Variable establishment

The same principles apply for the provision of bedside nurses. Thus, to provide 1:1 nursing for a bed requires 5.5 nurses and to provide 1:2 nursing requires 2.75 nurses. The total number required depends on the occupancy and the nurse to patient ratio for each occupied bed. One of the difficulties in staffing an intensive care unit relates to the variable dependency and occupancy. An average dependency weighted occupancy (average occupancy x average nurse to patient ratio) should be used to set the establishment of bedside nurses with additional nurses being drafted in from a bank or agency to cover peak demands.

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