Nurses 6:1 Patient Care Techs 25:1 in an Acute Care Setting. Is this fair??

  1. I've been a long time lurker and I love you all. And if this is in the wrong forum please forgive me...

    But I've been working at my current job as a Patient Care tech for 2 years while in nursing school. My floor is an acute care/overflow stepdown unit that primarly focuses on Pulmonary/Stroke/Seizure Medicine. The staffing on my floor has suddenly changed to become more budget friendly so they cut back the staff. Nurses will be 6 and 7 to one and PCT's are most of the time 20-26 to one. The PCTS do vital signs, fingersticks, admissions, and cleaning. Nurses are swamped and the PCTs are worked to the bone. This is a heavy floor with 95% of our patients being high fall risks.

    I feel this is unfair to both nurses and the nurses aides. I was just wondering if any of you lovely nurses experience this poor staffing as well and tips for me and my nurses to help us not wanna rip our hair out at the end of stift!
  2. Visit KatieCutieRN profile page

    About KatieCutieRN

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   Pangea Reunited
    All you can do is prioritize. The only thing I've seen improve horrible ratios is nurses quitting in masses. Management never cares until it costs them more (agency, managers having to cover the floor, sentinel events, etc.) instead of less.
  4. by   Sun0408
    Is this an HCA facility, seems to be their norm except nurses are taking 8 and only having one tech for 36 pts.. What can be done... Leave...Sad state this is coming to; the future scares me.
  5. by   green34
    I think the floor staffing ratios are similar. Around 5 to 7 for each nurse and usually 1 to 2 unit clerks/patient care techs for about 20 patients.
  6. by   KatieCutieRN
    well we only qualify for two techs after 26 patients. and this is a community owned hospital, a major healthcare system for the state, and the largest hospital in the city. (second largest city in the state)
  7. by   meanmaryjean
    "Fair" has nothing to do with it.
  8. by   BrandonLPN
    This is why ADLs get so overlooked in the hospitals. The techs or PCTs or whatever are so busy checking vitals on 30 pts that bedside care falls to the wayside.
  9. by   Aurora77
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    This is why ADLs get so overlooked in the hospitals. The techs or PCTs or whatever are so busy checking vitals on 30 pts that bedside care falls to the wayside.
    Exactly. Want to know why patients are getting bedsores, aren't getting fed, not ambulating like they should? It's not humanly possible for a nurse to have 6 patients and the aide have 25 and expect things to get done. It's sad. All the money saved by not hiring staff will get eaten up by costs imposed due to preventable conditions.
  10. by   Esme12
    Wow....this is not good....all the work done in the past to improve the quality of care...lower nurse patient end up like this....and I'm afraid Obama-care will only add to the problem....there was a time I never thought I would say this but nurses need to organize and unionize to save our own backsides and save our patients.
  11. by   xoemmylouox
    What I don't understand is how hospitals think this will save them money in the end. They way they are going to be reimbursed will be negatively affected by this poor care: readmissions, patient satisfaction, and hospital acquired infections.. There is no common sense left at the admin level.
  12. by   ThePrincessBride
    Not fair? Try not safe.

    I work as an aide. The most patients I've ever had was about 14 or 15 patients, and that is too much. Once a tech is pass 8 or so patients, that is when you see the quality of care decline. I can't be expected to take vitals, collect accuchecks, perform blood draws, d/c and insert foleys/straight cath AND be expected to make sure that all patients are bathed, fed, linens changed, Q2 turns, as well as help with discharges and admissions. I also feel that nurses should NEVER exceed more than four patients in an acute care setting (and even less for critical/intensive care).

    It really frustrates me because at one of the facilities I work at, a med-surg floor, our manager rants and raves how patients aren't getting bathed. Well, I would be happy to get them cleaned, but I oftentimes find that I don't have much time to get all the clients cleaned up (though I do try, I promise!).
  13. by   HyperSaurus, RN
    OUr facility has been playing with the staffing to make it more budget friendly. They tried out 6:1 on nights/5:1 days (medical/oncology with tele) and calling off the aides. That was an unmitigated disaster. We had a meeting and they decided in exchange for letting go of the aides (some of which have been with us for 20+ years), they would reduce our ratios on nights back to 5:1 nights/4:1 days. Our aides don't do vitals, but they do accuchecks, i/os, lights, baths, ambulating, feeding. There's going to be a lot of things that get left to the wayside
  14. by   boogalina
    It will change when the rate of falls jumps sharply. Until then...