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charting help - ugh!

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Ok, seriously, I hate charting. Hate hate hate hate hate. I get writer's block. I stare at the blank sheet where I write my notes and with every word I write I am afraid that I will get sued. I know to "be objective" and just write the facts, but I really struggle. My notes don't sound "nursey" if you know what I mean. I don't know why. At my job we have to write narrative notes every 2-4 hours, even if there has been no changes. I have no idea what to write! I end up writing the same crap about patient denies pain, resting in bed, call light in reach, blah blah blah.

Is there a book I can read or a class that will teach me great charting? Because I truly, truly suck at it. I know practice makes perfect, but I have been charting for 8 months now. Still suck.
You are not writing the Great American Novel. You are documenting your findings, or that there has not been a change. You want to write something so that 5 years from now when you read it, you can be assured that what you wrote was what was happening (or not happening).What happened with the patient since your last notation? Did they walk, go for a test, receive a prn med? You want it to be an update from your initial assessment.when I first started out in nursing, I would read other notes to give me a clue as to what is important - but you will need to recognize in their notes if it was an important observation. You don't want to continue with notes that do not add anything. (Is this clear as mud?)

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I think reading other people's notes is a great idea - just to get a feel for what to write. I feel like such an idiot. I guess that is what the first year of nursing is all about - feeling like an idiot until you get it

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You are not an idiot. You are still in learning mode!

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Report received. Patient awake on stretcher on initial rounds. Respirations clear and easy at 16 respirations per minute. Alert and orientated x 3. Patient stated slept poorly due to pain. Reports pain 4/10 sharp non radiating to right calf. Area red and warm to touch. Skin intact. Moving limb well and able to weight bear. Chest clear on auscultation with air entry equal bilaterally to bases no adventitious sounds heard. Same reported to doctor who examined patient. Orders received. Tylenol #3 two tablets at 0830 h. Morning care at bedside with setup assist. Am medications as ordered given. Colace one tablet PRN provided with extra fluids. Voiding in BR. States small BM formed. Took breakfast in part. To x-ray now via stretcher. Porter in attendance. You get the general idea. You want to report your findings in a systematic way....I know some places have tick charts so you just chart the things that are eventful.....I also do vital signs on my initial check and would only chart on things that were unusual...if they had a temp, is their skin flushed are there membranes moist are they alert? If they are tachycardia and hypotensive are they SOB or confused....just try to go from head to toe and ABC with details about how they are ambulating, eating, engaging etc.

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You say your notes sound "nursey?" How should they sound? You're a nurse...

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UGH, UGH!!!! I've been nursing 27 years and I still hate charting. I still hate writing the same bland blah things over and over. Patient alert and oriented times 4, no complaints of pain, vital signs stable. Or, Patient drowsy, easily aroused to verbal stimulation, maintains own airway, returns to sleep. Or, complains of pain 5/10 medicated with fentanyl 50 mcg, tolerates well, (5 minutes later) patient states pain 2/10 "I feel much better." It does seem so repetitive and "rote" but learn a few simple key phrases. Put anything that can be measured in centimeters (keep a small ruler with you). Use patient quotes. What I wrote above is in addition to a graphic charting of vital signs and check boxes. Learn a few key "nursey" sounding phrases. Don't write a book. There is a fine line between not charting something versus writing so much that the defendants lawyer (and believe me that is what the bottom line is), will use to question you even more with.

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If you still have your health assessment book from nursing school, try looking at some of those examples. Or you can search online for more. The more you read correct charting examples, the better you will be.

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I am sad to hear your facility is still using narrative notes, most with electronic records have gone to flow sheets for assessments, education and care plans. We write a narrative if there is a major change or Dr call. Most notes have some format template and we fill in the blanks making it faster. I have always used regular language instead of making sure I always use the medical term. Maybe your facility needs to check around and find a better system. Charting long open ended notes so many times a shift is way too time consuming for you and not an efficient use of your time.

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I'm extremely greatful that my facility has online documentation. The only note we have to write is based on our care plan, and even that is online. Our shift assessment is classified as our nursing outcome summary. Definetly a lot easier! With this new law, I think all facilities have to go paperless before 2012. Am I wrong????

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Quote from KBRN413I'm extremely greatful that my facility has online documentation. The only note we have to write is based on our care plan, and even that is online. Our shift assessment is classified as our nursing outcome summary. Definetly a lot easier! With this new law, I think all facilities have to go paperless before 2012. Am I wrong????

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Remember your charting is telling the story of your day with that patient. You tell all the facts, and anything said to you. In the case of Pediatrics a suit can be brought by the patient until they turn 21, sometimes that would be 21 years later. All you have is your charting to try and remember what happened that day.
Author: peter  3-06-2015, 16:34   Views: 1055   
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