Reply To: Nurse to patient ratio

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I’m a fairly new nurse, but I worked as a CNA for several years in nursing homes before becoming a RN. As a CNA, I had anywhere from 10 to 30 residents to myself a shift depending on call-ins and such. We had 1 nurse to those same 30 patients. At my current job, we have 24 beds on our unit and when I started there it was a 1:4 ratio with 2-3 aides depending on patient acuities. Now, a year later, more days than not we are at a 1:5 ratio with no aides and the charge nurse even has 3 or 4 patients. We are getting multiple admits back to back and our patients are sicker and sicker. There is talk of having us move up to 1:6 ratios with an aide assigned to just our 6 patients, but I still don’t see how that will work safely. Right now I’m passing more than 50 meds just during one med pass and that doesn’t include PRNs or fluids or NOW doses. I’m completing 5-6 pages of orders written for each patient on a shift and expected to do all of the lengthy busywork charting on all my patients before I can go home. They also expect us to do bedside report on each patient and still be done with everything and off the unit within 30 minutes of the end of our shift. I guarantee our patient satisfaction scores will plummet and our patient safety will as well.

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