patient load and other gripes :)

  1. I just started a geriatric psych unit and I have 10 patients and 2 techs. No other nurse. Is this the norm?

    I have a million forms to fill out on each patient and get to spend zero time with them. I've only worked there 4 days but I got no orientation whatsoever. I came in on my first day, the third shift nurse gave me report, and that was it. It is a new unit so nothing is going right. She has also added days to my schedule (I only work 2 days a week) and changed some to 12 hours.

    I am a very laid back person and I bawled all the way home the other night. I feel like it makes me look like an ass b/c I have no clue what I am doing.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   jetscreamer101
    I don't think it's fair to you to not have at least somekind of orientation. And say something about your schedule. If you don't, they may just keep changing it, they'll think it's ok with you. good luck
  4. by   drumwhacker
    I agree that you need/deserve an orientation. Let your employer know that you're uncomfortable with the current state of things. Whether you work FT, PT, or PRN, you are still responsible for the unit when you are there. It's obviously stressful and perhaps even dangerous being in charge if you're clueless about how things work. By all means, keep your patients and yourself safe. As far as patient load, 10 will most likely be quite commonplace. I've worked shifts on our adult/geri psych unit where I've been the only RN for 20+ patients. Fortunately, I've had at least one skillful LPN and a couple of great techs.

    Hope it all works out for you...... (me on the unit at times!)
  5. by   NurseCard
    On our Gero-Psych unit, we typically have about 10-15 patients. One RN at night, and usually 2-3 techs. Usually an LPN, but honestly I don't work on that unit much, so I wonder if sometimes they don't have an LPN. Because the last night that I worked, it was SO quiet that I probably really didn't need an LPN there with me.

    To me, it depends on certain things. Do you work at night, or daytime? Are you dealing with VERY medically fragile patients, or are they somewhat so? In other words, not really requiring INTENSE medical monitoring? Because if you work at night, and they are not terribly fragile medically... what you are describing honestly doesn't sound very outside the norm at all.

    What DOES sound pretty bad to me is the amount of orientation that you received. Unacceptable.

    Quote from G'smommy
    I just started a geriatric psych unit and I have 10 patients and 2 techs. No other nurse. Is this the norm?

    I have a million forms to fill out on each patient and get to spend zero time with them. I've only worked there 4 days but I got no orientation whatsoever. I came in on my first day, the third shift nurse gave me report, and that was it. It is a new unit so nothing is going right. She has also added days to my schedule (I only work 2 days a week) and changed some to 12 hours.

    I am a very laid back person and I bawled all the way home the other night. I feel like it makes me look like an ass b/c I have no clue what I am doing.
  6. by   Olyvia
    G'smommy,
    While you are absolutely entitled to an orientation, I had to wonder if the program was so new that the content for orientation had yet to be determined. Not the best way to do business, and sometimes the way it's done. It's been several months since the original post. How does the patient care load seem to you now?
    Olyvia
  7. by   SeeK
    this is how our unit is staffed and according to accuity it can change, we just have to say something....

    adult psych- 20 beds, 2 nurses, 2 techs, split in half evenly all the way down to 10 beds filled, then it is 2 nurses and 1 tech (it has only gotten this low a couple of times around holidays and shoots back up in numbers usually in 1 or 2 days) at night 0 techs

    gero unit- 15 beds, ALWAYS 2 nurses (RNs) even if the census got as low as 2 patients (this has happened, last year at christmas), 1 tech untill we get 11 patients then 2 techs...our average is 10 patients at all times...that means 5 patients a piece...at night they get a tech if over 9 pts...

    i see that this was posted awhile ago...has it got any better????
  8. by   oldnewnurse46
    How reasonable is this: 2 RNs, no secretary, no techs, 10 -11 patients all on suicide precautions with 15 minute checks. One homicidal, aggression precautions, two with significant medical issues?
  9. by   Thanet
    Quote from oldnewnurse46
    How reasonable is this: 2 RNs, no secretary, no techs, 10 -11 patients all on suicide precautions with 15 minute checks. One homicidal, aggression precautions, two with significant medical issues?

    If that were me I would arrange another nurse (at least) to come in for the observations.

    I'd rather be told off, than have a dead patient on my hands... or even worse a dead me.

    and no one would tell me off anyway, as I was acting in the best interests of the patients.
  10. by   oldnewnurse46
    Interesting. What I did was ask my manager to put us on divert. Instead she came in to do the admissions, and it was suggested that I was too new of a nurse to take charge. All I could think of was this is the perfect storm for a disaster. Damned if you do and damned if you don't!
  11. by   misty1998
    I got floated to a geripsych unit the other day and it was 1 RN and ME..thats it. For 8 pts 3 of which were wanderers, all were fall risk, 2 of them needed to be 1:1. and the house sup didn't care. i complained to her, made her mad, and i let my boss know. curious when i go back in a few days what the outcome is.:angryfire

    * and the best part...they didn't have a backup plan if i got pulled back to my home dept!*

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