I'm curious to know about the nurse/patient ratios in other hospitals. I am in central Florida on a Cardiac/Telemetry/Med-Surg floor. We take all kinds of cardiac drips, BP drips, Insulin drips, Heparin drips and we are now taking 7 patients each. I work 7p-7a and we have to file all our labs from the previous shift, stuff our charts and draw our morning labs. We have a charge nurse (me sometimes) and she takes six patients. Gone are the days when we could actually develop a therapeutic relationship with our patient, now it has become: do what you have to do to protect your license. I have a co-worker who just came to our hospital from a different one in Florida...they took 10-12 patients each (no drips though). It is truly a nightmare. The management says they care about the patient..NOT TRUE. They care about the numbers. The only time they care about the patient is when one of them is injured/dies under questionable circumstances and the hospital may be sued. Then, they just fire the RN, report her to the nursing board and go about business as usual. Whatever happened to having time to comfort a crying patient or giving special attention to a confused, elderly patient? No time to actually TALK to your patient, other than to say "I need to start an IV on you" Do they have water in their pitcher? I don't know. Would they like an evening snack? Who cares. I have to go take a set of q2 vitals on my guy on the cardiziem drip who's heart rate is in the 130s. God forbid anyone goes bad during a shift...that's when your six other patients have to fend for themselves --that's when your license is blowing in the wind. I understand there is a nursing shortage, but that excuse won't fly when I'm in front of the nursing board! If there is such a nursing shortage, then give us 7 or 8 patients, but hire more CNA's...hire a phlebotomist to do our labs, hire a file clerk to file all the paperwork. Anything that doesn't require a nursing license needs to be done by ancillary staff. The fact that the management in my hospital hasn't taken these steps to allow the nurse to really know her/his patients and take care of them properly re-enforces my belief that it is all about the numbers. Whheeww...glad I got that off my chest. Tell me about your hospital.