Going to ER from ICU. Help! - page 2

by OnlybyHisgraceRN 5,844 Views | 22 Comments

I recently accepted an ER position, I did CVICU previously. I know that in the ED the assessements are more focused. However, during my share day the nurses would document a full-head to toe without actually doing one. For... Read More


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    I think your ICU background will serve you well in the respect that you will be used to things changing quickly and having to pick up on that and act fast. I think ER nursing is multitasking to the nth degree. There is nothing more impressive to me than watching a good ER nurse do her/his thing. Congrats on your new job. I hope you love it!!!!
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
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    Quote from Sugarcoma
    I think your ICU background will serve you well in the respect that you will be used to things changing quickly and having to pick up on that and act fast. I think ER nursing is multitasking to the nth degree. There is nothing more impressive to me than watching a good ER nurse do her/his thing. Congrats on your new job. I hope you love it!!!!
    Thanks.
    Sugarcoma likes this.
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    I went from ICU to ER.

    From my perspective, ICU assesments needed to be far more detailed- we don't have docs 24/7 in the unit. Most of what I assess in the ER is never read by anybody. We have immediate bedding, and pressure for shor door to doc times. Some docs don't even read the triage note.

    In the ER, I assess what I believe is relevant, and document that. I leave a lot more blank than many of my peers, but I stand behind my choices of what to assess, and my assesment findings.

    I often do not even assess their chief complaint. For example, if you tell me you have a history of hemorhoids, and some blood in the toilet. I am not looking at your hemorhoid. The ER provider is going to have to look anyway, and nothing I find will change anything.

    I also don't look in kids ears and throats. I know the doc is going to look, and nothing I find will change anything.

    OTOH, I might assess something the provider overlooked. I work with really good ER providers, but sometimes they are super busy and miss stuff. I catch all sorts of important stuff.

    By using nursing judgement, I am able to focus my efforts to maximize patient outcomes. BTW- I fully expect some day that my charts will be reviewed, and I will be reprimanded for this approach.
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    I never look at butts either on my assessment, lol. I figure the doc will, and they usually grab a witness which may or may not be me. But if they get a witness for a personal area, shouldn't I, and by that point do that many people really need to take a gander? I will peek at throats if the patient is cooperative. I looked in an ear ONCE because the patient had a TOOTH lodged in his ear and I wanted to see that (it was pretty awesome, huge molar, no clue how it fit in the first place).
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    The best antidote against that anxiety is to be honest. Chart what you see, dont make up anything that you did not see, and, if you have to answer for it under oath, hold your head up high and tell the truth. If your only plan is to tell the truth, you do not have to worry about developing strategies for handling any hypothetical future event. And yes, I have been deposed re: my notes on a patient. All of my answers were as follows: yes, no, I do not remember, or I do not understand the question. I was not afraid because I was not planning to do anything but tell the truth; including I dont know, when that was the truth.
    Pistachio likes this.
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    as a former ICU nurse I understand the need to do a head to toe assessment. I am now working for hospice and still do a head to toe assessment. Where my job now requires mostly documentation vs actually taking care of a pt I will never stop head to toe. You will adjust in the ER as it becomes more comfortable for you. Good luck.
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    To the OP congratulations on your new position. I always liked critical care, landing in the ICU would be awesome and though I would love the ER, I do not think a new graduate like myself is up to par on that.
    You are getting sound advise from experienced nurses here, even I as a new graduate (not working yet), would know better than to chart something I did not do. It is true sometimes you can multitask and do several assessments at once.
    To the other poster where student went to assess a patient with BKA, wow....that is doing the job half a#%, the fact that those students reported pedal pulses where there were none to take from . and BP when the patient was diseased, scares me...I cannot imagine if they would have made it through the program and to think of them as possible peers of mine.
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    Our charting has WDL and N/A buttons. It's nice because if someone comes in with say a broken/sprained extremity you can go through and chart on Resp, Cardio, Muscularskeletal, Skin, but then have the option for G/U N/A. In stead of just leaving it blank, you can hit that box acknowledging that you didn't ignore the system but that it didn't have any relevance to this visit.
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    Quote from Vishwamitr
    17 years ago, our nursing instructor sent nursing students into 2 separate patient's room; one student at a time, to "assess" pedal pulses of one and "measure the BP" of the other patient. We had a gag-order not to discuss our findings.
    4 students were rusticated from the nursing program instantly because 2 students reported pedal pulses and 2 reported their blood-pressure "findings" with numerals.
    Turned out, the former patient had bilateral BKA, and the latter had already died just a while ago.
    I never document what I didn't assess or see for myself.
    Wow. That is quite amazing!
  10. 0
    If I'm talking to a person who is young and healthy and has pink nail beds, I sometimes will put radial pulses present. Or I will touch their hand when checking vitals. All is warm, I document present pulses. I have never documented pedal pulses without assessing and on elderly or depending on history, I also check radial pulses (or in case of injury). I don't document breath sounds or heart sounds without listening. I come behind some people with crazy documentation.


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