I'm considering travel nursing to NYC because I love it there, but have heard horror stories on ratios. In ICU I have 2; Med/Surg I have 5-7. Do you regularly have aides? Just wondering if it's doable.....
Feb 17, '04
It depends on the facility.
There is at least one wellknown NYC facility where the work load is truly heinous - I haven't worked it but have heard the horror stories. Great pay rate though.
I have worked at one that sounded wonderful on the phone, but was a complete nightmare to work, even though the ratios were not bad (support staff issues, etc.). It became my unofficial worst assignment ever. Crappy pay rate too.
My current assignment has similar ratios, but is my unofficial best assignment ever. Pay rate between that of the other two.
All three of these hospitals are within 3 miles of each other.
So it really depends on the site.
Feb 19, '04
<NY city patient ratios>
In hospitals where the nurses are represented by the New York State Nurses Assoc for collective bargaining, pt ratios are set in our contract. Critical care is no more than 1:2. The staff nurses negotiate the ratios at their own facility based on their own pt population, so other ratios may be different at different facilities. Nurses at a busy teaching hospital with high acuity pt populations may have set their med-surg ratios at 1:6 while nurses at the smaller community hospital a mile down the street with lesser acuity pts may have set their med-surg ratio at 1:8.
Ask about the ratios when you are job hunting. I dont know about other hospitals but in those where the nurses have NYSNA, the staffing ratios are printed listing them floor by floor, shift by shift. Ask to see it.
As far as support services and aides, the trend has been to lay off as many as those people as possible to "cut costs". Its a constant fight to get the help we need. In my ICU, we just spent the last 2 years fighting with the hospital to put nurses aides back in our unit. They had been laid off because "the budget didnt allow for them". The hospital expected the RNs to do everything - but we didnt. We went as far as grievances and arbitration - and we won. So now we have some help again - the hospital was ordered to put 2 aides back in the ICU - but it didnt come easy.