Couplets and nurse:patient ratios

  1. What do you consider reasonable with regards to assignments of mother/baby couplets? 6 couplets per nurse per shift? 4? Just curious.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    SIX? i know AWHONN says so, but no that is NOT reasonable. That makes for a real lack of comprehensive care for each couplet. NOT reasonable. How do you teach SIX parents to deal with and care for their infants? NO ONE gets the care they deserve this way. We do usually 3-4. SIX would be under urgent conditions only, when we are so busy the choice is not there.
  4. by   imenid37
    I have to check out the new AWHONN guidelines if six is ok!. It used to be 3-4. Yikes!
  5. by   camay1221_RN
    Our pt assignment was usually starting with three m/b couplets and taking an admission of one more, or starting with four and not getting the admission. I used to work PM's, so must of the time we all started out with three and a late discharge, so mostly everyone ended up with four mom/baby couplets by the end of the shift.
  6. by   gwk
    Quote from NICU_Nurse
    What do you consider reasonable with regards to assignments of mother/baby couplets? 6 couplets per nurse per shift? 4? Just curious.
    I just started couplet care at a new hospital in a new state my last place utilized 4 couplets and maybe getting an admission...where I work now we started with 4 and getting one but lately they have cut us to the bone and we start with 4 or 5 and may even get up to 6!!! way too much I would love to know what is standard...the prob here is that admin says well one is going home for ex without realizing that gettin one in AND sending one out is a lot of paperwork and physical nursing time and acuity is Never considered...our complaint rate has skyrocketed and the nurses are burning out and many have quit!!! I firmly believe 4 is reasonable and that allows for pt education which has totally gone the wayside here ...no time!!
  7. by   rUmad2
    The 6:1 AWHONN guidelines pertains to well babies, only..I think? Couplets are 4:1.



    Quote from NICU_Nurse
    What do you consider reasonable with regards to assignments of mother/baby couplets? 6 couplets per nurse per shift? 4? Just curious.
  8. by   gwk
    4-1 with stable moms and babes sounds reasonable and safe with some recent occurrences at our hospital we r hoping to get back to that... errors hopefully will cause adminis. to rethink the value of cutting budget if u r gonna give it back in lawsuits!!!
  9. by   fiestynurse
    The new nurse/patient ratio legislature in California states 1:4 mother/baby couples. Moms only is 1:6.
  10. by   vwgirl
    My facility says for moms only we can have one nurse per eight moms; same goes for babies only, one nurse per eight babies. (This apparently is BETTER than state guidelines?!) As for couplets, we have tried to do it on night shift, but since 95% of the moms send their babies back to the nursery for the night, it is hard. The nurse can't leave the babies alone in the nursery to go care for the moms she is assigned if, God forbid, one of them has a problem and needs something.
  11. by   NICU_Nurse
    Well, thanks. The reason I ask is that...well...I'm beginning to feel a bit burned out in NICU. Lately it just seems that we're losing so many babies, there are ethical dilemmas (should they have intervened at birth? why are we torturing this child who has such a poor prognosis? what is going to happen to this mess of a baby who has no home to go to and is essentially living on our unit for lack of alternatives?) etc., and I've been offered two job opportunities: one in NICU (exactly like my job now), one in Mother/Baby. I worked briefly in PP after school (prior to NCLEX), and enjoyed it, but I wan't a nurse then (was a tech). In the NICU, we have fairly strict ratios, and I know I'm probably spoiled with the attentive care I've been able to give, but I really want to consider this new opportunity, because I'm afraid if I stay in the NICU I'm going to leave nursing altogether in the next five years. I just didn't know what you would consider reasonable where you work. Advice is welcomed. Thanks again.

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