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What are your patient/staff ratios, how much overtime are you doing?

rncountry rncountry (Member)

I would like to know what you ratios are like and what area of nursing you are working. Also how much overtime you are picking up, both voluntary and mandatory. Are you working on call freq? The last place I worked we had people being mandated at least 3-4 times a week. I would like to hear your stories please, and how this is affecting patient care and how it is affecting you and your life. Thanks

Well, I'm in a Neurosurgery ICU, our ratios are either 4 RN's to 8 Pts or 5 RN's to 8 pts. Not bad. we don't have mandated OT- but I have been doing about 12 extra hrs a week in split up 4-8 hr shifts... and I am starting to think it would just be easier to sign up for the extra shift than to hear the ICU supervisor calling yet again to see if I want to work some more. It does start to make you a little leary of answering the phone.


Specializes in ER.


I work in an ER that sees close to 50,000/year. Our six bed trauma room is staffed with 2RN's most of the day..

Our acute care is comprised of two 10-bed teams..There are 2 RN's and a tech per team until 3am, when the staffing drops to one RN for the 10 beds plus a tech.

I have worked in this facility for three years and there has never been mandatory overtime. As for voluntary, I don't do any...I work to finance my days off so that I can enjoy my time with friends and family.


I work in a 16 bed ICU. Our ratios are generally 1 nurse to 2 pts, but sometimes (infreq) I have had 3 pts, but not acutely ill. We have also done 1:1 with the sicker pts. We sign up for oncall, not really mandatory but encouraged. The hospital recently offerred an incentive for the floors that have >20% vacancies. Time and a half PLUS an additional $7.00 an hour. It brings me close to $45 an hout to do this, so I have been taking advantage.

Here in the Twin Cities we have a SEVERE nursing shortage--on my OB/GYN floor we take 4-5 ob plus their babies patients or 4 GYN/MED pts on 7-3. I work 12 hr shifts and usually at 3:00 I aquire 1-2 more pts. We all work dbles/extra shifts and often work w/o charge nurses. Our hospital is extending the incentive bonus($50 per 4hr extra shift) on top of what the contract gives us on the W/E. Catch? you have to be confirmed ahead of time by staffing but often they are so desperate that we just ask and they give. But getting old--everyone is so tired and burning out fast!!

I work in a TELE unit, which on days the ratio is 1:4 or 5, on days and evenings and 1:6/7/8, that ratio is not too bad. however hard work.

I'm working in a CCU in British Columbia. Our ratio varies from 3:1 for stable pts to 1:1 for Swan Ganz. I know the ICU has vents as 1:1. I work overtime about 24 hrs (2 shifts) per month of my own accord (nobody makes me) and get paid double time. I haven't been asked to stay overtime after my shift ends (thanks to unions smile.gif)

I work in a 12-17 bed ICU and our ratios vary anywhere from 1:1 (CABG recovery, IABP, ICP, Peds, CVVHC etc) to 1:3 (stable tele's, angio's, medicals etc) we do have some occasions when we are running with alot of high acuity patients that we will staff up to 9 nurses a shift. Our unit has not instituted mandatory overtime except for management (YEAH!!!!!!) who are required to do patient care when no one else is available. Still, I usually work anywhere from 20-60 hours of overtime per 2 week period ( I am not full time to begin with, and most of my overtime is on-call/ call back). Needless to say- I don't get much else done outside of work!


Dawn RN, ICU


Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care. Has 17 years experience.

I work in an 18-bed medical-surgical ICU. We never have one-on-one nursing (with the only exception being the 35-year-old guy who came in with a priapism...go figure). We always have at least 2 pts per RN, frequently 3--although we try to spread it out so that if you have 3 patients, you may have 2 ICU and 1 patient whose status has been changed to Telemetry. But there are times we have 3 ICU patients. We try to never mandatory overtime, with nurses picking up extra patients to avoid mandatorying someone. But it does happen. Yesterday I had 3 patients, one vent (mentally retarded with CP), one respiratory failure (trying hard NOT to intubate) and one telemetry patient (CHF). I'm exhausted.

Hi. I work day shift tele & have 4 pts of my own, plus collaborate care w/ 2-4 additional pts w/ an LVN. I work an extra shift voluntarily approx. 2x/month for time and a half pay.There is always opportunity to work even more, but I insist on having days off to live my life ;-) "No madatory overtime" is written into our union contract. Our staffing is excellent, I am told, compared to most other hospitals in our area.Most days I do get a 30 min lunch break, though it does happen that some days I give it up becuase my patients are too acute and there isn't enough help. It makes me angry when I hear nurses from other hospitals tell me about their ratios 7-10 pts per RN on tele! That's not safe! My floor is VERY busy. The patients can be very heavy and unstable, with drips, cardioversions, procedures, etc and it is not uncommon to work over unvoluntarily for 30 min-1 hr to "finish charting." The staffing where I work, and the working conditions in general are good. There is high staff retention.That's not to say that people don't get burned out. It's hard work and very demanding.But I have floated to other floors in the hospital, and the nurses are very supportive of one another throughout the hospital (which helps). I wish other hospitals would wake up. It's not that hard to figure out the solution to the the nursing shortage (nurses would stay if working conditions were better!)

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