Have you ever felt that you have too much work to do for just one nurse - page 3

: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   georgia peaches
    The biggest problem at our facility (med-surg/tele) seems to involve the level of patient acuity.
    Sometimes an assignment of 7 patients leaves me (for lack of a better expression) unchallenged. (bored?). Other times (and more often than not), just 4 of the patients keep you running and wishing you had roller blades on your shoes, or that you could miraculously clone yourself and literally be in two places at once.

    The biggest gripes that I have personally are assignments of 5 with no aide, or 7 with a 'worthless' aide. You guys know the type of aide that I refer to. With some of our staff I'm all smiles when I know that a particular aide is working; I *KNOW* that the shift will be a good one, no matter how crazy the floor gets. With other aides, well - I might as well be all alone.

    The final gripe (since you kind people are listening) is the thinking that allows that "since staffing ratios are 6-7 patients per nurse, all is well. No matter that 4 were discharged and 4 were admitted *ON THE SAME SHIFT* - that particular nurse still had "ONLY" 7 patients. Grrrrr.

    I'd love to hear suggestions for helping to change the situation. Other than the above, I honestly love my job!

  2. by   rollingstone
    15:1 ratio is just dangerous. I worked at a magnet hospital in Arizona over the winter and the ratio in med-surg was 4:1.
  3. by   nursenatalie
    I am sure you worked hard for your license and it sounds like you are working hard down the road to losing it...I dont care if these patients are not acute, which it sounds like they are, 15 is too much. I would not return to that job until staffing was adequate, for your benefit and for the patients who deserve more treatment than one person can give.
  4. by   nursejudy15209
    When I picture this in my head, I realize just how scarry the nursing shortage really is. It makes me glad that someone is willing to "bite the bullit" just in case I happen to be the patient instead of the nurse.

    I think the nurses did what they felt they had to do. It's very unfortunate that this particular patient suffered, but in the case of who is responsible - it would depend on the policies, the chain of command, and how the nurses followed the rules laid down by this facility.

    In this situation, it is very hard to comprehend that someone could be on the floor without being noticed. Whenever I work the night shift, if there are any unusual noises, it's to my benefit (and the patient's) to investigate. When I approach the room I suspect has had an unusual occurrence, I find myself wishing it's nothing serious. Nine times out of ten, it isn't, but there is always the exception and if I didn't at least look in hear the sounds of someone sleeping, well then that would be the time to take action.

    A lesson learned here, for sure. Never take for granted that all is well unless you know for sure that everyone you are responsible for is OK.
  5. by   maythen
    I'd be stark raving terrified to take on 15 or more patients. I'm a new grad (since december) and I work on a med/surg floor. We get everything from telemetry, to GI bleeds, to fresh post ops. My max load has been 7 patients of my own and working with an LVN that had 7 patients. I nearly handed them my walking papers that day. I can't imagine how you're managing. I feel overwhelmed much of the time (my facility as decided to cut costs by not giving night shift any support personnell (now ward clerks, care techs, etc) and by not giving any of us a lunch or a break. (we were informed that it's cheaper to pay the fine than hire a break nurse).
    We have to have computerized acuities turned in by midnight but it seems awfully pointless since it doesn't change your staffing level one bit. Between doing total patient care, all the charting, the duplicate charting we have to do on the computer, and still trying to get a handle on the transition from "student" to Rn... it's daunting to say the least.
    I'm in California in a rural hospital, so maybe the laws are different. But we've had to send patients to one of the other hospitals when we couldn't staff any higher. 7 or 8 is our max load on med/surg and i think that our ccu doesn't take more than 3. I thought that patient safety was the whole point of staffing ratio laws. Are you in an area that doesn't have them?
  6. by   Stitchie
    Quote from debbie17368
    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 7 am at my hospital) i only have an lpn working there (too much work for them too) sometimes i even have patients connected to mechanical ventilators. there are times when the supervisor can not find anybody to cover a shift and the rns have to work with 30 patients by herself, plus do all the paper work. has this happened to any of you guys?debbie
    run! run quickly. and don't look back. omg, that is horrible and your poor patients, your poor feet, knees, feelings, conscience.
  7. by   Tweety
    Basically, what everyone said. Too much!

    Our vented patients are no more than 4:1 if there is one, if there are two then it drops to 3:1.

    Sounds like a very unsafe situation. Good luck.
  8. by   rollingstone
    No, this has never happened to me. 15 patients? No way! I'd leave that situation doublequick.
  9. by   barefootlady
    I agree with the other posts, this is unsafe practice. Not even Super Nurse could do justice to 15 patients!!!! Please, look for another job. Get out of there as quickly as you can. Good luck and good hunting.
  10. by   minnib
    I love taking care of people but I am probably going to leave nursing or go agency; private duty. I work on a usually nice rehab unit but our pts are sent to us sicker all the time they pull our aide at night if the census is low but a low census doesn't mean a damn sometimes!, We have to do a med pass and assess and take people to the bathroom now or else they go in the bed you have to do a complete bed change and it all snowballs from there. Don't get me wrong I will work right along side the aide to get the job down if need be but administration is making it unsafe for us not to have an aide I don't know what the answer is.. I am an LPN and wanted to go on for my RN but I don't know now. Us nurses just keep complaining and nothing is being done. It comes down to dollars!, and our pts suffer and so do alot of us. They say there are no nurses out there but when the hospital is overstaffed they call us at home and ask if want a personal day!! I know hospital's must have a budget but I really think they are taking advantage of us nurses! I want to get hospital experience and get of that environment, it is a shame though because i do love learning but can't take the stress sometimes!, Thanks all just had to vent!!

    Peace to all.......