I was just wondering what kind of practices are in place for those of you who work in small hospitals when you get into a "bind".I work in a small hospital and have posted threads in the past (mostly when I first graduated) about the woes of working in a small hospital with limited staffing.Tonight I will be going into work, alone, in the L&D unit because the nurse I usually work with suddenly quit with minimal notice. I called the unit a few minutes ago to ask my nurse manager a question and was told that there had just been two deliveries with three more to go. I told my manager to get me some help for tonight if there would be three laboring patients because you never know what will walk in. I was told that she would "try", but that she didn't have a lot of choices ... There are a lot of nights that I may only see 1 or 2 triages the entire night, then others when I have admission after admission. More often than not I wind up delivering the day shift inductions. I know that my manager's job isn't easy. I constantly hear that our numbers just don't support the kind of staffing we ask for. I was told a while back that outpatient triages don't even count towards our numbers as far as hiring "full time employees" is concerned. We do 700 - 800 deliveries a year and a lot of shifts are covered by only one nurse. In this case there isn't a question that I need help, only the fact that there isn't any! Any advice on how other hospitals handle situations like this?