Published Apr 18, 2003
I work at a medium size inner city hospital on a medical floor. I am really getting tired of working short staffed on 3rd shift. It is hard enough to have 10, 11, 12 patients, but usually 1 or 2 have issues. Some of us are very team oriented others sit and sleep while they can. I don't blame them really cuz they are tired of working short too. Other hospitals in this area have shortages but staff agency when they need to. One hospital in this area is overstaffed. not enough hours for the new nurses. I know it says alot about working conditions where I am. I guess I am crabby but I was interested in hearing what staffing is like elsewhere. My favorite is working charge with 10 busy patients and getting an admit (who doesn't want to share our company===try admitting a moving target :chuckle
Tweety, BSN, RN
Might be time to move on. Maybe then they'll allow agency to come in and help.
Our med-surg nurses have up to ten patients on a bad night. It is amazing those nurses who can find the time to sit. But I guess they've given up.
You're not being crabby, you're in a bad situation and I feel your pain. I've done the charge thing with 10 patients before. I love it when you have that many patients and they are trying to admit to your floor. I just laugh.
Fortunately, our staffing is a little better now.
i agree w/tweety. maybe move on .....do what is best for YOU.
Here at a 300 bed hospital, the nursing ratios run from 5:1 tele to 6:1 med surg 24/7. On an occasional bad shift (a call out we cant replace) the ratios can be 7:1. No agency is ever used. What you are practicing is unsafe!
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INSIGHT. I DO REALLY KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO AND I AM PLANNING TO START STAFFING SUPPORT NEXT MONTH. I TOO DON'T FEEL ANYONE CARES EVEN THE CHARGE NURSE WHO USUALLY ALLOWS IT. I ALWAYS EXAMINE MYSELF FIRST AND ONCE I REALIZE IT IS NOT ME BEING UNREALISTIC AND THAT THINGS ARE CHANGING (OR ARE FOR THE WORST, THEY HAVE DROPPED STAFFING BONUSES TO A MINAMUM). THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR INPUT.
Very often, a facility has to decide between a policy of short-staffing and one of mandatory overtime. Would MOT be your preference?
Originally posted by sjoe Very often, a facility has to decide between a policy of short-staffing and one of mandatory overtime.
Very often, a facility has to decide between a policy of short-staffing and one of mandatory overtime.
There is a surprising amount of truth to this statement in my experience.
When a company desires to manufacture widgets and considers an area for expansion of production, they always carefully analyze the available workforce. In healthcare, however, the quantity and quality of the available workforce is often little more than an afterthought; "Growing services" is the mantra.
On more than one occasion I have observed entire healthcare facilities constructed, multi million dollar investments, only to discover upon completion that there was not sufficient qualified workers (primarily nurses) available to staff the place-----or at least at the "competitive" wages that they were willing to pay.
And although new facilties provide the most dramatic examples, I believe we have all seen facilities with numerous seemingly unfillable vacancies attempt major service expansions with similar results.
So yes, with that type of planning it becomes more likely that short staffing and/or MOT are the only solutions. Of course that's because quality of care considerations then become secondary to keeping all available beds open, not going on divert status, reducing reliance on agency usage etc.
Another alternative available to employers would be to meaningfully strive to become the area's employer of choice---that is, offer the best work environment, wages and benefits etc such that "everyone" wants to work there.
My point is---employers who feel short staffing and MOT are their ONLY alternatives need to get honest about how they ended up that way.
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