratio is 1:8 on days and afternoons. Midnights is 1:12. $aides on days and afternoons, 2 aides on midnights. Paperwork isnt too bad, but as you all say overworked and underpayed.
  6. by   justkrn
    Our 25 bed med surg unit has just recently revamped the matrix. We used to get 3 nurses for 12 patients. Now it is 3 nurses for 15 patients. We loose one of the aides at 11 am on days if it stays at 14. However, should we drop to 13, they call the aide back in and send one of the nurses home. Then should we get two admits they want the nurse they sent home to come back in. Confused yet??? It is rediculous. They wanted to send a nurse home the other day at 2:30 (her shift ended at 3 pm anyway) when the census dropped to 14. Is this nuts or what??? We can get 7 to 8 admits in one afternoon--and this can happen in a matter of minutes--we have three nursing homes nearby, and have direct admits from the various doctor's offices, as well as transfers from ICU. Not only that, our hospital is on a campaign of patient satisfaction. what is wrong with that picture?? Doesn't make sense to any of us that they want us to leave on time to prevent any shift overlap but we are suppossed to cater to every whim our patients have for high patient satisfaction, and they add to the patient load for each nurse. Our managers are constantly on our butts to leave when the census goes down by one, but then dissapear when we need some help (like getting an admit 10 minutes after they tell one nurse to leave.) Getting very disgruntled. And they wonder why people leave the nursing field, and don't want to recommend it as a career to someone else. And it seems as if it is getting worse instead of better.
  7. by   Sue D
    Standard staffing levels on my NHS acute surgical ward are never higher than 1-10. This is about the normal level for every ward in the hospital.
    Extra staff are just not available due to the general shortage of nurses in the UK.
    Thank heavens for HCA's
  8. by   fergus51
    This is why I went to L&D so fast out of school! 1 RN, 1 LPN for 12 patients on the orthopedic floor I worked on briefly.
  9. by   jstme
    most of the posts I have read are a dream I work on a med tele 12 hour shifts and our ratio is 1-7 sometimes 1-9, we have 38 beds and many days have only 4 RNs 3 aides, we very seldom get a clinical anymore, somedays I feel as though I have done nothing for my patients, we do use an acuity but it is so out of line that even the high acuity do not show as being as high as they should be. Now with the shortage it is only getting harder, what keeps me there is the people I work with and the company is truly trying to help there staff, the give yearly bonsus and are always looking for ways to show how much they appreciate us. not to mention my patients, they need us, we truly are their only advocate in a hospital.
  10. by   just1nurse
    I work on a cardio-pulmonary rehab unit, mainly ventilator patients. We usually have a 1:4-7 ratio, although it doesn't sound like a lot is really is. We have NO patient care technicians. This is a primary care floor. So immediately after vitals and the 8 am med pass, you are scrambling to wash patients, do trach care, and get them in wheelchairs for their PT and OT. I am seriously thinking about leaving the facility I work for, the accuity of the patients is greatly increasing but the staffing stays the same. This CAN'T be as good as it gets.
  11. by   RNforLongTime
    I work on a 30 bed medical telemetry/respiratory unit and our nurseatient ratio is 1:6 on days and evenings and 1:8 on nights. Very rarely a nurse may have to take 7 patients and if we have a patient on a vent the ratio for the nurse caring for the vent patient is 1:4 on days and evenings and 1:6 on nights. We are also staffed with 2 nursing assistants--3 NA's if there are 27+patients, a monitor clerk for the telemetry(our floor monitors tele for the entire house excluding ICU). We only have 24 tele boxes though. This is much MUCH better staffing than at the hospital where I used to work. I sometimes had 8 patients on day shift one one NA on days-if there was one scheduled and then she only did so many bed baths usually two for each RN and then the RN had to do the rest of them on her assignment. When I worked evening shift--it didn't matter how many patients were on the floor--we Rarely ever had a NA and if we did we were only allowed to keep her for 4 hours till 7pm. That was at the old hospital I worked at. I work evening shift at my current job and I love it so much better. I think that any more than 6 patients on days and evenings shift is dangerous.

    Just my 0.02 cents

    Kelly
  12. by   lv2ski
    I started working at a larger New England hospital where the staffing is ok. It is alot of ortho-neuro surgical and general m/s, trauma. We have 4-5 on days, 5-6 eves, and 6-8 nights. All RN's and cna's. Better than the small community hospital I left where they had bare boned staffing. Plus there are more resources in a larger facility
    Last edit by lv2ski on Jul 19, '01
  13. by   canoehead
    We have 1:3-4 on days, and 1:5-6 on nights. It's a small community hospital so acuity is relatively low, and Rn's and LPN's get assigned patients doing total care. We have a charge nurse M-F 7-3, and a secretary every day 7am-11pm.

    Anyone want a job? Just email me.

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