Hey all! I am hoping someone can guide me in the right direction regarding safety policies.
I work in a 10-bed ICU. Administration is trying to implement a 1 RN in the unit unless there are more than 2 patients. What I mean is 1 RN and that’s it. No aide, no other human body back in the unit. I understand not paying a second RN be back in the unit but having literally no one else is absurd in my mind. Number 1, there is no one to watch monitors if I would be in a room with a patient. Number 2, we get combative alcohol withdrawals/overdoses. We have had nurses assaulted by other staff (I won’t go into that here but suffice to say it was not pretty). Irate family members, I can name a hundred scenarios in which having a lone staff member is unsafe.
Administration does not get this. We have one charge nurse that covers the unit and 3 med surg floors, so they can’t possibly be at our beck and call. The charge nurse is also the medication nurse for caths if we have a STEMI, so in essence they can be off the floors for a couple of hours if we have a STEMI roll in. We don’t have nighttime pharmacy so we are mixing our own gtts and overriding non-profiled medications, so we would literally have to call to have someone come back to witness a controlled med that hasn't been profiled yet by pharmacy (wastes as well).
We can go literally hours in the unit without seeing another employee. I don’t fault the charge or supervisor for this at all, they run their butts off every shift. I just don’t see how putting 1 RN in a closed-off unit is safe by any stretch of the imagination.
I already told my husband that if they implement this he can expect me to lose my job because I will refuse to clock in. But there are people working there that don’t have that luxury—this job is not our primary source of income, most people working the unit this IS their income.
It really ticks me off that our administrators don’t seem to have even the little sense that God gave an ant. In my eyes, this is a train wreck waiting for a time to happen.
Any advice? Thoughts? Directions in which I can get basic safety requirements? I’m in Ohio. I’m trying to find something to help us plead our case.
(And before you ask, yes I have applications out at other facilities.)
I appreciate your input!