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Does this sound right to you?

Has 4 years experience.

I just wanted some other thoughts on this...

I am an RN and just started a job at a state-run psych facility. At this place the RN acts as the charge nurse of the unit and then there are usually LPNs that give out the medications. The other night, I did not have a medication nurse, so I had to do both functions. I had done this one other time on this unit (there are only 9 pts) and did not really have a problem, but that was because it was a calm night. The other night, however, we had multiple incidents between patients and I had to do all the incident paperwork, regular charting, charge duties and of course, 2 rounds of meds. Is this normal in psych? I know that 9 pts is not a lot, but I guess I just felt concerned to be the only nurse on the unit. Any feedback would be appreciated; I am new to psych and am still learning what to expect.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I guess it depends on where you work. I mostly do 7pm to 7am and have a min of 15 patients and a max of 30 if the other nurse calls out. Like you said on a shift with no major melt downs it is busy but when there are incidents it is very hard. I'm thankful that most times I have a decent staff of techs. Hang in there.

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

I call it the "X" factor. Unfortunately it happens and when it does, it's a nightmare. You don't know where to run first but your first instinct is out the door!

I just wanted some other thoughts on this...

I am an RN and just started a job at a state-run psych facility. At this place the RN acts as the charge nurse of the unit and then there are usually LPNs that give out the medications. The other night, I did not have a medication nurse, so I had to do both functions. I had done this one other time on this unit (there are only 9 pts) and did not really have a problem, but that was because it was a calm night. The other night, however, we had multiple incidents between patients and I had to do all the incident paperwork, regular charting, charge duties and of course, 2 rounds of meds. Is this normal in psych? I know that 9 pts is not a lot, but I guess I just felt concerned to be the only nurse on the unit. Any feedback would be appreciated; I am new to psych and am still learning what to expect.

bottom line: your license is on the line Every shift! although this sort of staffing isn't unusual:down: stick it out long enough to see what the norm is for this facility. (my guess is things'll get worse before they get better). talk to your supervisor---the one who does the scheduling and be honest about your concerns. good luck!:)

aloevera

Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

it happens, too frequently.....we usually have 2 RN's for up to 40 pts. with medication nurses....if the other RN calls out, we are home alone...can be very frustrating....I have seen only one med nurse with 40 pts. and THAT is really horrid....it does happen.....this is the ups and downs of psych nursing....

short staffing, same story....more $$$ for the owners.....

medsurgrnco, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych.

That doesn't sound like a large patient load for one nurse at night, IF you have decent techs. But I wouldn't be comfortable being the only nurse, and you are new to psych. Suggest you try to find out how often this scenario might occur and start looking around at other options if it will be more than a rare event. I don't see how other nurses can do the patient loads listed on this forum!

aloevera

Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

That doesn't sound like a large patient load for one nurse at night, IF you have decent techs. But I wouldn't be comfortable being the only nurse, and you are new to psych. Suggest you try to find out how often this scenario might occur and start looking around at other options if it will be more than a rare event. I don't see how other nurses can do the patient loads listed on this forum!

I ask myself that all the time....when I saw one med nurse with 40 pts. I could not believe it....of course, that isn't the norm, but it does happen...we don't have an agency to call so when there is a call out we cannot always get someone in...it is, needless to say, a horrible situation when this occurs....if there are 2 of us RN's we try to help, but if only one RN then she cannot help the med nurse or vice versa....

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