nurse-pt ratio

  1. I work on an ortho unit in a large hospital, a lot of hips, knees and backs. Our current ratios are 4-1 on days, 5-1 on evenings, 7/8-1 on nights, with CNAs having about 10pts each. Our supervisor has informed us that the ratios are going to change (more pts of course) which actually already happens when we are short staffed. I am wondering what other hospitals have. All the lifting and moving is taking a toll on my back evn though I work out a lot. Thinking of looking for another niche........ Any replies on your ratios would be much appreciated.
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    About Sailingshoes

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 94; Likes: 16


  3. by   ashleyallen
    I work in west memphis, ar at a hospital and our nurse patient ratio is about 5-7/1 around the clock. There are times though that we may only have 3-4 pts but up to 8-9 depending if someone called in or not. You can not give the proper care to pts with that much workload. Our CNA's have about 9-12 pts a piece and in the am are expected to do all the baths, linen changes, and take them to x-ray, tests, and etc. The pm CNA's really don't have that much to do except answering call lights and giving out pm diabetic snacks. Before I worked in the hospital I worked in a rehab facility. The nurse patient ratio there was on average 8-12 pts which was really hard because there were alot of knee, hip, CVA, and etc patients which took usually more than one person to get up. It was really hard to find someone to help you because everyone stayed so busy! You are not alone and I am sure there are alot of more people out there that feel the same way. We are expected to give the very best care to our patients but with 7-8 pts is sometimes impossible.
  4. by   jenksb
    On my unit, we usually take 4-5 patients per nurse on day shift. Our PCA's have 10-24 patients depending on the day, so usually the nurse does 2-3 baths and assists with all of the patient transport to dialysis, wound care, etc.
  5. by   KAW1962
    I work on an ortho unit in a medical center outside of Pittsburgh. Our nurse/patient ratio depends on overall census, e.g., 12 or more patients call for 3 nurses (days and evenings) but on nights we have to have 13 patients to have 2 nurses. Our unit is small (16 beds), but we will be moving to a larger unit soon, so I'm not sure if the ratios will change. Our total joint patients are in a program where OT gets them into the bathrooms in the AM and the patients do as much of their AM care as they can. This way they can be better prepared to care for themselves when discharged to home. For those who are not in the program, the PCT's do the AM care, but this too is usually divided between the nightshift and dayshift PCT's; however, the beds are generally changed by the dayshift PCT's. Even though we generally have a nurse/patient ratio of 1/5 or 1/6, things can get pretty hairy when all your patients are fresh post-ops because it seems as though you are just going from room to room assessing pain management with the PCA's or completing the neurovascular checks. And lately we seem to be getting a lot of patients who are not getting proper clearance for surgery and off they go to the unit. I too am getting burned out and worn out and don't know how much longer my poor body can take it!

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