I am very interested in the subject of safe staff levels within the Inpatient Psych ward. There are different methods of calculating staff requirements but these are generally based on a bed category type (ie: A for High Dependancy, B for lesser dependancy etc) with some patient/client acuity factored in (if you're lucky).
what are your opinions on this subject? do you know of any places where standards have been defined and set in place? in your work place do you go off client acuity/category or bed category?
Oct 13, '06
This can be a touchy subject with staff. When I worked on a 28 bedded mixed acute admission ward (in england), we generally only had 4 staff on duty during the day and 3 at night. Dont know how management worked this one out ? SOme days we were allowed 5 staff during the day, but only on the mornig shift. Should have been 2 qualified RMNs and 2 NAs or 3 RMNs and 2 NAs. At night there was one RMN and 2 NAs.
On the days when there only 4 staff it would be hectic, considering there were ward rounds, meds rounds, and the general diary work to be done, let alone general patient care. The only consolation was that the NAs were damm good at their job, and the ward I worked on had a very strong team of staff which got us through.
Can be a difficult job where there are staff shortages especially as there were patients who were there voluntary or detained. Wish I had never left this environment.
Staffing issues will always be a bit touchy but what can we do. The problems really start when people are off sick and cant get people to cover.