Calculating the staffing of the ICU

Only physicians and nurses are consideredin this calculation. As the staffing demands of ICUs are not all thesame, the staffing calculations need to be performed according to theLOC at which the ICU is operating or planning to operate. Therefore information on the P/N ratios (P/P ratios for physicians) is required. Indications which may be useful for theeventual staffing levels of other professional groups are discussedabove.

Every ICU has an appointed medical director, which is a full-time job in LOC II and LOC III ICUs, and a full-time head nurse.The total number of physicians and nurses required to staff the ICUcan be calculated using the ratios given in Table.,! and the formula below.

Table 1 Ratios for calculating the total number of professionalsrequired to staff the ICU

The total number of professionalsrequired in an ICU can be calculated by substituting the appropriateratios in the following formula:

tntal number of pnifcttionilK =

where A is the number of shiftsper day (usually A=3), B is the total number of beds inthe ICU, C is the total number of days that the unit operatesper week (usually C=7), D is the desired occupancy rateof the unit (usually D=0.85), E is the staffingallocation to compensate for holidays, sickness, etc. (usually E=1.25), F is the appropriate P/N or P/Pratio, and G is the total number of days that eachprofessional works per week (usually G=5). Therefore, in theusual situation, the formula can be simplified to total number of professionals =

223B 5 F

The calculated totalnumber of professionals includes all professional categoriesindicated above under physicians and nurses. Decisions regarding thegrade of professional differentiation among each professional groupmust be made on the basis of analysis of the tasks required in thelCU.

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