This sounds awful. I've never experienced it (thankfully) but I can't wrap my head around how it would be at all helpful. Even if they want to increase your patient ratios, I don't think it's helpful to give you more work already with your *current* ratios and then add more patients to the mix....sounds insane. I can definitely see how this would trickle down to having annoyed docs, nurses that don't know what's going on with their (10+) patients and patients confused about who is really "in charge" of their care.
I am ALL ABOUT helping my colleagues, answering call lights, grabbing meds, whatever....but if I don't know 100% for sure how to do something for their patient (do they use bedpan/commode/bathroom, is it okay to give them the PRN pain med they're requesting, can they have ice/water/a snack, do they need a BG check before their tray is delivered?) then I always give a quick phone call to their nurse to find out so I can help in the best way. Luckily my unit culture is the same so I get those same calls and am always happy to answer questions for someone that's helping me out. I'm assuming that if you have two nurses responsible for the same patients then, yes, they might know more about the patients than I do walking into a random room with the call light going off, but the two different nurses might not be privy to the same information (Nurse 1 gets a verbal order for a procedure and schedules it for this AM while 5 minutes later Nurse 2 brings him a big jug of water and a snack). Your communication would have to be on point 100% of the time, and sometimes that's not possible and just adds more steps to your day...which would already be busy with your 10+ patients.
So, who thought this was a good idea, again?