Is this staffing the norm?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all,

I'm fairly new to nursing (5 months exp) and have been on a telemetry unit now for over a month. When hired, I was told(assured) by the manager(big surprise) that the day shift had been getting 4 or 5 pts and 5-6 on nights.This is a floor which does line pulls and many drips.It's changing now. The hopital is opening a new unit, a step-down from ICU but higher acuity than our tele floor. Basically, we are to be "Stable tele". The PROBLEM I see is that they are staffing days with 6 pts and nights with 6 to 8. Soon it will be 8-10 pts with one or 2 LVN's. Is this Med-Surg staffing safe for tele? Personally I think this staffing is UNSAFE for ANY unit! I'm probably being naive, but thats how I see it. Thanks.


If you feel that it is unsafe...than by all means go by what you feel.

I quit an excellent paying job due to unsafe staffing to patient ratios.

It is your license and the patients life that is at risk.

There is a big discrepancy between what the hospitals feel is safe staffing as opposed to what the nurses feel is safe staffing. This is apparently an issue in California where they are trying to get a safe staffing ratio. (

We had a problem with staffing also. My advice to you is to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Also keep track of the type of pts, and critical or non critical. the number of staff and pt assignments, for your records, that way when you do complain , you can say look.......

Once we did this, we were able to show that we needed more staff, and got it.

I am also a new grad. with only six mos. experience working on a telemetry floor. We generally staff 1: 3-5 pt. and our pts are usually not critical. This is 7p-7a shift. We have no aides or unit sec., but generally we do okay. I admit we have a fairly nice set up and most of our supervisors are very good about getting us added help if pt. acuity becomes a prob. I have yet to feel as if we practice unsafely. Even with this setup there are times that we can feel very overwhelmed, but that just comes with the territory. As you all already know.

Thanks for all your replies. I will start documenting on the side as suggested. It seems like a recepie for disaster to me though, to have such poor ratios.

Take care.

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