False vitals data???

  1. 2
    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 stethoscope. She told me she had her own equipment. I asked her, "Where?" then she told me she had magic hands!

    This CNA has been on my station for 8 years. I'm brand new (second week).

    I told the charge nurse that I hadn't seen her use any device to measure vitals.

    What the heck? Why give false data? What are consequences of false vitals?
    sharpeimom and Joe V like this.
  2. 30 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    I wish action would be taken against these people. They are endangering lives for goodness sake!
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14
    Hygiene Queen, KelRN215, nguyency77, and 2 others like this.
  4. 2
    These folks don't get it. "It" being you could kill someone. Like Katie above said, there are many ways someone could die due to falsified information. This stuff needs to be emphasized more in both school an work settings. This makes me wonder how many people have died because of made-up vitals.
    CLoGreenEyes and jval like this.
  5. 2
    My second day where I work, one pt refused to let me take his vitals. One of the CNAs that had been there a while told me what to write down. I didn't. I went to the LPN for that hall and told her that the pt had refused vitals. Didn't mention being told to write down made up vitals to her. Spoke with the shift supervisor a little later and brought up that I was told to make up vitals. She was livid.

    Point: DO NOT DO IT. I don't care what happens, even if a pt refuses to let you take their vitals, don't make anything up.

    I have taken vitals every single evening I have worked and will continue to do so as long as I am asked. Personally, I kinda like taking vitals. Gives me a little one-on-one time with my pts without them having to get on their call light.
    sharpeimom and jval like this.
  6. 1
    I dont understand why doing vitals is considered such a big time wasting chore to some Nursing home CNAs. I always thought vitals was the easiest part of the job. You dont have to bust your back or get dirty or deal with nasty smells. I used to volunteer to take vitals in exchange for someone toileting a resident. Maybe some people just arent comfortable taking blood pressure, but if thats the case better get a BP kit and practice every chance you get, because a CNA that cant take accurate manual BP is like a mechanic that doesnt know which way to turn a wrench.

    If you think having to take vitals once a shift or even once a week is bad, imagine working on med/surg and having to take vitals every 15 minutes for post surgical patients, or even worse being an EMT and taking them every 5 minutes on an unstable trauma patient.
    I can only hope this patient wasnt taking Blood pressure medication, or meds that affect their BP. If the aide had been doing this job for 8 years they probably know whether the person was on this stuff or the vitals were just a formality, but even still thats making assumptions you arent qualified to make and tempting fate. Murphys law applies in health care as much as anywhere else.
    CLoGreenEyes likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from funtimes
    I can only hope this patient wasnt taking Blood pressure medication, or meds that affect their BP. If the aide had been doing this job for 8 years they probably know whether the person was on this stuff or the vitals were just a formality, but even still thats making assumptions you arent qualified to make and tempting fate. Murphys law applies in health care as much as anywhere else.
    Yes, I think you're right about aides that are familiar with a pt thinking their vitals are usually this or that, or that they don't matter. Who is an aide to make that decision?
    The fact that this CNA has been there 8 years and is demonstrating this behavior in front of me being brand new is silly. She should be a good role model.

    The worst part... Is that this is an orthopedic station. Pt's are here only short term recovering from surgery or serious infections. Vitals are crucial here and must be precise.

    Nothing ever came of my report about the fake vitals.
  8. 3
    Quote from funtimes
    I dont understand why doing vitals is considered such a big time wasting chore to some Nursing home CNAs.
    I consider it an awful time-wasting chore because we have to scrounge around for busted-up equipment that barely works. We have this expensive machine that dies on us constantly. It has an automatic BP cuff that takes FOREVER to get a result, if it gets one at all. Manual cuffs are much faster... if you can find one; but they are all in isolation rooms. The thermometer is always missing and the pulse ox part never works. We report that it's not working properly and are told that nothing is wrong with it.

    I also hate how on long term wings, half the residents move around, talk loudly, or just plain freak out when you're trying to get their vitals, and on the rehab wings, when you try to start the vitals half the people on the list are in therapy and you're playing hide and seek with them all day.
  9. 1
    I also hate how on long term wings, half the residents move around, talk loudly, or just plain freak out when you're trying to get their vitals, and on the rehab wings, when you try to start the vitals half the people on the list are in therapy and you're playing hide and seek with them all day.
    These still seem like relatively minor complaints considering all the other crap CNAs have to deal with. You want to see people freak out when you try to do vitals on them, try working on a telemetry unit where you have a bunch of middle aged type A personalitys staying overnight for observation to rule out an MI. If theres one thing Ive discovered, its that there is obviously a correlation between cardiac problems and high strung type A personalities(go figure) because you will continually get these patients who will totally FREAK OUT when you try to take vital signs on them at nightm even if a few hours ago they were in a panic convinced they were having a heart attack. Ive had patients totally flip out because I asked them to bare their arm for half a minute so I can check their BP. God forbid you ask them to lie flat instead of on their side so you can get an accurate reading, youd think I had just asked them to run a few laps around the hospital.

    Sorry, i just had to get that rant off my chest(maybe they are turning me into a type A personality!)

    *edit: These are the patients that make me want to make up vitals! But Ive still never done it.
    TN CNA likes this.
  10. 0
    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.
  11. 2
    Quote from jval
    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 stethoscope. She told me she had her own equipment. I asked her, "Where?" then she told me she had magic hands!

    This CNA has been on my station for 8 years. I'm brand new (second week).

    I told the charge nurse that I hadn't seen her use any device to measure vitals.

    What the heck? Why give false data? What are consequences of false vitals?
    I really don't understand why a tech or ANYONE for that matter would report false vitals...That just baffles me...

    2 of my instructors in nursing school PREACH for nursing to take their own vitals when administering certain medications.
    mstearns09 and rosie861 like this.


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