nurse : patient ratio

  1. With all the problems highlighted by the media scrutinising the nhs and its workers, staffing levels keeps coming up with no resolution or response from hospitals.
    I am wondering what each of your current work areas staffing ratio is of nurse : patient and nurse : hca.

    As a bank nurse I see a lot of areas and am shocked by the variance and how unsafe I feel at times.
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   XB9S
    We have 1 qualified 6 patients 1 unqualified to 12 for a day shift

    Nights 1:8 qualified with 1:12 unqualified in our acute wards

    Rehab wards 1:8 qualified day shift with 1:4 unqualified
    Same for nights qualified but unqualified is 1:8
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    Where I used to work the ratio was 2 RN and 4 assistants to 28 acute medical patients and on nights it was 1 RN and 1 Assistant to the same 28 patients with an extra RN working between 2 wards
  5. by   ceridwyn
    OMG. that's why mass exodus to Australia especially the states with ratios, it must be a dream.
    I did hear patient outcomes declined in the UK with the increase of non qualified nursing staff and decrease of qualified nursing staff. The research must be somewhere because the research done on this in the NHS is how we achieved pt ratios in the first instance and with great pt ratios came better patient outcomes in Victoria, that's what the unions use now as leverage for pay increases and to keep non nursing personal away from bedside care.
    Are RN,s responsible for supervision of the non nurse and 12 patients? Must be scary as your name and registration is on the line as well as the outcome of the Patient, who deserves best outcome.
    Last edit by ceridwyn on May 14, '13
  6. by   K+MgSO4
    Not quite so bad where I worked in Ireland. It was 1:6 RN and 1:18 HCA. So we basically shared a HCA between 3 nurses. After 5 we went to 1:9 RN and still had the HCA. No charge nurse on weekends or after 5. 1:9 on nights as well with 1 HCA for 32 pts
  7. by   babyNP.
    I've never understood why the UK being so strongly for unions and going against "the man" doesn't step for safe nurse staffing ratios? My DH and his father were in two different fields of work in the UK and their unions are very protective of the employees and have strict rules about overworking them. Since this sentiment is so deeply engrained in UK culture, why doesn't it pass over to healthcare? Surely the person taking care of your loved one deserves good working conditions that promote safe care, leading to better outcomes for your loved one?
  8. by   Silverdragon102
    The UK nursing and strong unions doesn't come to mind. Now with Police and Fire I see stronger unions but definitely not nursing

    Here in NS I see more control with unions than I did in the UK. I also find here in NS I am paid more than I would be in the UK and I don't mean by a little but by a lot
  9. by   K+MgSO4
    I have just been reading the Irish papers online as I have emigrated to Australia 5 years ago.

    All of the hard work of the unions 8 years ago to reduce the FT working week to 37.5hrs has all just been done away with the Croke Park 2 deal.

    The RCN or whatever they are called now need to take some lessons from the ANF!
  10. by   leaho87
    I work in a general medical area which is meant to be short stay of approx 4-5 days. It's a common occurrence for us to be given patients who have social issues and therefore require a longer stay in hospital until we can find them a rehab placement or for their package of care to be organised. The nurse patient ratio of an early shift is 1:8/9 hca is 1:8/9, late shift is the same for nurse but hca is 1:12/13 an the night shift is nurse 1:12/13 and same for hca. When u have many all care patients and acutely unwell patients u are not only stressed about doin somethin wrong and risking ur pin but u also worry about not providing the best standard or care that every patient deserves. It really is tough sometimes. It's also hard as a nurse to go home feeling like if only u would have had enough time u could have done this this an this for ur patient.
  11. by   Norwichnurse
    Ratios are so variable but this particular hospital seems to accept a very low level.

    Wards I have worked on recently

    Gynae 1:6
    Neurology 1:13!!!!
    Emergency surgical 1:8
    Emergency medical 1:7
    A+e 3:6
    Cardiology 1:9
    Paeds 1:5
    Emergency paeds 3:6
    Mfe 1:12
    Upper gi surgical 1:12
    Orthopaedic 1: 12

    Im always really upset by the one to a dozen patient wards as they always seem to be the most dependant patients.
  12. by   Norwichnurse
    This is only on a day shift. The night shift there are usually less staff than this. Often only 2 nurses for 39 people!
  13. by   nurse.laura1989
    I work in medical geratology. Our patient ratio is 1 nurse to every 8-10 patients during the day and 1 nurse to every 10 patients at night. I tend to have one HCA to every 6 patients on a GOOD day and one to every 10-12 patients on a BAD DAY!

    Personally I feel on a ward such as mine where there are lots of confused people who wander the halls and have the potential to get lost, we need to have no more than 1 nurse to every 6 patients all the time and one HCA for the same number!!
  14. by   ayla2004
    COTE 24 beds ward early rn 1-8 hca 1-8 , late 1-8 or 1-12 with 1-2 hca so we had 4 staff night 1-12 2rn 2hca
    neurosurg days 12.5 hours 4-5 staff rn for 25 pt if 5 charge take no pt. 1-4 1-7, 2-3 hca, nights 3 rn so 1-8/9 with 2 hca

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