3 Is The New 2: Triple Assignments in the ICU??
I will periodically work in the CCU/ICU to maintain my Critical Care Skills while getting my mandatory hours needed for license renewal but I am unsure how long this will last. During my most recent prn shift in the ICU, I saw nurses being tripled and no one looked shocked but me!!! When and why has tripling become a norm in the ICU? Now I’ve heard of some crazy nurse/patient ratios on the med-surg floors but now this disease has spread to the units as well? How awful!!! So lets’ look at the business side of this…($$$)…no need to complain about the situation unless you are willing to become a part of the solution. So while two nurses take the assignment of 3 nurses or even 4 nurses depending on the acuity of the patient have you, think about the money SAVED by the hospital when you and another nurse increase your workload to eliminate paying another nurse? An agency nurse at $40/hr who works a shift to help offset the acuity and prevent tripling nurses would be about $500. Is that too much to invest to provide a safe working environment, allow adequate care for patients without dragging your nurses thru the trenches? Believe it or not, 2 critical patients can drag a nurse for 12+ hours, adding a third patient AIN’T necessary! A few years back, maybe 7-8 years ago, balloon pumps, fresh hearts and CRRT’s were 1:1, and now they’re paired assignments. Who thought this set up was a great idea? Definitely not a sick patient or a sane nurse!! But what they don’t know won’t hurt them, I guess. Not true. But what about you? Are you satisfied and happy about doing the work made for two nurses while the hospital saves money and potentially jeopardizes your license, career and livelihood? Same situation, different day? Changes are coming fast and quick in the nursing profession, so you taking charge of the direction of your career is imperative. Are you willing to stay where your license can be compromised at any moment? Ready to do something different? Ready to make that change, but unsure how? There are plenty opportunities for you. In addition here are:
3 Reasons why you should consider opportunities away from the bedside:
1. Physical Component: Healthcare settings (HOSPITALS) represent high rates of work-related illnesses and injuries. Based on prior research, one of the top health concerns facing healthcare workers (NURSES) include musculoskeletal injuries, mainly low back pain. This issue has been consistent for over a decade. (Even longer than that) No matter how great your health is; aging and life brings wear and tear on your body and no matter how safe you try to be and are with caring for patients it only takes one twist, turn or improper bend to change things for you. Nursing is a very physically tasking profession and being cognizant of your current abilities and your ideal future will help you decide what type of work/setting would be best for you in the future.
2. Staffing or the “lack of it”: As healthcare costs continues to increase, decreasing the number of nurses scheduled is often the way of attack to save money. (From those holding the purse strings) Inadequate staffed units/floors, increased responsibilities paired with less assistance are the perfect cocktail ingredients for stress and frustration.
3. Money– One question..Are you satisfied with your current pay and knowing that someone else controls your income? Your hours, overtime, raise and bonuses…..This maybe ok for now, but what about in a few years from now? Will you feel the same way???
Learn and Know the business of nursing and even more than that, know your value!!!
I will leave you with this famous and well know quote:
“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want” – Kevin Ngo