Looking for what other hospitals are doing when the lab calls with a critical lab value. After you read back the value, then what? Where do you document what you did with it? Do you call the doctor with improving criticals? Do you save them until the MD rounds? I'm in a small rural hospital that the docs only round once a day, unless there are problems. I have one week to come up with a solution to as what we will do, so we can change our policy to say what we want it to say. HELP!
Our lab is able to enter "called to Tweety at 0400" as documentation that the unit was notified, and when the labs print up on the floor, that notation is there. That way the lab is off the hook if the poop hits the fan.
Whoever takes the call then must notify either the charge nurse or the nurse in charge of the patient.
If the lab is critical enough we call the doc right then. If not we wait until daytime hours or when they round.
Personally, if a critical value doesn't need immediate attention in the wee hours of the night, I'll wait until 7am and call the doc then and document "MD made aware of lab values...." rather than turn it over to the day shift. That covers my butt. Other nurses let the charge nurse handle it and it's passed on to the day charge nurse. But I'm the RN and it's my patient, and I cover my butt.
The above, question "how does it compare to their individual normal lab values, based on their condition". For instance a sickle cell patient may have a low h&h that they will call and I'll do nothing. But a post-op patient with the same value needs attention.
Last edit by 3rdShiftGuy on Feb 10, '05