Safety and Staffing Ratios; An Honest Question.

  1. I just passed Boards two weeks ago and am now working on the Med-Surge unit for a small rural hospital. (Newport, Arkansas) As a new nurse, I am wondering what the experienced people say about safe staffing ratios. I ALWAYS have 10-14 patients. As the LPN, I spend all day running meds, IV fluids, PRN meds, and dressing changes. The only thing that the RN does is assess and chart, they call it team nursing. Somehow, this doesn't feel safe to me. Not only that, but I feel like I don't have time to know what is going on with my patients well enough to give adaquate care. What do you guys think?
  2. Visit SilverPhoenix profile page

    About SilverPhoenix

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 8
    Med-Surge Nurse

    9 Comments

  3. by   madwife2002
    I think that 1:14 patients is a very large ratio. Is it one particular RN or is it all the RN's
  4. by   SilverPhoenix
    Thirty-four beds divided into two wings. One RN/LPN/CNA team per side.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Very unsafe. I hate team nursing.


    steph
  6. by   SilverPhoenix
    Quote from stevielynn
    Very unsafe. I hate team nursing.


    steph
    It seems to me that "team" nursing is really functional nursing dressed up prettily.
  7. by   MT RN
    I haven't personally had any experience with team nursing, but it certainly doesn't seem like a fair division of labor. I find it hard to believe that you are expected to give all the meds, do the dressing changes, etc. by yourself and that the RN has no responsibility to help. Is that the norm, or is it just the particular RN that you are paired with? I would certainly be having a talk with my charge nurse or nurse manager about it if it were me.
  8. by   Tweety
    That is an unsafe ratio I agree.

    Before we get on an RN bashing mode, 14 assessments is an awesome and unsafe responsiblity for the RN. It's not like the LPN here has 14 patients and the RN has zero.
  9. by   Mulan
    The RN is also probably responsible for signing off all the doctors orders, as well as doing all the admissions and discharges, and notifications in addition to assessments.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    NO thanks.
  11. by   SilverPhoenix
    Quote from Mulan
    The RN is also probably responsible for signing off all the doctors orders, as well as doing all the admissions and discharges, and notifications in addition to assessments.
    We are responsible for signing off all the orders actually, the RN is expected to help if we ask, but they don't like us asking. Most of them can't seem to get all of their charts "opened" before shift change. And yes, it seems unsafe to for an RN to be responsible for 14 assessments. I've never seen a place where an RN is literally solely concerned with paperwork for twelve hours straight. Hove you guys seem this kind of setup anywhere? Or am I working in a freak of a hospital?

    P.S. I like my RN's, they are nice people, no bashing here. Just frank dialogue.

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