Friday, January 8, 2010

Patient ratio

I just calculated a new statistic.
I earn around $30 per hour to take care of 60 patients. That's like each of them paying 50 cents an hour for a nurse.
The aides earn around $10 per hour to take care of 20 patients. That's also the same nurse rate of 50 cents per hour.
I have long had the minute ratio broken down: 60 patients, 60 minutes in a hour: that's one minute per hour per patient, or not even seven minutes per patient per shift, factoring in my break time (which I rarely get). That includes minutes spent on paperwork, such as verifying new orders and charting. Sometimes the paperwork aspect takes more than seven minutes for one patient. The rest of the paperwork time as well as the bedside care has to be taken away from another patient. When a resident says to me, "This only takes a few minutes," they don't understand that I can only ration seven minutes per person, and they may have already consumed their allotted seven minutes with paperwork. I don't have time to take someone to the bathroom for ten minutes. They just don't understand this. "You're always in a hurry" is a common observation. Well, you'd move quickly too if you had to take care of sixty people.

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