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oh boy, how I wish I could post this WSJ article

It is called, "Hospitals Open Up Space in the ER" subtitled, Facilities Work to Avoid "Boarding" patients in halls. Not a SINGLE word about the nursing shortage. However, it does suggest that other units be sent patients that will have them sit in halls thus putting pressure on the unit to discharge in patients and make room. HUH?? Here is a quote, Shore Health System, "...asking intensive-care nurses, who usually care for no more than two or three patients, to take on additional patients when ER gets to crowded with boarders. :angryfire "Sometimes it's not a crowd pleaser with nurse but if it is in the best interest of the patients we will do it." says Christopher Mitchell manager of ER services at Memorial Hospital in Easton. There are good suggestions like having representatives of all units meet daily to look at bed situation and creating over flow units where people who need watched but not admitted can go. However, somehow the article makes the nurses into nameless, faceless labor that is just sitting upstairs waiting to have the patients delivered to them. In my experience half the time it is not a bed shortage so much as a nurse shortage that keeps people sitting in the ER.

AfloydRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ ICU.

How can we take " extra" patients in ER when we barely have time for our ICU patients? It's not always nursing shortage. It's also BED shortages. MD's always want tele beds and they are forever full. Make strict admission criteria for the units and discharge patients in a timely manner. That would open up some beds.

We get a lot of "oh, we'll probably let him go home tomorrow", and then the pt thinks in the am, but the doc doesn't show up till 5:30 at night, etc.

For us, it's a nursing shortage...1,000+ beds, +/- 875 active. Then pts who have waited in the ER come up and see empty beds and are upset because "you have empty beds, you didn't need to keep me waiting". I hate having to try to explain that the bed is empty for a reason - nobody to take care of you! My unit is 38 beds and we are usually around 30-35 pts, so we usually have a couple of empties.

That article would probably make me very angry, I'm glad I didn't read it!! I don't see how boarding pts in the hall would do any good anywhere! And it doesn't help to put pressure on the unit to get pts out, we don't decide when people go! Why don't you put them in the MD rooms (lounge, sleep areas, etc). That might do it!

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