I have been an RN for 2 years, and recently started a new job in a Critical setting. I am a part of a 24 bed Medical CCU. It is a very fast paced unit where we have high acuity patients such as Sepsis, induced hypothermia pts, CVVHD, and Intubated, ect. The typical nurse:Pt ratio is 1:1 or 1:2 which I believe is normal.
The question I have though, is occasionally nurses on my unit will be trippled if it is later in the shift (no one ever starts out trippled). After working for 4 months this still has not happened to me, but it makes me uneasy. I understand the management's persepctive, as well as the nurses perspective on that issue, it must be very difficult to staff this place, when at some times half the floor may be 1:1 ratio. (therefore 2 pt's is considered being trippled) and I always help out others when they get 3 pt.s However, is this normal? Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to get around this problem, it's not like other nurses can float to the ICU like they can on the floor (which was often an option when I was a floor nurse). Should I look for another job? Perhaps I can wait a year to not look so bad.... has anyone else faced this issue and if so, have any suggestions I could bring to my boss? Ultimately I would like to remain here and see if there is a good idea our unit could try. I would appreciate any suggestions, thank you my fellow nurses!!