Have you ever felt that you have too much work to do for just one nurse - page 2

:confused: i work at a med&surg floor we also have telemetries. i have 15 patients all for me usually i work with another rn who has another 15 patients, i work the night shift (that is from 7 pm to... Read More

  1. by   Tiiki
    That RN to patient ratio is frightening. Do you have the ability to put in a "work-load grievance?" We do that soon as we feel that the RN to patient ratio on our med floor (acute medecine, with ventillators) is unsafe. If we have one unstable patient that requires one on one nursing we immediately call for another RN. We also do not have RPN's on nights with us because on nights we get 8 patients and everyone must be vent trained.

    Anyhow, we call the co-ordinator, and even the nurse manager to say that the floor is unsafe, and if another nurse is not provided a work load grievance is going to be submitted. This looks bad for the nurse manager. It says that she left her floor unsafe. It's our protection, should something horrid happen, at least they know that we attempted to right the situation.

    I would never put myself in a situation where my licence was at risk, or my patients more importantly. Something needs to be done where you are!!


  2. by   plumrn
    I can't even imagine having 8 pts to one nurse! The average for our nurses is 5-6 pts. Occasionally may have 7, but that is well argued with the supervisor. (dayshift)
    I think if a shift is short a nurse or 2 for whatever reason, an agency should be called right away. I don't see any other way to provide the care the pts deserve.
    My question, if you routinely have a ratio of 1:8, don't you have alot of pt complaints? How can you ever get everything done?
  3. by   Brownms46
    I went to do a shift at a hospital, where the RN and I had 12 pts. I worked that nite and told them I wouldn't be back before the shift even ended! I did the IVF, IVPBs, Drsg chges, Bld Sgrs, TFdgs, Rt and PRN meds, and assisted with answering lights. This was imo waaay to many pts. and I would never even consider taking 15!

    I once walked on a unit, and was told I would have 9 pts., plus do meds, IVs/IVPB, blood sugars, and PRN meds for an entire hall. I asked the CN where was the elevator, as this was my first time there, and I was headed for the door. The assignment was changed! 15 or 30 pts., that is just asking for something to go wrong!

    One of the reasons I work agency, is so I don't have to put up with the statment, "we can't find anyone to come in". When I get in situations like that I don't go back, and I put the hosptal on my DNR list. I have protected my license for 23yrs, to allow myself to be put in such situations...more than once!

    And everyone of the hospitals I have continued to go to, welcome me back, and even ask for me. Such as the case of one I will be going to for a third travel contract in two weeks. So I have no problems sticking to safe staffing ratio hospitals. I would seriously advise anyone working unsafe pt., loads, to run not walk away from such a situation. But that is just me
  4. by   gwenith
    The trend here in Australia is for "Patietn - Nurse dependency systems to be used to improve staffing ratios. My BIG grizzle with them is that we are the only profession required to justify our staffing on a shift to shift basis - that and of course they DO NOT predict true "hitting the fan" shifts. It sounds like you need something like this not only on a hospital basis but wider. SPEAK UP! Talk to the administrators - just a quiet talk,not dumping on anyone but let them know, and the higher the better WHY they cannot staff the hospital. DONT assume they know. IF that fails speak to your union/professional body about this then contact the quality assurance investigator for your hospital (is this an accredited facility?) - contact your state licencing body about yoru concerns not only on your registration but future staff working in that field. Call you local Member of Parliment. IT CAN BE ANNONYMOUS. Voting with your feet only helps you. To be a true patient advocate yell long & loud. What you describe is beyond reasonable.
  5. by   preciousnurse
    We do our fair share of our job and everyone elses also. We take care of anywhere between 3-6 patients on day shift. MED- SURG nurses are nortorius for taking on a whole slue of responsibilites, especially if they have an aide that does not like to help, or the patient has numerous procedures that go on throughout the day. It sometimes feels like my day consists of nothing but procedure oriented busy work. I wish that there was more time one to one with the patients, but it is the reality of it and i do not think that it could be changed due to increase responsibility, increase patient load and decrease staffing. It is the reality of a TRUE Medical-surgical nurse!!!
  6. by   Rapheal
    Please find another job. That ratio is just insane.
  7. by   FullMoonMadness
    Is that a common ratio? I work 7p-7a tele and our usual load is 6, in some rare instances 7. We really complain when we have 7. But what I am hearing here indicates that we really have it pretty good.I consider myself a good, efficiant nurse, but there is no way I could provide care for 15 patients at one time.
  8. by   debbie17368
    Yes we have 15 patients per RN and if one of these RN for some reason calls in sick or something and the supervisors can't find a replacement for that nurse the other RN has to work alone with all 30 patients. Take last night for example: They were one Rn short (usually there's 4 RN's one for every 15 patients we have 30 patients on each area) on today's 7 am -7 pm shift, so last night they gave the night off to one RN and we had only 3 Rn's last night and one of of us three worked by himself (Mr. Maldonado) of course we helped him but still it was too much work for him or us. So is like the old saying we have here the supervisors "undressed a saint to dress another.

    thanks for the feedback>
  9. by   renerian
    Very unsafe.

  10. by   suzannasue
    Hmmm,seems like you should refuse to take report until adequate staffing is obtained...many eons ago was in a similar,but not nearly as dangerouus situation...we just sat down on our haunches and refused to take report, and from out of nowhere, nurses appeared. Whomever does your staffing ratios must be a sadistic wench who does not know about license retention...way too dangerous for me...way too dangerous for you...find out about the staffing matrix and have all of the staff demand a reassessment. In the meantime, find another job...you seem to be a very caring nurse who evidently has high level skils for patient care and prioritizing...any place would welcome you with open arms...and YOU deserve the right to practice nursing where your head is not on the chopping block !!!!
  11. by   iluvsnoopy
    hi everyone. i am so glad to have found this forum, it is a great encouragement and support for me.
    i am a new grad who has only been working as an rn for about a month and a half. i am working on a medical unit (which i love, much to my surprise), and sometimes i definitely feel like their is too much work for little old me.
    i had two months orientation paired with a preceptor (one month surg, one month med). i am now on my own with 12 patients and an lpn to help me . i literally never stop moving during my 12 hour shift and sometimes miss my breaks just to keep my head above water.
    the nurses have been great to answer questions but i definitely feel my 12 patients is overwhelming at times. if a chest pain occurs- it takes me the rest of my shift to get re-organized after spending an extended amount of time with that patient. some of my little old lady patients take over twenty pills, 3/4 of which must be crushed and mixed in ice cream. family members can be down right rude when i give a maxeran due before lunch ten minutes late, and there are always bells, bells, bells. admissions, discharges, room changes. confused patients escaping from their magnetic restraints.
    i love it though and it is great to hear from some of you seasoned nurses who are passionately defending their choice to work the specialty area of "medical." i am the only one in my class of 28 who dared go to medical as it got a really bad rep as being heavy and not as glamorous as the critical care areas. thanx girls!!
  12. by   Lysa
    All I can say is I thought I had it bad!! This is very unsafe practice! Think about your licence! So you fill out professional practice reports when this happens? what about your union?
  13. by   MandyInMS
    Quote from Lysa
    All I can say is I thought I had it bad!! This is very unsafe practice! Think about your licence! So you fill out professional practice reports when this happens? what about your union?
    I was thinking the same thing Lysa..I thought I had it bad with 7-8 pts...what management doesn't realize is it only takes ONE bad pt to have you "tore up"..and with the higher and higher acuity pts we have on med-surg that happens quite often..grrrrrrrr