What is your nurse to pt ratio....and how many is too many?

  1. I work on a surgery floor. We have everything from lap nissens, choles, appys to lung/kidney/hips. You see a lot of different things. If you work on a unit like this....what is your average nurse to pt ratio?
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    About crb613

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 1,715; Likes: 542

    48 Comments

  3. by   christymwinn
    When I get pulled to the surgical unit, the ratio is usually 5 or 6:1 on days and 6:1 on nocs.
  4. by   Tweety
    Five is enough on a unit like that. Although we sometimes to up to 8 if we have a personal tech.
  5. by   augigi
    We have 4:1 ratios.
  6. by   crb613
    Thanks to you all. I am trying to gather information & see what the "norm" is. I posted in the general nursing discussion... new nurse needs help.. on some things I am concerned about at my hospital. I am getting 8/9 and was promised 7 max. We do have aides, usually 1:<=14, 2:>14. I do work nights, but the majority of these people do not sleep regardless of what day shift thinks! We do not go by acuity instead, you take the front, & you take the back.....Funny thing they ask for acuity at the end of each shift....can't figure that one out!
    I am new & worried that I am going to make a big mistake, or find one of the quiet ones in a bad shape way too late! I may also be having new nurse nerves, & my hospital is about like all the rest. I just don't know, and have no previous experience to base it on. Thanks again
  7. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from crb613
    Thanks to you all. I am trying to gather information & see what the "norm" is. I posted in the general nursing discussion... new nurse needs help.. on some things I am concerned about at my hospital. I am getting 8/9 and was promised 7 max. We do have aides, usually 1:<=14, 2:>14. I do work nights, but the majority of these people do not sleep regardless of what day shift thinks! We do not go by acuity instead, you take the front, & you take the back.....Funny thing they ask for acuity at the end of each shift....can't figure that one out!
    I am new & worried that I am going to make a big mistake, or find one of the quiet ones in a bad shape way too late! I may also be having new nurse nerves, & my hospital is about like all the rest. I just don't know, and have no previous experience to base it on. Thanks again
    Asking for the acuity level looks good on paper. We had max of 6 (plus turnover). Same for days and nights- I can't figure THAT out. We do usually have 3 techs on days, 2 on night. However, the techs don't chart the I&Os, weights, or do blood sugars. I think they should.

    If you were promised only 7, I would speak up! Good luck.
  8. by   nrsang97
    My average patient load is 6-7 on my med surg unit. This is the same for days and evenings. On nights they usually have 8-9 depending on pt census and staffing levels. (on nights charge only takes partial group 4 pts.) Also at the current place I work our aids take vitals and do blood sugars which is a big help. I have worked at another hospital where we had only 1 aid for the entire 32 bed unit, and nurses had 10-11 pts each. Some of these pts were on monitors. So ratio can vary. I think 10-11 is way too many on nights because pts really don't sleep. Also at this hospital nurses had to do their own blood sugars and vitals. The aids weren't allowed to take vitals and blood sugars. So this made things terrible if you had someone going bad. I agree with the poster who said that if you were promised no more than 7pts then you should speak up.
  9. by   hica19
    In the hospital I work at, average patient load is 2-3 patients unless we are extremely extremely short staffed, then maybe we get 4 patients. I work in acute pediatrics but most of they really are considered PICU in most other hospitals. Sometimes we don't have care partners, but most of the time we do. They are really good about charting the vital signs, I&O's etc.
  10. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from hica19
    In the hospital I work at, average patient load is 2-3 patients unless we are extremely extremely short staffed, then maybe we get 4 patients. I work in acute pediatrics but most of they really are considered PICU in most other hospitals. Sometimes we don't have care partners, but most of the time we do. They are really good about charting the vital signs, I&O's etc.

    I like that term "care partner"! Never heard it before...
  11. by   crb613
    Thanks everybody I appreciate your taking the time to reply. I did say something to my charge, and she look at me like I had two heads!:uhoh21: We had a communication meeting to voice concerns, and learned that they had surveyed 1200 hospitals gathering info on a wide range of topics. Out of that 1200 our hospital was almost at the bottom for employee satisfaction. The turnover rate predictor was 99%..........hmmmm that should be telling them something! We do our own blood sugars, CNA's do the vitals, but we do all the charting, MAR & chart checks. Our charge does not take any patients. So I plan to speak to my DON...I am tired of hearing "we know you can handle it no matter where we put you" uuhh nooo I can't!
  12. by   hica19
    Quote from kriso
    I like that term "care partner"! Never heard it before...
    I like that term as well. It's better sounding than "nursing assistant". After all, at the hospital I work at, they are treated as equals. They work together with the nurses to make patient care run as smoothly and effectively as possible.
  13. by   nursesaideBen
    I can't believe that some of the hospitals don't allow the CNA's to blood sugars, I/O, weights, etc! I work on a medical care unit and we do the blood sugars, the vitals, weights, I/O's, and things for the nurses and it really seems to help them out.
  14. by   GooeyRN
    2 nurses (One RN, and either another RN or an LPN) to 28 pts. One or two CNA's on a normal day.

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