How many patients do you consider being a safe patient workload?

  1. I am a new grad nurse. I just got my first job. I had very little training and was thrown into running a "hospice"unit by myself with a CNA. I say "hospice" cause very little of our pt.s are true hospice. It seem like this place is a dumping ground for all sorts of pt.s especially behavioral Heath placement. My first day I was given 6 patients. Now I just worked last night and they had me managing care for 8. I don't feel comfortable with this and I am not able to give my patients the care they all deserved being spread so thin. Along with being a new grad and having a limited knowledge base. I have voiced these concerns to management there and they just kinda tell me you will be just fine and brush it off like no big deal. Iv only worked at this place for a month and I am really starting to see its a unsafe place to be working . Can you guys please give me some advice on what to do? What do you consider a safe nurse to patient ratio? Thanks
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    About NurseAsh87

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 1
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   loriangel14
    It really depends on the type of patient and how heavy the care is. The floor that I work on 8-9 for a night shift and 6 on days is normal.I work on a Complex Continuing Care floor.We have some medical, some palliative and lots of physical rehab. Most of our patients are elderly with comorbidities and behaviour issues.
  4. by   Meriwhen
    To be honest, that answer would depend on the specialty, the setting, and the patient you're going to find as many answers as there are nursing jobs.

    I'm protected by mandated ratios (California got something right!) so come hell or high water, I can never have more than 6 patients in inpatient psych. I feel that's a good amount for most psych patient some of the less acute populations, I feel that 7 or 8 is even doable. On the other hand, for more acute settings like ICU, 6 could be very challenging--it would depend on exactly what was going on with those 6 patients.
  5. by   Caffeine_IV
    In general I say 6 but it depends on the acuity and patient needs. If 3 of the six are getting frequent pain meds and one is getting transfused...that can be overwhelming. All it takes is one patient to start going bad to throw your shift off.
  6. by   eatmysoxRN
    I say it really depends on acuity. 8 is the max on my floor but those 8 can be challenging if they are on drips or have multiple c/o cp. I work a cardiac stepdown type floor. When it gets crazy is if the icu is full and we take a unit pt. We are the floor they get sent to. Taking care of a critical pt in addition to 7 more can be daunting.
  7. by   VitalReviver
    I would say 5-7.
  8. by   Starkrav
    I feel for you! I got two days of training to take care of 14 residents in long-term care. I know the acuity is low, but I frequently work without an aide and it's beyond overwhelming. (I'm currently trying to figure out how to leave that job). Trust your gut. If you feel unsafe or like your license may be in jeopardy, start looking for another job. The fact that management is not responding to your request for more assistance/training is not a good sign.
  9. by   Roshni69
    It depends on type of patient in case of stable pts with minor prblms more nmbr can b handled.In Pakistan here only ICUs & CCUs are the places where it can be 2 or 3 but in general wards situation is worse with 60, 70 smtimes more than it with only two nurses in such situation obvsly care of pt is affected. I m on duty right now doing night shift with 6 present but it could be 11 maximum coz i m in private rooms n pt's relatives never leave so care is limited