Our 36 bed med-surg/surgical unit is always inundated with sitter cases, average of 4-6 per shift. If we can't get enough sitters, our techs are pulled to sit, leaving us short on the floor. What bothers me is that management is harping for us to decrease the sitter cases because it's making us way over budget...um, how can we do that when our unit gets more sitters cases than any other unit? Why isn't there a separate sitter budget that pays for all of the sitters in the hospital? Why does the unit who gets these cases essentially end up penalized for following the order to have a sitter at the bedside? How else can we reduce the number of falls per month without providing the ordered sitter>
We aren't allowed to refuse a sitter patient be booked to a room, so how do we have any control over this issue when our unit is essentially the 'dumping ground' for these patients? Our unit is the shabbiest is the entire hospital, we don't have beds with built-in bed alarms, and we have a limited supply of the bed alarm pads... how are we supposed to ensure patient safety in these conditions if we don't use sitters? Why should our unit budget take the hit?
I just wish there was a separate sitter budget...then maybe our unit could afford some much need equipment /renovations