Notes from the Frontline

call buttonReports submitted by nurses paint a concerning picture of patient safety behind hospital walls.

From being inadequately prepared with enough staff to handle crises, to providing little or no help when nurses call for it, patient lives are too often at risk in a system without a Standard of Care.


Patient required a stay of over 9 hours in the hospital and had a blood reaction that was provided minimal observation due to lack of staff.

During shift hospital was working with our skeleton staffing and had a compliment of ED patients. Code Blue in another building required hospital staff  to respond. This left a full hospital of patients, including a new mother and newborn baby, ER patient, and an incoming ambulance to be managed by one RN and one aide.

At 3:00 p.m, patient’s discharge paperwork was mostly done and personal arrangements made for pick up. Yet she didn’t walk out the door until 5:30 p.m. because I didn’t have the 20 minutes to devote to going over her discharge instructions until 5:00 p.m.

Unit has 12 beds with a staffing assignment of 4:1 max. Upon shift change, there were 12 patients and only 2 nurses to take them on, thus causing the nurses to take 6 patients a piece.

RN on our shift had to leave at 2:00 a.m. to help in surgery. When supervisor was contacted about being short-staffed, was told “there was no one,” and we were lucky to have her until 2:00 a.m. because she was supposed to be in surgery the whole shift. When asked who was to cover her patients when she left, supervisor had no answer.

Patient Story

Your Patient Stories Over the past few weeks, you've been sending us stories about your experiences in Minnesota hospitals.  We've heard them, and we think others should, too.  By sharing your patient experience with us, you can help us promote a safe nurse-to-patient ratio at all Minnesota hospitals.
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