Acceptable Staffing for CCU??


I just want to run this past some others out there as to what they would think was acceptable staffing.

I was working in a small non-interventionist unit and one evening we were down to only 2 patients. In the evenings there is only 2 staff on that unit but that evening the manager insisted that 1 staff member be left alone while the other staff member went across to ICU to help out with meal breaks.

The manager (and even the hospital Supervisors) insisted that this was "safe" as there is an emergency call button behind every bed.

Both of the two patients both had had chest pains just hours earlier. One of the patients had apprehended violence order against her significant other (at this stage we did not know if he knew where she was).

The unit is new and each room is enclosed so that it is impossible to directly visualise the patients from the main desk.

This was not the first time this pressure had been put upon me to do this but worst, for me was that it was being done in such a way as the responsibility for leaving the unit with only one staff member was mine.

Editorial Team / Admin


18 Articles; 30,653 Posts

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

No, totally unsafe. Minimum of 2 personnel at all times with that ratio and type of patient(s).

jmgrn65, RN

1,344 Posts

Specializes in cardiac/critical care/ informatics. Has 16 years experience.

even on our stepdown unit we require 2 staff on at all times. You need someone else there. Unsafe for nurses as well as patients.

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