I am an ICU nurse in a 6 bed unit at a small hospital. We have telemetry capacity for 12 monitors, six hardwire, six tele.
Our staffing ratio is 1:2 patients, as our state law mandates.
Yet, we do not have a telemetry technician, secretary or CNA, causing the monitors to be unattended a majority of the time. Rhythm changes go undetected until rhythm strips done q 4 hrs, and then not often enough where earlier detection would have made a difference in treatment.
I would appreciate hearing from other small ICU nurses, as to having/ or not having a tech/secretary and their experiences. We are gathering data to lobby for safety, timely treatment, and providing support services at all levels of activity in the ICU to ensure that the nurses can focus on direct patient care.
Thanks for your input!!!!