Wed 30 Mar, 2005 11:53 am
life is a catch 22
So the law that was established back in 1999 in CA went into effect this week requiring more nurses to patient ratio. One nurse is required for every six patients in the medical-surgery units, while one nurse is needed for every two patients in the intensive care unit. Hospitals are struggling with the nurse shortage which will cause costs to go up. I know this is a never-ending story but I find it frustrating. As always it will come back on us requiring us to work more hours. Do you feel my pain?
One to six is too many patients....that is our standard night shift ratio. For day shift, no more than four patients to one nurse.
However, just the number of patients is SO not the whole story...acuity makes such a difference.
I agree with the other reply. I think that acuity is the key. Just yesterday, I (the student, precepting with an RN) was assigned to 4 pts with my preceptor. This was all fine and dandy, however, one was a fresh post-op, receiving prbc's, another receiving blood, another in respiratory arrest, with us prepared to call a code, and the fourth spoke no english, and we had no way of interpretation for this 1 day post-op pt, it was Sunday, so no LPN's, and 1 aide to the whole floor. So, YIKES for any nurse, however much experience.
I am sad to hear that you are so "overloaded" by pts. which causes burn out and encourages a further shortage, cascading to further problems.
Good luck in Ca.