I work in a community hosptial, part of a large hospital system in the Chicagoland area. We have 5 on a tele/medsurg/ortho floor. But they do not keep in mind the pt's acuity (many places dont, which is not the way it should be). We d/c and admit before you can blink your eye, and with alllll the new admission and d/c papers relating to medications, it takes up alot of time. Especially for me, since I am a new grad. They NEVER account for the time it takes to admit and discharge, and then receive post-ops, etc.
Often we only have 1 tech, so we have to help feed, bath, accu check, etc on 2-3 of our pts. That kills me on a busy day! And it tears me up that my lil old pt has almost no time to be fed, among other basic care they do not receive.
I had a pt sit in his mess for much longer than Id hope because he was incontinent, could not feel the urge to move his bowels or urinate, and was a mess like once an hour or more. (on a 12 hour shift, I cleaned him 4-5 times, and he still had to sit in the mess, had a rash, and everything). Even with an aid though, it would have been hard to manage.
In Illinois, I know some nurses from the Chicagoland area are fighting for all around nurse pt ratios. Some are even going down to the capital soon, also going to go to a rally for Obama.
Im still sorting out my thoughts on law mandated nurse-pt ratios.