Frusturated with situation...does any nurses out there have same issues?


  • Specializes in MS, ONCO, Geriatrics, HH, HS. Has 6 years experience.

My husband and I are both RN's at the same hospital in western Arkansas. I have been a nurse for 6 years and my husband for 4 years. The hospital is a fairly large facility and I know the nursing shortage is bad. We both are paid well at very competative rate and work 12 hr shifts (well supposed to be 12 hr shifts) During flu season it was not uncommon to have 7 to 9 patients per nurse plus discharge and new admit to empty room barely mins after one leaves, so basically 7 to 9 is 8 to 10 patients when you counts assessments charting meds and treatments on all of them. Even now we never have less than 7 patnts. The floors we work on are very sick, high acuity patients, such as 2 to 4 getting chemo ng tubes, most are hourly pain meds, and we give blood daily to at least 2 patients per nurse. I have given as much as 9 units on one shift. Usually we have just 2 nurses total and lately the nurse working with me are newbies or travelers that are new to our facility so I spend lots of time helping them so I'm always behind. We never and I mean NEVER get lunch breaks. Thank god no one on dayshift smokes or there would be issues for them! My husband and I usually average 14 hrs a shift. It is exausting and just mentally draining. I've been so dehydrated from work after 2 or 3 shifts that my lips actually peels off! No exageration! Our supervisors don't really help either we always get aides pulled so we have one per floor with 14 pts and always pull our unit clerk. So piles of orders have to be put in before pt caRe! And if I only one there that knows how my pts are neglected....all places this way? Will it get better?


244 Posts

Oh my heavens it is NOT like that everywhere. It sounds like you and your husband are in a difficult situation and set up to fail. I live in Canada but when I worked with adults we had 4-5 max on day shift. I'm now in peds oncology and we have 2-3 max on day shift.

I feel terrible you gave to deal with that


173 Posts

Wow! Here I think I have or we have it worse with 5 pts as the norm. We could have more usually do but not all at the same time. Usually discharge one admit one or discharge two admit one vise se versa. Your work condition is not safety. It appears like a time bomb ready for an opportunity to explode.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

You are being told there is a nursing shortage but right now that is not the case they are just not hiring help.

If this is a day shift.....this is not the norm.

Specializes in Education, Administration, Magnet. Has 18 years experience.

Sounds like you are in an unsafe situation, not only for yourself, but also for your patients. This is not the norm, and no amount of pay would be worth it to me.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Of course it's not, it's demonstrably unsafe, and you should be reporting this situation to the state stat. Your hospital may show some stats that say there are enough RNs/patient but I'd bet that counts the ones in the office and supervising four floors at a time, so is of no help at the bedside level.

Because I'm a known trouble-maker ;) I would also write an anonymous letter to the local newspapers' tip-lines inviting an investigative report. Nothing like having some reporters come sniffing around to wake up the HR department.


59 Posts

Specializes in MS, ONCO, Geriatrics, HH, HS. Has 6 years experience.

Thanks for all your input! We are told by administration 7patients per nurse is the acceptable ratio per nursing board but i just dont think that is correct. So what is the norm for others?


59 Posts

Specializes in MS, ONCO, Geriatrics, HH, HS. Has 6 years experience.

Also would a union organization help us? Our hosp is run by company called HMA health managment association or something similar.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Hmm - I don't think that any BON is going to issue a ruling on staff ratios - because that is outside the only deal in issues related to individual practice and this is an administrative/operational issue.

The employing hospital is not going to do anything - why should they? It is in their best (financial) interest to spend as little as possible & as long as nurses are able to take care of the patients with these ratios, they aren't going to spend any more money. Instead, I would bet that the guys/gals in the corner offices are congratulating themselves on the dramatic "improvements" in the labor budget.

Change is only going to happen when something significant occurs to get the CEO's attention. Like public exposure of the situation (newspaper, TV), a regulatory demand for correction, etc. In my experience, they can even rugs-weep serious clinical incidents - discounting the systemic problems and throwing clinicians under the bus.

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

Now you know why the hospital is being staffed with travelers and newbies. I am certainly not knocking travel nursing ... but if a hospital is hiring lots of travelers ... by definition, something is off of the baseline of being able to hire and fill positions appropriately.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

take the breaks. The CNO can cover! Really, as long as you guys accept this, the longer it will go on.