January - March 2001: 
Volume 14, Issue 1

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Staffing of multivalent Intensive Care Units: Present status
The purpose of this study was to define the ICU medical and nursing profile in terms of staffing levels, nursing training and education. A questionnaire was sent to 40 Greek general ICUs collecting data relating to the organization and staffing of each ICU, type of ICU, number of beds, medical staff, nursing staff and supporting personnel, number of nurse full time equivalents to run one ICU bed and nurse/patient ratio. Data were collected from 31 ICUs (77.5%) with 270 beds, from community (20), university (5) and private hospitals (6). There were 769 nurses 70% of them being registered and 30% assistant nurses. The nursing full time equivalent/ICU bed was 2.84 and the nurse/patient ratio per morning, afternoon and night shift was 1.78, 2.26 and 2.6 respectively. The number of physicians available per functional unit of 8 beds was 4.4. There were 1.77 physiotherapists and 1 medical secretary available per 12 beds. The supporting and cleaning personnel was 1/0.91, 1/1.93, 1/15 and 1/0.89, 1/1.35, 1/5.2 ICUs per shift respectively. In conclusion, there is an inadequate number of ICU nurses necessary to provide appropriate care and observation to the critically ill patient. The challenge for the service is to provide the resources in terms of adequate staffing and good working conditions so that nurses can work freely to promote the art of nursing in order to protect themselves and their patients. Pneumon 2001, 14 (1): 38-46