False vitals data??? - page 2

by jval 5,055 Views | 30 Comments

False vitals data! Long story short, a girl in the same room as me took a pt's vital signs. She presented me with the data and it included a b/p... I asked her how she got it because she didn't have the station's cuff or... Read More


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    My Grandmother was a patient in the hospital where I worked in the GI Lab as an Endo Tech. She was in for pneumonia, on prednizone. She was also a type 2 diabetic on Warfarin (Coumadin). While inpatient, no one was tracking her BM's or they were charting she had when she had not. This is what happened. I got off duty, and went up to visit my Grandma, I noticed her room was swarming with doctors and nurses, her lips and tongue blue as the ocean. Then they told me what happened, the nurse gave her a laxative, because no one knew for sure when her last bowel movement was. Guess what, her bowels exploded. I am calling our family, explaining all this and telling them to take the next flight out or it may be too late to see Grandma one last time. I realized it was time to pick up my baby from daycare, I told the nurse as much and that I had to leave but would be back. That was the last time I ever saw my Grandmother. She coded right after I left, and despite their efforts she was gone. Not only did I not get to say goodbye, My mom, aunt, and all my siblings lost that chance too. Let this be a lesson to All of you out there when you may be tempted to falsely chart on a patient or resident, please don't. Would you be able to admit guilt to that family, and would you be able to live with yourself if something did happen to that person because of your false documenting
    nguyency77, mstearns09, and sharpeimom like this.
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    Laurie0313
    I can understand why youd be upset as you lost your Grandma, and I get the point your making that accurate charting is important, but failing to chart a BM is not quite the same as falsifying vitals. In this case the staff apparently failed to chart BMs that she may have had, which is different from charting that she had them when she didnt. That situation is simply staff not properly monitoring the patient, probably because they are understaffed and overworked.

    If the patient is using a bedside commode, its relatively easy to keep track of these things, but if they arent, its not so easy, unless staff are expected to stay inside the bathroom with every patient to ensure they dont flush a BM, or if the toilet is full of toilet paper after the patient just went, they get something to poke and prod to see whether theres BM in there and how much.

    If youre an aide with 20 patients, it can be pretty difficult keeping track of IO on every single patient, especially if the patients are non compliant or confused.
    duskyjewel likes this.
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    Quote from SuperMeghan91
    When you have 18-23 patients, have only manual cuffs that aren't callibrated or are totally broken, you have to wait 2 hours for a thermometer because there's only one and the nurse needs the vitals by a certain time, well...it would take my entire shift just to get vital signs. Understaffing and poor equipment are why people make up vitals. I'm not saying it's ok at all, but that's why it happens.
    There should never be a why. Ever. Sorry, I just don't buy this. So what if it takes me all shift to get vitals? I have the same problem at my job and would never dare dream of making things up.

    I could KILL someone doing that.

    To even suggest this as an excuse terrifies me and makes me want to overtake care for every patient in my facility just so I know things are getting done right. Seriously people, human lives are at stake here.

    I know you said at the very end it doesn't make it o.k. All I can focus on is the huge "but" you provided after that statement. If I ever caught someone doing it, we would probably become enemies. I would give them one chance to correct their actions. If they even stuttered, I would report them directly to charge. I will not play games with human lives. EVER.
    malamud69, nguyency77, and mstearns09 like this.
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    Quote from LCinTraining

    To even suggest this as an excuse terrifies me and makes me want to overtake care for every patient in my facility just so I know things are getting done right.
    Then you should volunteer your services. It would be a wonderful help if one person were to go around and take everybody's vital signs. I know there are a lot of problems in a lot of LTC facilities and they need to be fixed. If they're not people will continue to take short cuts...they just won't tell you.
    duskyjewel likes this.
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    And they will kill someone. Plain and simple.
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    I'm glad we don't take vitals at my LTCF. We didn't even learn to take blood pressure in my class.
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    Laurie, thank you for sharing. I hope people learn something from it.
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    Not for nothing, I work in a rehab facility where I have 17 patients and would never trust anything but my own ears to get the vitals. And yes u r playing with people's lives. And ppl making up vitals not having a bm isn't just were understaffed. It's laziness! I will get my own vitals and ask the patient or the aide if they had a bowel movement. Hope when u r about to give a vasodilator and they record the blood pressure as 120/70 and it's really 90/60 ur patient doesn't crash and fall. Then I bet u would be getting ur own blood pressure cause now u r doing an incident report.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
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    I am in CNA school right now and our teacher teaches the same thing. She says for all you going on to be nurses and having to pass meds her advices was "I don't give a @#&$ what the chart says...check vitals with your own eyes". Words i will live by. I would never be able to live with myself knowing I killed someone over such a carless mistake.

    For the people who say they can't get vitals due to lack of equipment? You guys don't cary your own B/P cuffs?
    nguyency77 likes this.
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    Quote from pnkgirl25
    I am in CNA school right now and our teacher teaches the same thing. She says for all you going on to be nurses and having to pass meds her advices was "I don't give a @#&$ what the chart says...check vitals with your own eyes". Words i will live by. I would never be able to live with myself knowing I killed someone over such a carless mistake.

    For the people who say they can't get vitals due to lack of equipment? You guys don't cary your own B/P cuffs?
    Right? I bring my own cuff and my own stethoscope. My facility's RoboNurse is always acting up (i.e. spitting out blood pressures of 190/110, but the manual reading is actually 100/60). I just don't trust it, and it's not like your management's gonna take the blame for you when someone gets seriously hurt.

    When I was new, it took me a long time to get vitals. But it's okay, since I can rest easy that no one was hurt on my watch.

    There's just no excuse for making up vitals. Ever.
    malamud69 likes this.


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