Hello everyone -
I am interested in getting some feedback on a problem we incur rather routinely at our hospital: ED admissions right at shift change. I currently work on a Surgical ICU Stepdown unit and our patients aren't always the most stable bunch. Oftentimes, a patient report called to us from the ED will be from a task nurse or someone who has not had a chance to thoroughly assess the patient. They are instructed by their charge nurse to call report. Usually the only information given is what we can view from the EMR ourselves (lab values, time of ED admission, etc.), but nothing that would resemble a full head to toe assessment.
This is complicated by the fact that the patient is usually dumped on us within the 20 minute window surrounding our shift change (when nurses are typically in report at their other patient's bedside). We do not have techs on our floor and usually have a 3:1 Nurse to patient ratio (which is more than enough given how complex they usually are).
The concern that many of us have is not so much the admission itself, but the manner in which we may not have a full idea about what the incoming patient might have in terms of acuity, and how we are not able to effectively tend to our other two patients during the immediate time of admission. There have been too many instances where an admission might require one to two nurses working on that admission due to the emergent necessity of interventions, and the other two patients (who possibly might have just as much acuity) are sort of left hanging.
Does anyone else have problems that are similar? And if so, how has the situation been addressed at your hospital? We have obvious ideas on how to improve this problem and make it easier for everyone involved, but it's not as easy to get addressed as it would seem. So, I'm trying to research and see if there are similar issues out there and to get input.
Any and all comments welcome!
St. Louis, MO