nurse-patient ratio - page 5

Within the last year, we restructured our Med-Surg nurse patient ratio to be 1:6 for days/eves, and 1:8 for nights. I am interested in hearing what other ratios in Med-Surg are. I work in a 400 bed... Read More

  1. by   nursenightmare
    Our unit has really bizzare staffing ratios. Each nurse gets 5 patients. You assign two to a tech who does all the "tech" work for the patien. The other three are all yours. That means in addition to doing the nursing duties for the 5, you are also bathing, changing linens, feeding (if needed), walking, answering their call lights, it goes on and on. Every day is a busy day!

  2. by   frann
    work on a 32 bed telemetry/ventilater/neuro/resp floor.
    on days they usually have 6 -7nurseswith 2-3 aids.
    eve's 6-7 with 0-2 aids.
    nights 4-5 with 1 aid.
    I feel I can't keep up. There really isn't any charge nurse here anymore. Day's sometimes have them but they have about 4 pts. I've only been a nurse 10 years. Our acuity is so high.We have 1 rehab vent on the floor right now.
    I dont know how much longer I can take this. It gets worse every year. Managment keeps putting non nursing jobs on us like staffing. If we are big point we have to call allthe other units to make sure that everyone is staffed fairly. If someone calls out, we must neglect our patients making calls trying to get people in.
  3. by   Brenda Braun
    WOW! the variety is amazing! I have read quite a bit of articles that show that RN patient ratios directly affect morbidity/ mortality/length of stay, etc. They also have a direct impact on job satisfaction. In this day and age with the high acuity of patients, more RN staffing is key. Too bad the financial people don't see it that way. They see RNs as a big chunk of the budget they want to cut. GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS all the med-surg nurses who are working so hard to improve they quality of care!
  4. by   deespoohbear
    At the small hospital I work at, it is not unusual for days to have 7 or 8 patients, eves usually the same ratio. Nights can have up to 12 patients, even though management thinks they should be able to take 14. We have CNA's to do the baths and feeding and such, but sometimes they cop such an attitude it is easier to do it yourself. Our Med/Surg floor has 32 beds which includes peds and tele. We do not have an IV team or an ostomy nurse. After 7 pm, the pharmacy is closed so we usually end up mixing our own IV's at that point. The stress level can get pretty bad. I really love it when some OB nurse on the next floor proceeds to tell me how busy they are with a total of 4 patients (two Moms, two Babes)!! I would love to have 4 patients!! Actually, they only have 2 patients a piece because one nurse does Moms and one does Babes.
  5. by   RNPAULIE
    i work on a forty-six bed renal vascular floor with med/surg and overflow surgical patients. we have team nursing, a charge nurse and med nurse and the floor nurses can have anywhere from 1:4-8 on days, 512 on evenings and up to 14 on nights with sometimes three aides on days, most times one, one to two on evenings(some 3-11s they have no med nurse--nights never does)and 11-7 once in a while has an aide. the acuity is high and very rarely taken into consideration. we have a shortage of nurses right now, surprise surprise!!! so the ratios are down a bit because the census is being kept down.
  6. by   shannonRN
    i work on a 33 bed med-surg floor. our staffing is supposed to be 1:4 days, 1:5 evenings, and 1:6 midnights. the number of aides per shift varies. days has 1 or 2, evenings 1, and midnights 0. lately if has been a lot higher. i had 9 on midnights this past week and 7 on evenings just tonight...but seeing some of the staffing levels that have been posted, i can't complain!!!
  7. by   ALOHANURSE
    I work in a fairly small hospital. My unit only being 17 beds. Although our staffing ratio sounds good, 1:4-5 days /1:5-6 eve./ and 1:7-8 on nights, we often have no CNA or unit secretary and we are trying to do EVERYTHING! Even with all 17 beds filled there is only one aid so we can't count on her for much. I would rather care for 6 pts. on days and have all the support staff in place. I feel stretched so thin when I'm trying to keep up with the phones, orders, doing all my own vitals and baths and oh yeah, trying pass meds, hang blood, administer chemo, pacify doctors, and chart, you know, all that other stuff. On the weekends we also must cover the LPN's and assume all charge duties. Our staffing is pretty good about considering our request for additional help, if they have any to give us. HELP! We are in a nursing shortage here. Yuk, that sounds really whiney. Anyway Hawaii is a great place to live!!!! Come join us.
  8. by   ljdrn
    New at AMC, I have an identical twin sister and we are both RN's. We graduated from Clinton Community College in Palttsburgh New York and reciceved our Associates of nursing with honors. Passed the NYS Boards with 75 questions and have been working evenings 3-11 pm on a busy surgical floor in saranac Lake ny for 5 months fresh out of college. We are taking patient assignments of 1/10 with an aide, or up to 1/7 primary. I love nursing, but it is so much and I haven't had more than one night where I have had a dinner let alone a 15 minute break!!!! Please write to me at if you can relate!!!
  9. by   lv2ski
    Hi, In resonse to ldjrn... It is infuriating and saddening to see what you are up against I too have had many a shift with what I consider unsafe staffing. Presently I am at a hospital where the staffing is 'ok' when compared to most places. I left a smaller community hospital with little resources and bare boned staffing. Until the 'higher ups' in administration realize nurses are the back bones of the hospital things will not get much better. I don't think there is a nursing shortage as much as nurses job-jumping for safer and more rewarding situations. we can either bail out and look for better situations, as I have done, or get active and political so our voices WILL be heard. I plan to do just this, by writing to local representatives and other politicians. I remind them that it will help their campaign to mention the nursing shortage...there are alot of nurses that vote! It is only in fairness to our patients and ourselves that we fight for better working conditions.
    good luck to all.....
  10. by   ohbet
    If staffing is dangerous doesnt the buck stop with management?
  11. by   Repat
    My husband asked the same thing, but although I have seen the lists from the BON of nurses who have lost their licenses, I still have yet to see a hospital lose anything important. Bottom line, it is our licenses at risk. Before I started back after a long break, I thought that all the 'belly-aching' was just that, but was I ever wrong. It's worse than I thought, and I don't see too much happening to improve anything. The Nurse Reinvestment Act may get more people into school, but it has not addressed how to keep the graduates in the job. Money, staffing levels, patient acuity - no mention of these.
  12. by   2rntish
    Enjoyed reply #16 from Cindy Lou. We too have spent up to 3 hours in class learning to smile and give "scripted" answers when patients ask for something. Not 3 hours of how patient care could improve or how dangerous it really is.
  13. by   jacknpheebs
    here in the uk im working nights on a 29 bed acute medical ward including 4 cardiac monitored beds , one RN (me) and two health care support workers (equivalent to your aides) please tell me californias better, ive passed my nclex have been approved by ins and should be emmigrating in december -january (ish)
    cannot wait