I work in a hospital where our med-surg unit is home to orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, oncology, dialysis and often times urology as well. The combination of these specialties has created quite a challenge for our entire staff. Our acuities are extremely high as you would imagine and yet our staffing ratios do not reflect this! We have voiced our concerns on numerous occasions over the course of several years but unfortunatley it all seems to be futile. Our patients are the ones paying the price for this and we have had an alarming increase in staff injuries as well. I would be interested to know if anyone has a similar combined unit that they are working on presently and what the staffing is like for a unit such as this one.
Last edit by tess240 on Jul 22, '01
Jul 28, '01
About 16 years ago I worked in a large university hospital that was always combining specialities, as a cost cutting measure. It amazed me when they would do this, because it always seemed so random. They would never provide adequate training for the nurses either. I guess they thought "a nurse was a nurse."
Within the 6 years I was there, we were a Gyn/Infertility/Abortion unit, a Gyn/Infertility/Abortion/Oncology unit, and a Gyn/Infertility/Abortion/Urology unit. The last one caused many nurses to leave because they hadn't taken care of a male patient in years. Everytime they did one of these changes, nurses would have to learn additional skills, get use to a whole new set of doctors and patients, educate themselves on a whole new set of deseases and illnesses. Mistakes would increase and the patients would ultimately suffer. It's the bottom line that really matters in these places!