Unsafe Staffing Story: A “perfect example of when a grid does not work.”

2 Sep

MNA Nurses fill out hundreds of Concern For Safe Staffing forms online each month. The story below is just one example of how unsafe staffing conditions inside Minnesota hospitals continue to have negative – and sometimes even deadly – consequences for patients and nurses. (Note: Due to HIPAA privacy laws for patients and concerns for potential workplace retaliation by employers against RNs, we do not identify the specific nurse and/or patient(s) involved in each story in this space.)

Today’s Story: We had only 3 nurses from 6-8:30 to admit up to 8 patients and then do post surgical care on 2 patients. We had the 8:30 nurse arrive, and an on call nurse was called. This is a perfect example of when a grid does not work. By 0930 the dilemma was resolved because then 3 more on call RN’s arrived. It was embarrassing to come into a patient’s room after they had been waiting 30 to 50 minutes. I felt rushed and was concerned I might miss something. Then we had an immediate medical procedure added to the existing patient load, and this would require yet another nurse that we didn’t have. The anesthesiologist agreed to do this procedure in the operating room instead on in the pre-operative suite. We only had two unit coordinator staff checking people in and obtaining pre-operative information from the clinics, which was inadequate for the number of patients being admitted.

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