PCTs - How many patients?

  1. I am in nursing school and working as a patient care tech on a busy, heavy medical floor. I was wondering how many patients other techs have while working. There are 20 beds on my floor and during day/evening shifts we have 2 techs (or 10 patients each.) Like I mentioned, the floor is heavy and frequently many of these patients are incontinent, many are confused, etc.

    Interested to hear others' experiences in this because often, 10 patients seems like a LOT! When I float to floors where I have 7-8 patients, it seems like a world of difference. I have heard of techs having up to 20 patients (not on a night shift) and I cannot imagine that.
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    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 10


  3. by   blackbird singing
    I work days on medsurg floor with 40 beds. If there is a full floor, we will probably have 3 pcts, but if there are 25-30ish pts, probably only 2. I know at nights, the cut off is 24 pts and if it's less than that, there is only 1 pct. In the 2 months I have worked (very new!) I can remember having as many as 18 pts and as little as 8 (I kept my mouth reeeeaall quiet that day haha didn't want to jinx it!)
    My first day training it was just the pct training me on the floor. I freaked out bc I thought it was going to be like that every day and that I would end up on my own frequently ... luckily, I haven't (yet). But I do know if that happens, the call lights go to the nurses primary and the pcts second (if the nurses don't answer or they can forward it).
  4. by   PittGirl
    I work on an oncology/med-surg floor. We have 34 beds and, although we are oncology, we have a mix of very high acuity patients and general medical patients from local nursing homes that are confused/incontinent/bed jumpers.

    On daylight and evenings, we are alloted 3 PCTs and on nights we are alloted 2. I usually work 12-hour night shift and we RARELY have more than 1 PCT. Even if we are scheduled 2, one usually gets pulled to another floor. and it's a rumor that confused patients sleep all night. We often have 1 or 2 at the nurse's station. Our floor is almost always full, too. On daylight, we usually have 10-12 patients if there are 3 PCTs and on evening/nights, we usually have anywhere from 15 to 34. I have worked daylight where I was the only PCT on the floor. 34 patients on daylight is not very fun.
  5. by   soxgirl2008
    Omg! I couldn't imagine having that many patients all the time...I work evenings on a surgical floor and we usually have 4-6 patients per tech. Sometimes 7 or 8 but that's when we're shortstaffed. When I float to other floors they usually have 4-6 patients per tech too.
  6. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    My old floor was a surgical floor and during the day PCTs had 7-8, but double that at night. On my current floor, adult medicine, there are usually 3 techs during the day for 35 patients, 2-3 for evenings, and hopefully 1 or 2 at night!
  7. by   Bruce_Wayne
    Ortho/Surg: But also the same ratio used for med/tele:
    One hallway where I work is 14 rooms. So I'll have anywhere from 7-14 patients.

    Sometimes when staffing is really tight I'll be assigned 2 hallways but then instead of having to do q2 safety rounds I focus more on making sure all the vitals and cbgs get done and answering call bells and helping with other prn stuff like toileting.

    If I only have 1 hallway I'm responsible for q2 safety rounds, baths, linen, vitals, cbgs, callbells, and putting in non-venous I&O.

    If I'm doing 2 hallways I'm less responsible for the linens, baths, safety rounds, and I&O and the nurses are suppose to do their own.

    But I try to do as much as I can and help out.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm crazy busy with 8 patients and other days I'm sitting between 2 hallways trying to find stuff to do.

    When I work ICU it's always just one tech and it's a 14 bed ICU. The patient ratio for the nurses is 2:1 so the there are plenty of hands around to help with turning, bathing, etc. Working ICU is actually (knock on wood) kind of easy as a tech because most of the vitals are taken automatically so I just go to go around getting temps, blood sugars, and whatever lab draws come my way.

    Geriatric Psych:

    On the geropsych ward they get 2 techs for anywhere from 10 to 20 patients. And then there's usually 3 or 4 nurses there too. Lots of pottying. During the days it's not really that bad because of all the activities. I mostly just enjoy the activities along with the patients and then potty people during the breaks. We go out to the garden a lot which is fun and then we do some chair exercises. After lunch and naps we usually play a game either Bingo or Wii bowling. Overall a nice place to work but sometimes psych patients can work your nerves.

    ER is pretty brutal, 1 tech for the 18 rooms. But it comes and goes in waves it seems. I spend my day just cycling through fast track, observation, and main ER just doing what needs to be done. There's no rhyme or rhythm to it and that really throws me off lol. I just keep making my circle doing what needs to be done until I can go home and passout dog tired.
    Last edit by Bruce_Wayne on Sep 27, '11
  8. by   cheezwizz90
    I'm a House Float PCT and I work on 30 different units. Every unit has different ratios, but in general a PCT can expect a team of anywhere from 7-14 patients in my hospital. Personally, I feel that 8 should be the highest amount, but 14 can be very manageable depending on teamwork.
  9. by   awilliams1483
    im new to all this and my teacher gave me me first soap note and i realy need help. so if someone could help me that would be graet .
  10. by   awilliams1483
    will someone help me.
  11. by   dabears54
    21 beds, one tech. tech only assigned 11 during day and all 21 from 11p-7a. its very very busy!!
  12. by   valleygirl99
    On my floor we have 22 beds so each tech get 12 or 10 patients depending on which side you have. Sometimes on nights there's only 1 tech for the whole floor. When I come in for day shift she is ususally exhusted. Sometimes in a pinch one of the RNs will be called in to act as a tech. I wish I had 7 or 8 patients is so much more managable especially when there are a lot of labs to be drawn.
  13. by   adnrnstudent
    Day shift 8 pts.
    Night Shift 11 or 12.

    If we are short a PCT, nurses required to do their own I&O's and if floor crazy pitch in wherever else they can.
  14. by   parumph
    We max out at 42 beds and 4 aides. Frequently have 25-35 beds full, and 3 aides. Overnights is 2 aides regardless of census.

    I have duo'd 36 people over a dinner. And i've solo'd 21 w/7 feeders over a dinner. Had a bit of help from my nurse in those cases. Normally not.