How many nurses do their own vitals??? - page 4

Hi all, Well at my one place they just posted something stating that since they are so short on PCTs that the RNs will be responsible for doing their first set of vitals. This, I feel is insane. ... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from Elenaster
    Well since we do a minimum of hourly VS (or more frequent), I always do my own. Occasionally, if I'm in a crunch, I'll ask another nurse to do them for me, but even that is rare. We do have one CNA who is in nursing school and I will let her do my vitals sometimes, but just because she's very enthusiastic about learning and not because she's required to.

    In ICU, it's very important to watch for trends and subtle changes in VS because patients are so unstable. Preventing them from crashing and burning is much more appealling than have to deal with a code.

    We also have some crazy parameters for certain patients and the MDs may want their SBP to be in the 180-200 range. No matter how fabulous a CNA we may have, he/she is simply not trained to deal with all these variations.

    You also, I presume have a monitor and the patient constantly connected to a BP cuff and perhaps an art. line, and taking your vitals is a matter of walking in the room and interpreting them. We, who have six patients it a bit different.

    I will add that it is part of the nurses assessment to know what those vitals are, what the trend is and how it fits into that assessment. I whole heartedly agree the CNA is simply not trained to deail with the variations. Vitals are a vital (hehehe) part of the med-surg assessment as well.

    To the hardworking CNA who has the whole floor with 30 or more patients, I know what an impossible task it is to do those vitals. Been there and done that when I was a tech in school. You shouldn't have to do 35 sets of vitals.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 13, '04
  2. by   NYCRN16
    I would really like to do all my vitals at the beginning of my shift, but in addition to taking over the 8 patients from the offgoing nurse, I am already recieving another patient from triage. I RARELY ask my techs to do anything for me except EKG's, but if I am behind I need to ask them to help me out. As far as accu checks go, I like to do my own because if I am the one covering the patient with insulin, I want to know that I am looking at a result from the correct patient. I know there are plenty of techs that work hard, but there are just as many that are lazy. Nothing burns me more than to see a tech sitting on his/her butt when I am running around like crazy! :angryfire
  3. by   Elenaster
    Oh Tweety, I totally agree with you. I'm sorry if you thought I meant my way was best, I was just describing what we do and why. I can completely understand if you have 6,7,8 patients the need for enlisting the help of your CNAs.

    I would also like to add, a good CNA is worth his or her weight in gold!
  4. by   RNPATL
    We have to take our own vitals. Most times this is fine with me because many of my meds are dependent upon vital signs. I would rather take them myself and know what they are rather than searching for the CNA or PCT to get them. Now, I also agree that when we are really busy, I would rather have the vitals taken by the CNA. I certainly would not and do not support CNA's sitting/standing around with nothing to do while the RN's and LPN's bust their hump to get the work done. I expect the unit to function as a whole and everyone work together. Just my 2 cents.
  5. by   jd_RN
    I work on a surgical floor in an all RN hospital....we do everything. Not only am I doing vitals and routine nursing duties but I am also the person to fix the phone, the tv, the you name it.....(we do have people to do this kind of stuff but the nurse always gets asked first!) Besides how long does it really take to do a set of vitals?? 2-3mins???
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from jd_RN
    I work on a surgical floor in an all RN hospital....we do everything. Not only am I doing vitals and routine nursing duties but I am also the person to fix the phone, the tv, the you name it.....(we do have people to do this kind of stuff but the nurse always gets asked first!) Besides how long does it really take to do a set of vitals?? 2-3mins???

    I am always fixing TVs, phones, etc. Today, I had to unclog a sink- someone had poured mushroom soup down the sink, and it was clogged up w/ mushroom bits.

    The fun things we get to do!
  7. by   jd_RN
    I know exactly what you mean helllo nurse...all that time unclogging sinks when we could be doing other stuff like hmmm vitals
  8. by   TracyB,RN
    I do my own when I can, & always do my BP & P, if giving dig or BP meds.
  9. by   zacarias
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    How long does it take to do vitals when you are already doing a shift assessment from head to toe anyhow????? Really?

    In theory this is how it should be but on our unit, we have 30 patients and a couple machines. Trying to find the BP machines at first assessment/med pass would be inefficient and a nightmare.
    However, there are times of course when I do my own vitals such as I'm discharging a patient, change in status, giving certain meds etc...
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from Elenaster
    I would also like to add, a good CNA is worth his or her weight in gold!

    Somebody say AMEN!!!
  11. by   Gompers
    When I was a float CNA on adult floors, I did almost all the vitals during PMs and NOCs. The nurses simply didn't have time. I would write them all down, but anything out of normal range (specifice parameters were given to us on each unit) I would report to the nurses.

    Now that I work in the NICU, I do 99% of my own vitals. The only time I don't is when I'm in the step-down room and have 4-6 babies. If it's really crazy, a NICU respiratory therapist is assigned to help out and will vital, bathe, and feed kids. They have been trained by our nurses and it's part of their orientation to the NICU. Anything out of normal range they tell us about, and at least once per 8 hour shift an RN must assess and vital each baby. However, we're all within eyesight of each other so it's not like they're on their own, plus all the kids are on monitors anyways. We don't have any nursing assistants.
  12. by   sashibeak
    I know time is precious, but I prefer to do my own vitals. It doesn't take long after all!
  13. by   shirley SA
    I feel we are very lucky its is unusual for us to have such a heavy patient load and we practice TPC so no problem ratio 1:4, come to Australasia it isnt quite so hard.

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