did the md's pen go into v-fib??

  1. 2
    ARRRRGGGHHHH!!

    oh Geez, hands down the worst part of my day is my hourly chart checks for new orders and having to speak to foreign drs on the phone.

    background: we have physical paper charts the docs/pa/np write orders in and it is up to the unit secretary to enter the orders (for approx 55 pts) but if she is swamped/nurse gets there first, the rn enters the order in the computer. the rn is also responsible for confirming the correct written order was put into the computer by the secretary.

    problem 1: i cannot read these Godforesaken scribbles. at times, only 1 letter of a word is decipherable, the number 6 looks like the letter H, etc. it looks like their pen went into v-fibb and expired somewhere around the signature where all i see is a couple random zig zags and a loopdeeloo. if i didn't physically witness the md write in the chart, i have little clue which md ordered what. don't they have stamps or something??

    problem 2: the vast majority of our drs are talented foreigners mostly indian/iranian, chinese/phillipino etc. calling for a critical value/change in condition and request for a new order is just painful. perhaps it is the phone that is warbling and distorting their english because in person i hardly have this issue. i end up asking for clarification and a repeat like 2x and when i repeat the order back i still mess up the frequency or something unless they say "NOW/ STAT".

    i feel embarrassed dumb and annoyed. i have been at this facility for approx 3mos and evidently my coworkers have learned to converse and read the language of MD Vfibb.

    some say that if you read the same order phrase/word, from the same dr 10,000 times you start to be able to figure out what they mean. some fill in the blanks and hope for the best. others shrug and say "ummm no clue. if they still really want that order tomorrow they'll probably rewrite it and maybe i can read it that time..."

    do your hospitals have the md type their orders into the computer themselves? maybe there is a dr smart phone- nurse computer order entry capability?

    this seems archaic and convoluted to me.

    thoughts/suggestions??
    Last edit by SNB1014 on Apr 10, '13 : Reason: added
    sapphire18 and SoldierNurse22 like this.
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  4. 27 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I know several hospitals around here who issue rubber inkless stampers to all staff -- nurses, physicians, therapists, everyone-- with name, credentials, and pager number. They're very inexpensive and at least they cut down on the "Who the heck is (squiggle)?"

    There is no reason at all why physicians cannot type their plans of care and prescriptions into a system. I have known physicians who carry portable typewriters for this purpose, or if your place won't do computers then perhaps they'd put a few inexpensive typewriters in the charting area. Really.

    Tell your risk manager all you posted here. S/he will recognize a problem and possible adverse consequences and move to do something about it too.

    Meanwhile, keep calling them up and making them repeat themselves. If they get tired of it enough, perhaps they'll work on their handwriting. If not, then you're at least fulfilling your duty to know what they want for the patients.
    sapphire18 likes this.
  6. 4
    Quote from GrnTea
    I know several hospitals around here who issue rubber inkless stampers to all staff -- nurses, physicians, therapists, everyone-- with name, credentials, and pager number. They're very inexpensive and at least they cut down on the "Who the heck is (squiggle)?"
    hmmmm, not a bad idea.

    I have known physicians who carry portable typewriters for this purpose, or if your place won't do computers then perhaps they'd put a few inexpensive typewriters in the charting area. Really.
    bahahah i cant help but giggle at the image of a typewriter in 2013. i hope it never comes to that. but yeah, the physicians have their own "portal" on the computers to see xray/ultrasound images, i can't imagine there not being a program where they can enter the orders they want into a section under their patient.

    i think a lot of this comes from the old school mentality where MDs just kinda "screw and leave". as a patient once told me "dr so and so barges in my room with his head so full of knowledge he can hardly fit through the door...then he mumbles half sentences and leaves, leaving me to replay a 2min conversation for hours trying to figure it all out"

    hahaa
    sapphire18, 4chun_cookie, Woogy, and 1 other like this.
  7. 9
    Call every single time. Eventually they'll get tired of you calling and having to repeat themselves over and over to the point where they write more legibly.
  8. 1
    I can't believe that in 2013 we are still reading handwritten orders.

    I don't really enter orders at my work but sometimes I will read them as the docs have written, and oh man how people actually decipher them I don't know.

    Same goes for paper nursing notes. I was reading some in an old chart the other day and I could only read a select few. Some of these people write in indecipherable cursive. Do people not realize you can't read that at all?

    I see why they aren't teaching cursive anymore.
    sapphire18 likes this.
  9. 1
    My favorite is asking the MD to spell what they just said over the phone because even after repeating several times, I could not make it out. Yes, this is with the foreign MD's. Thankfully we have went to MD's put their own orders in
    sapphire18 likes this.
  10. 3
    We've sent several MDs to handwriting remediation. Works for a few months, and then it's back to the indecipherable squiggle. We know have computerized order entry, and it has been quite a blessing.
    sapphire18, Vespertinas, and NRSKarenRN like this.
  11. 0
    I do not want my well being (life?) put at risk because the nurse is left to guess what that squiggle on the order sheet says. Really now, if the doc was the pt and I said this is the med/dose I "think"your doc wrote.....? Sometimes I think they are covering up for not knowing how to spell......

    So PRINT already
  12. 7
    Ha! We have had other floors tube us the order sheet before because no one on the floor wasable to decipher and we were more familiar with that particular doctor. We have also given the Dr his order sheet a few days later and he couldn't read HIS OWN writing to tell us what it said.
  13. 0
    We have some docs that we have to have a committee figure out what they wrote. I usually will call and ask if it is that bad. We are finally going to Epic next year. I am so glad. No more deciphering their writing. At least when I worked at the large hospital ICU we could at least walk up to them and ask them what they wanted. Some docs were so bad during rounds I would write orders for them and they would sign then. Usually M-F the NP wrote all the orders and she had great writing. Our docs had rubber stamps too for them to use so we always knew who wrote the order. They also had to put their pager number on the order.


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