Chemo patient to nurse ratios

  1. 0
    hi folks
    i am a nurse working in a tele unit / oncology unit. i liketo know if there are any standards to patient to nurse ratios while the patientis receiving chemo. what does you hospital do???
  2. 3,815 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    4:1 for hem/onc is normally what I've seen. With straight BMT patients, we are supposed to have 3:1 but sometimes we have to take 4 total with them since we're a mix.
  5. 1
    I work on a med/surg/oncology floor and without chemo the ratio is 5:1, 3:1 if you are giving chemo. This is in California. I'm not familiar with other states and thinking this might vary from not only state to state, but facility as well.
    DachRN likes this.
  6. 0
    On the floor I work on (I live in Canada, for the record), the ratio is typically 4:1. On occasion, it'll be 5:1, especially if we're short-staffed. It was especially crazy when we only had a few chemo nurses on the floor (the rest were still in training and not yet certified to administer chemo) - there were a couple of shifts where there were a lot of chemo patients on the floor and only 2 chemo nurses working, which left them each with 2-3 patients getting chemo simultaneously. I believe official complaints were made by those nurses, as it's incredibly stressful as well as dangerous for the patients.

    The charge nurses are mindful of the patient assignments with chemo in them, though - they try balance the acuity of the assignment, basically. But, sometimes the floor is just very acute or we have a lot of patients getting chemo at the same time so it becomes hard during these times.
  7. 0
    Same in Anchorage,AK
  8. 0
    Not really SAFE or cool.....RN's should be speaking with managers about THAT ratio!!
    EVERYWHERE I have worked, RN's administering Chemo could not do so with more than 2 patients at a time and usually only had 3 patients TOTAL!
    (Miss,AK,Co,Ca)
  9. 0
    I worked med/surg/tele/onc, too. Our normal ratio was 6-7 pts to one nurse. If we had chemo, normally the charge nurse administered it and she usually didn't have other patients. She also was not the primary nurse for the chemo pt. Someone else did the assesment/charting/other meds, etc. I think on night shift, sometimes the charge nurse had patients, but it wasn't normally a full load.
  10. 1
    Quote from DachRN
    Not really SAFE or cool.....RN's should be speaking with managers about THAT ratio!!
    EVERYWHERE I have worked, RN's administering Chemo could not do so with more than 2 patients at a time and usually only had 3 patients TOTAL!
    (Miss,AK,Co,Ca)
    Tell that to my manager!

    It's honestly an on-going problem on my unit and a big reason why RNs are leaving in droves.
    suziq842 likes this.
  11. 0
    I've worked BMT and it was 3:1 sometimes 4:1 if none of the patients were receiving chemo. I was a float nurse then but I was chemo certified so I was always floated to the oncology floors. If the patient was getting the BMT then it was definitely 2:1 or 3:1 again if short staffed. Regular onc was 3:1-5:1. And the 5:1 hardly ever happened and usually the charge nurse would do the admission orders for you.


    I should have never left that hospital actually because even the regular med/surg floors I hardly ever had more than 5 patients on days. I had 6 only once because the floor was extremely short. Now I have 6 or 7 all the time.


Top