As a new grad on an intense oncology unit where I am seeing experienced nurses overwhelmed by how acute our pts are, I am wondering if this is the general trend on all onc units or it's just unique to my hospital. It seems we are treated/staffed as if we are a general med/surg floor (with one less pt), yet it feels like we operate like our own ICU in that we manage our most critical pts.
Often you need to be one-on-one with a patient for a large block of time while not being able to round on your other pts. (ie, bedside bone marrow biopsy where the pt was oversedated due to extreme pain and therefore needed close monitoring and narcan is just yesterday's example that comes to mind).
Most of our pts are direct admit, often coming in with intractable pain or severe dehydration, n/v, etc. Also, any one of our pts can have tanking BP's or go septic or bleed out at a drop of a hat. I've just floated to the other med/surg floors a couple of times and it feels like the pts there are more stable--work is just as busy but more manageable, and the stress from constant vigilance less sharp for me.
I love onc and for personal reasons it's where I belong; but I don't think our unit is being staffed with adequate aid/RN coverage for the acuity of pts we are dealing with. Wondering if this is a general trend in all onc units as the arsenal of treatment for oncology has expanded and we treat more aggressively, and admin/staffing has not caught up to the trend....or am I just feeling/seeing things from a newbie's perspective and this is the case in nursing overall? If yes, I question my ability to give safe bedside care.