What nurse/patient ratios do you work with? - page 2

I'm just curious as to how many patients other nurses have. In my last semester of nursing school, during preceptorship, I had 5 patients, which would be reasonable except that these patients were... Read More

  1. by   Indy
    Telemetry unit (stepdown is a separate unit in my facility, thank god) and usually 1:4, sometimes 1:5. I've found out 1:3 can certainly be a nightmare once in a while. And on this unit, at night the charge nurse has a load that's equal to the other nurses, usually. That's a contrast to days where I saw charge nurses take 1-2 patients as a norm while on the first part of my orientation.
  2. by   raynefall
    I work in a post surgical unit, and unfornately, it's not rare to have 9 patients at night.
  3. by   jenrninmi
    Neuro/Trauma/Tele floor. I work 7p-730a. 6-8 patients is my norm. Usually 7.
  4. by   RN-TO-BE
    I work on a Medical floor and have usually 4 pts. sometimes 5. That sounds pretty good but we are total care...no tech to do VS, I&O's, wts, diaper changes, etc. The nurse does it all...gets pretty rough sometimes with 3 or 4 total care pts. in diapers, need to be turned q2h, etc. Rumor is that nurset. ratio is going to 7:1 beginning sometime this month. If it does and they do not hire techs, I might be looking for another job.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Med-Surg floor at a small rural hospital - 5:1

    We always have 2 RN's, or one RN and an LVN, and a CNA.

    Never more than 10 patients. We can't legally take more than that plus we don't really have room for much more than 10.

  6. by   dlhommer
    I work on a busy oncology unit we can have 4pts on days and evenings and up to 6 on nights. or less if somone is getting chemo. that's enough for me.

  7. by   travelcrazyRN
    OMG THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE WORSE DAY EVER!!! I congratulate you on getting thru it.

    Quote from NYNewGrad
    Hey, I know how you feel... Being a new grad is TOUGH! I've had 2 1/2 weeks classroom orientation and now I'm on my 4th week on the floor with only 1-2 more weeks of orientation. Then I'm thrown to the wolves!!

    For me, each day is an entirely different world. I'm on a heavy Med-surg unit and our usual ratio is 1:6 which is nice. Yesterday we were short so I had 8 patients! Of my entire crowd, I had 2 trach w/vents (suction often), trach collar (suction VERY often), 1 PEG & 1 NG (crush meds...), Pt DNR/DNI satting in the mid-70's b/c she kept on pulling off her non-rebreather, DNR pt with traction to leg who was found with RR of 5/MINUTE!!! - gave narcan stat to reverse the effects of 5 mg morphine, 2 pts who didnt speak any english so had to run around and find translator each time we had s/t to say, pt with C-diff need to change freq. Gave 2 units blood, 4 k-riders, a million meds. Went into the pt who was desatting's room every 10 - 15 minutes to assess... She left this world an hour before shift change so had to do e/t that a death entails (post mortem, organ bank, charting...)

    It was a wild day. I took a 5 minute break the entire day. My preceptor who I was with was great. She gave me my independance most of the day, letting me get a grip on the situation, but at the same time she gave me a hand at the end of the day with last minute meds and charting. I came home entirely exhausted and knocked out, but I also felt accomplished.

    I dont especially love doing all the monotonous tasks - suction, meds, hang IVs, but I especially do LOVE that I come home very day and say I LEARNT SO MUCH! I love learning, and I feel so much more confident and knowledgeable each day!!

    Thats nursing! We'll get through the newness and soon we'll be veterans... =)
  8. by   Eeyore_RN
    I work Med Surge Teley on nights we are usually 1:7 but I have taken care of 9 and 10 on a regular basis, if we are working with LPN's then we also have to oversee their patients, so your numbers can add up quick.
  9. by   luv2yoga
    I work nights in a Med-Surg Specialty unit with a wide variety of patients from standard stuff to oncology, and I usually have 6. I have had 7 twice and those were really difficult nights. I've been off orientation only a month, so it's all I can to handle my 6. If I get a new admission, I am pretty much sure to be there late charting. I hope in a couple of months I'll be better (faster), I see improvement already. Evenings have 5 patients (which is also the worst, most difficult shift, I guess it's that way at every hospital) and days have 4.
  10. by   blueiwahine
    LTACH unit...I usually have 5 pts on nights...when I first started it was 6...but those 5 are usually very time consuming.
  11. by   OHRN4Kids
    I worked at a clinic first after graduating (hospitals in my area weren't hiring). When I first started working at a hospital it was through an agency, so no preceptorship. i learned a lot, was thrown in there. But often had a large load. I was on an oncology and tele floor- i've had had up to 9 pts at times, with no aide.
  12. by   surfer betty crocker
    i have 7 or 8 pts on a busy, heavy tele floor. if you took one pt. from each nurse on the floor, you could hire one more nurse and give that nurse a decent patient load, and unburden the rest of the staff. who knows maybe this would reduce the ridiculously high turnover. who ever said that 7 patients on a cardiac floor is 'doable'? also this floor happens to have a high turnover rate. something that screams red flag! to me. 9/10 nurses i meet have been there less than one year. that makes me feel like the ratio is too much for sick sick patients on the floor. and im also beginning to think that the support just isn't there. im still fairly new, but i work like crazy and feel like im floating on my own. from seasoned nurses, is 7/8 patients normal, safe typical for a cardiac floor? also those who work on tele- as newbie's do you have monitor techs or anyone you can go to that will help validate whacked out rhythms? i feel like i am more 'encouraged' to figure it out on my own. i am a self motivated learner but the first few 'go rounds' interpreting my own strips i would feel better with some validation. we had about 5 hours of tele interpretation total. anyone give any perspective on this? or is this just par for the course in tele nursing...oh and ancially staff are few and far between. most nights i am doing total patient care, which i do not mind but with a disappearing charge and no monitor tech, spending too much time in one room makes me feel thats a 'no no' im trying to decide if this is just anew nurse thing or a culture thing. i have been literally physically strugglng to help a dizzy unsteady 350 lb pt. get to the bathroom and had ancillary literally look at me in the face and walk right by me and out the room. i always help out and i always will but jeez.
    Last edit by surfer betty crocker on Jan 8, '08 : Reason: an addendum
  13. by   travelcrazyRN
    CA ratio is 1:4 max for tele patients ...they don't really follow it, but it is still 10x better than NV where they have 9-10 even on day shift.