Too much info to remember / confusing patients with other patients

  1. 2 Do you ever feel like you don't remember things about your patient and/or you're getting your patients confused with the other patients you have??

    I feel like these other nurses know the answers to everything and have photographic memories and just spit out the answers. I have a bad memory, and there is way too much information to remember... like when a patient or doctor asks me a question - I'm always fumbling my folded papers around trying to find out the information like a clueless idiot. I'm like, "Uh, let me look at that for you and get back to you" or "Let me ask the other nurse."
  2. Visit  LaceyRN12 profile page

    About LaceyRN12

    From 'Los Angeles, California'; Joined Sep '12; Posts: 102; Likes: 69.

    14 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  aem31 profile page
    1
    Yep! You a new nurse? I made up elaborate brain sheets and need one for each patient. I see other nurses just jotting it all down randomly on one piece of paper. Don't know how they keep it all straight. Even with my overkill system, I still get them jumbled up in my brain. I hate it.
    roughmatch likes this.
  4. Visit  Sun0408 profile page
    3
    Over time you will learn what is important and what others NEED to know. Until then maybe Esme12 will chime in and give you some links to her brain sheets. You are new, this happens to all of us
    FinallyRNStatus, amoLucia, and nrsang97 like this.
  5. Visit  LaceyRN12 profile page
    0
    Yeah, I'm a new nurse. I dread the day I'm by myself. I've even been crying about it. It's so terrifying. And yeah, other nurses write everything on the same sheet of paper they write report on. It's so scrambled and looks unorganized. I need to do something different myself. I think I will need to have a blank paper and just write down everything I've done / new orders ... one sheet per patient or something.

    Thanks for your responses. Any more input would be greatly appreciated!
  6. Visit  Sun0408 profile page
    3
    It does get easier, thats the good news but it does take time.. just remember you are never alone even when off orientation.
  7. Visit  nu rn profile page
    1
    Yep still happens to me now after a year, especially during the last couple hours of a shift. My brain usually feels pretty foggy. And for the life of me, I have the worst time remembering my pts names; I remember room numbers. I'm lucky if I remember a first name.
    FinallyRNStatus likes this.
  8. Visit  turnforthenurseRN profile page
    1
    Even after over a year this still happens to me from time to time. It definitely happens when you're new but it does get better with time. Use a good brain sheet that has all of the information laid out for you. Esme has links to some great ones!
    FinallyRNStatus likes this.
  9. Visit  LaceyRN12 profile page
    1
    Thanks everybody. And yeah, I just remember room numbers. When someone brings up a patient's name, I'm just blank. Makes me feel more like an idiot. Trying to keep up with all of the things of being a nurse already makes me feel like an idiot..
    roughmatch likes this.
  10. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    2
    Quote from Sun0408
    It does get easier, thats the good news but it does take time.. just remember you are never alone even when off orientation.
    Words truely spoken.

    To OP - Just know that we seniors have more room in our craniums to remember things. We no longer have our brain space filled up with all the newbie angst of anxiety, fearfulness, self-doubt, desire-to-fit-in, etc. Time and experience works wonders!

    As those newbie S&S start to resolve, you'll find all this new room to start storing those things you find so desirous, ie confidence, knowledge, self-assurance, etc.

    Just know that we too have relapses from time to time, but we know about it. And we try take care of it better.

    Good luck.
    roughmatch and mama2 like this.
  11. Visit  CPhT2RNstudent profile page
    2
    Quote from LaceyRN12
    I have a bad memory, and there is way too much information to remember... like when a patient or doctor asks me a question - I'm always fumbling my folded papers around trying to find out the information like a clueless idiot. I'm like, "Uh, let me look at that for you and get back to you" or "Let me ask the other nurse."
    You are doing fine. Like it was said above anxiety and stress make your memory worse. Just try to relax. Also, don't worry about looking stupid. It is more safe to look info up rather than do it from memory anyway. If you worry about looking stupid you may "shoot from the hip" and give out wrong info truly looking stupid and potentially causing harm. If someone gives you a hard time remind them you are doing what is best for the patient by making sure you are giving accurate info.
    FinallyRNStatus and echoRNC711 like this.
  12. Visit  dudette10 profile page
    0
    Better to fumble through your papers than give the wrong info about a patient! Over time, you will learn what is important to keep forefront in your mind, and what you can write down to reference later if need be.

    One of the previous posters mentioned something about knowing room numbers but not patients' names. I once received a post-procedure report at the beginning of shift on a patient that was new to me. The reporting nurse gave a room number and started her report. I *almost* told her that wasn't my patient, but then asked the name. The name was correct, but the room number had changed from pre- to post-. Nothing bad happened, but I have since learned to never, ever learn room numbers only. When any healthcare worker calls or talks to me face-to-face (other nurses, pharmacists, transporters, dietary, etc.), I always ask names. Often, there is some paper shuffling to get the name.

    IMHO, going by room number only is the bad of the bad in nursing practice.
  13. Visit  LaceyRN12 profile page
    3
    I really appreciate all of the input I've received. Thank you very much. I will take everything into consideration!

    I actually got a blank sheet of paper and started writing everything that was done throughout the day and what needs to be done. I told my preceptor about something we should have done but haven't yet. She was like, "Ohh yeahh!!" So I feel good about my newly-developed system of just writing it all down separately, not on the same report sheet to where everything ends up very cluttered and overwhelming. I'm more organized and therefore a little more likely to remember information. I just wish I had all the time in the world to actually go through patients' charts and write down all of the important things I need to know. I go straight from receiving report to chart checks to medications, etc.

    And yeah. I received a call about a room # but wrong patient. On my sheet, I highlight both the room # and the patient's name so it stands out more to me.
  14. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    0
    Quote from Sun0408
    Over time you will learn what is important and what others NEED to know. Until then maybe Esme12 will chime in and give you some links to her brain sheets. You are new, this happens to all of us
    Brain sheets......here are a few that have been made for AN members....adapt them to what you need.

    mtpmedsurg.doc 1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    finalgraduateshiftreport.doc‎
    horshiftsheet.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
    student clinical report sheet for one patient


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