How many patients are you assigned? - page 3

by Little Panda RN

I am a graduate practical nurse and our hospital here routinely assigns 5 patients per nurse. The do not have CNA's. I worked the ortho floor during my last practicum weekend and it was pure h***:devil: . The patients were total... Read More


  1. 0
    I work nites in ortho /trauma w/c is 2 units combined . In the ortho unit w/c are all total joints we have 4 pts each w/ 2 CNA's but in the trauma
    unit we have 4 pts each w/ no CNA. It could be a crappy nite or an easy nite depending on the acuity. I find it more stressful in the ortho unit with the postops w/ epis and pcas .
  2. 0
    Well, back when I was working on the wards, we'd have 7 (officially, usually 5 or 6) staff - max 4 qualified, for 32 patients. This was in the morning shift. The late shift and night shift had to make do with 4 staff, 2 qualified, 2 unqualified. I've been there on the days I was the only qualified nurse with 2 agency health care assistants to help. So, up to 32. Those of you who have only 5 patients, be glad.
    It was the most hard work, and stressful, I've ever done. Impossible to provide patient care. Moving to ICU was a breeze, comparatively.
  3. 0
    This stuff sounds crazy!! Ortho is hard work...the patients are up with 2 assists, have to have assistance with elimination, IV antbx, PCA pumps, turning and reposistioning q 2 hrs..on a floor where we average 35-39 patients a day there are usually 12 nurses during the day and 8 at night. Hopefully there are techs, but if everyone works as a team, you can get things done.
  4. 0
    I work M-F on a ortho (med/surg overflow unit) we usually have more med pts than ortho. I am in charge and usually have 4-6 pts. On a good day we have one PNT. The hospital policy recently changed so all vitals are done every shift plus the post-op pt whose VS are every 4hrs. Nurses forget they can do a bath or a set of Vitals. Several nurses will spend time looking for a PNT to do vitals, than if they did them selves.
  5. 0
    I'm a new grad ortho nurse (though I've been working ortho for 2 1/2 years now) and we routinely have 6-8 patients nightly. There's usually me and a CNA, but sometimes I'm coupled with an LPN. Our census is rarely high.

    Here lately, though, ortho has gotten quite a bit of overflow (including some severe COPDers that scare me to death-I don't like breathing problems) and I've been assigned to 8 patients (many fresh post-op) with a CNA who states, "I'm not a ward clerk...I can only get vitals." I always laugh out loud and tell them it's their night to learn what to do in the absence of a ward clerk!

    Really, though, it's been nice to finally be able to wave the nursing stick when it comes to staff that doesn't want to pull weight.
  6. 0
    On a good day I have 6 where I work but most of the time is 8. Personally, I think it's way too much especially on a big post-op day.
  7. 0
    When I was first introduced to my ortho unit (I'm still not done with orientation!), I asked what the nurse/patient ratio was (I was dumb enough to not know to ask that in the INTERVIEW!) and she said usually 5, no more than 6. I thought, hmmmm, not too bad. Well, the first 7 shifts I worked, people called in and each nurse had 7 patients. They were able to get one nurse for about 5 hours in the middle of the day a couple times, but it ended up being more of a pain than a help because report had to be given twice-not counting beginning and end of shift report-and things got missed (e.g. ancef not being hung when it was suppoesed to be and the nurse going off didn't tell the nurse taking over again......).

    It wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be, though, even though I said all that. Everyone seemed to help eachother the best they could with their own loads. The CNAs are great! They have 11-12 patients and are on top of their game most of the time.
  8. 0
    I work on an ortho spine/neuro/neurosurgery floor. I do rotating 12 hour shifts. We take 5-6 during the day and 7-10 at night. It's a 30 bed unit only RN's. We try and staff 6 nurses from 7a-11p and 4 nurses from 11p-7a. We have 3 CTA's from 7a-3p, and 2 from 3-11...we run with either 1 or 2 from 11-7a. We deal with a few different services and I work for a large teaching hospital so we deal soley with residents. Not that attending aren't around but they don't usually talk to us much. One nice thing is that we NEVER go over 6 patients on day shift and we never go over 10 on nights. I have to agree with previous posts that I've read about nurses on heavy floors helping each other. We really do work as a team and I've never had a problem finding another nurse to help with an assist, clean up etc. We all help out with beeping IV pumps, transfers, turns etc. Don't get me wrong it's hectic but the day flies. Also I've found that because most of us work 12's and rotate (there are a few exceptions) there isn't a lot of strife between day shift and night shift. We all know what it's like on any shift. We don't have set surgery days. Our Doc's are in the OR M-
    F with scheduled surgeries and then we do have some emergent surgeries in the evenings and on weekends. We always have a resident in house to come up and see a patient. It's still stressful but after perusing the site, I feel lucky to be where I am.
  9. 0
    I did ortho surgery for a year, the ratio was 1-6, but most of the time it was less. We had nurses Aid, 1 for 2 nurses, Wasn't bad.
  10. 0
    We're an ortho/neuro floor, so we're surgical and tele. We can hold 32 patients (all private rooms) and up to 4 teles at a time. I work nights and we typically have < 29 patients and 4 nurses. Per hospital policy we cannot have 5 nurses until we have 30 patients and they always stop just one short to prevent giving us more staff. So needless to say we often have 7 or an occassional 8. Having 5 or 6 is like a dream....


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