• Specializes in Med/Surg and Critical Care Stepdown.

I'm sort of taking a survey! Can anyone tell me what department (ICU, SDU, Med/Surg) you handle your insulin drips, and what is your patient ratio in that department? Also, any other related comments would be helpful! Thanks!!

limaRN, BSN, RN

122 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CCU/CVICU. Has 3 years experience.

ICU, up to 2 pts. We do hourly blood sugars on insulin gtts sometimes as often as every 1/2 hr if they're low. I do believe that our step down unit takes them as well.


243 Posts

Specializes in Intensive Care Unit. Has 3+ years experience.

Any unit (except the rehab floor) and depends on the unit ratio... 2:1 for ICU, 3-4:1 for ICU step down...varies for medsurg floors

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

ICU, 2 patients, rarely 3 if they are short staffed. Blood sugars are done Q30min-Q1H. We *have* had patients on insulin drips come to my floor (PCU) with a max of 4 patients, with blood sugars still Q30min-Q1H but that is very rare.


4 Posts

Specializes in Critical care.

ICU - like the others, blood sugars Q1hr at a min.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

For gtts, I have only seen them in the ICU where the ratio is 2:1 unless the pt is really unstable. We have had to check q15min up to q1h.


151 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/Progressive Care. Has 6 years experience.

Progressive Care Unit, 1:4, q1h capsticks per insulin gtt protocol

Lesley Cook

4 Posts

I cover med/surg, paeds,mid, onc, and ED. I have monitored patients on insulin infusions on most of these wards except paeds and onc. Normally we monitor patients hrly, and have a patient load of at least 4.

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health. Has 17 years experience.

I am medsurg and we can have insulin drips for up to eight hours but cannot titrate. This means hourly accuchecks and calling the doctor to change the rate. Our ratio is 1:5-6. This happens rarely for us because admitted true DKAs go to the ICU and rarely does an admitted patient develop DKA before having other issues that would warrant transfer to a higher level of care.


251 Posts

Specializes in Trauma | Surgical ICU. Has 7 years experience.

MedICU - DKA or anything that requires hourly checks (2:1)

DOU - only if the MD's order is with titration (3:1)

TELE - No titration need for patient and with specific run time (4:1)


15 Posts

Specializes in Critical care. Has 5 years experience.

Most of them end up in the MICU with a 2:1 ratio. If its short term they can be on the floor for 8 hours.