Quote from Laurie52
Have you ever worked as an ICU nurse--other than as a manager? If the patients are not really unit patients, why are they there?
That's a pretty derogatory statement. It also reflects a lack of awareness of the different levels of "ICU" based on the type of hospital.
There are MANY reasons to keep a patient in "ICU", including the need for closer supervision than can be provided in a general unit. This may include patients with psych problems, incontinence, frequent vital signs, etc. In most small hospitals & certainly in Critical Access facilities - ICU patients are usually there because they need higher levels of nursing
care, not because they are receiving critical medical interventions - those patients are transferred to a higher level facility.
I agree with the PP - shifting patients around to smooth out staffing problems would seem to be the best solution. If there is no 'slave' monitor for telemetry outside the ICU, the only solution would be to board MS patients in the ICU rather than move the ICU patient out to the general unit.
I have worked with small/rural facilities for decades. It's difficult to imagine the types of challenges that have to be faced in a Critical Access facility unless you have actually had that experience... Can you imagine being "The RN" to cover all clinical areas (ED, MS, OB, etc)? That is the norm for some of our colleagues in those tiny, very essential facilities. They have my profound admiration!