Low Census = cut hours

Specialties Geriatric


WE all hate to hear "low census" - and now I'm really hating it! I work in a 60 bed facility and our census is now 42. Up until now the administrator has been able to keep the cut hours to a minimum, but now the "Higherups" in the corp. are really getting on him. They want 2 nurses and 5 aides on day shift (not great but not bad), 2 aides and 1 nurse on nocs (the norm), and 1 nurse and 4 aides on afternoon shift. I'm sorry but one nurse from 3-11 (my shift) for 42 residents seems absurd to me! To be able to pass meds, give treatments, and chart on all of these will take a supernurse on a good night ---- heaven forbid someone is extremely ill, dying, falls, or whatever!!! The administrator and DON are going to have a meeting with one of the "higher ups" tomorrow to try to keep this from happening, but they don't hold out much hope. I just know that trying to care for 42 residents by myself leaves me feeling like I will be giving less than adequate care, leaving residents at risk, and I don't like it! UGH!!!


155 Posts

We all unfortuately go through the low census symdrome. I think what you are saying do you work for a chain of LTC's? Hope your DON is giving them facts and providing a good arguement for your needs. Currently we are going through this, it is summer! and this happens. Our DON and ADON will work the floor, to ease tensions and to keep their staff. I am the MDS cord., and can't afford to stop what I am doing. But this weekend I am supervising, and working the floor. My response to my DON and ADON, no problem= they have busted their butts for me when I first took this job. But they are acutely aware that the MDS's will not get done, so they will have to pitch in for my work also. Our owner has an opened door policy, she is great and is a stablizer for us, this is family owned. I work in a 122 bed. And you are correct, I don't do this on a reg basis at all, and it will take me all morning to just do my first med pass + treatments and this is days. On first shift, 1st floor we have a census of 35, 2 nurses + 4 CNAs, 2nd floor 2 nurses 5 Cna's for 57 residents., 2 shift the same for the exception of one less cna on 1st floor. 3rd shift, one nurse for each floor, 5 cnas in the building. It has been tough of late. But the nurses and cna's are very comfortable going to our DON/Adon and asking for help and telling it like it is. When either the DON/ADON or me see that someone is sinking , we will go and assist the nurse with med passes, make beds, give baths, chg briefs. Good luck to you. Remember these little people really depend on you but you can only do so much. Having an emergency ruins what ever you are doing for q one else. Call your don/adon or MDS nurse for help.........Tex

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