Why is charting so difficult and time consuming?

  1. What, exactly, is involved? I'm hoping to be a student in a nursing program this March. I have two aunts that are RNs and I've been driving them nuts with all my questions! Now, I'd like to drive you'll nuts, too!
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    It's time consuming because of lawsuit-happy people. We have to chart every single time the pt sneezed and what it looked like, because the one time we don't, something negative will happen to the pt and we can't prove we did what we were supposed to because it's not charted.
  4. by   AuntieRN
    OMG I hate to chart...it is the worse part of my job. It's long, tedious and very time consuming....but like Tazzi said....it is because people are so quick to sue. If it is not charted it was not done or did not happen.
  5. by   htrn
    IV start - charted 4 different places - IV started with 18 guage accuvance, 1st attempt, left arm, 1% lidocaine used for analgesia, LR 1000ml at TKO.

    Newborn Hearing screen - charted 9, YES NINE, different places

    That, and everyone wants an excuse to sue, or we have to assume they will. Defensive Medicine.
  6. by   feisty_lpn
    Its the repetitive charting I hate... the same information in 10 different places. But because of I'm scared to death of a lawsuit and the BON, I chart like I'm going to be sued the next day. I even chart on patients where no charting is needed for that shift... IE: "resting quietly with eyes closed, laying in supine position with HOB @ 30 degrees." etc etc. (I work noc, btw LOL)
  7. by   oramar
    I long for the old days when we charted by exception. Once a day a head to toe was done and from then on it was by exception(exception means a change for the worse or better). Now on med/surg they want head to toe charted every four hours, rehab at least is still head to toe once a shift. It is so time consuming and tedious to repeat and repeat the same information over and over again. I for once have about had it with the whole business of nursing and especially charting.
  8. by   Indy
    Well that is just ridiculous. I'm there for 13 hours, and I'm only doing a head to toe assessment once, unless there's some kind of major emergency. So why in the name of saint peter's lunchbox, would I wake up my patients at midnight and four AM to do another head to toe on them? That's completely crazy.
  9. by   RNperdiem
    There is a cumulative overload of charting. Looked at individually one piece at a time, it is not much, but multiply every restraint documentation sheet, admission chart, seperate forms for epidural pumps, separate flowsheets for the morphine PCA, transfer checklist forms, patient discharge paperwork, and the patients outcome nursing notes that doctors and most nurses never read. Now multiply those forms by the number of patients you have. Now add chart auditors who will cite you for anything not complete. Now add all the nursing duties that must get done in a day.
  10. by   cardiacRN2006
    I have a nice open flowsheet where I only chart on the bottom. I actually chart very little. I chart when I called Drs to inform them of pt changes, what their reponse was, when I started new IVs, or when new Central lines were placed. The only time I ever chart in a progress note is with a new admit. Then I just do an admit note.

    Othewise it is curt and to the point. 1100-Dr smith notified of HR, BP & UO, orders received.

    My flowsheet shows when the bolus started, as does the MAR. I don't need to write a note about it as well. But, I have to do a head to toe Q2 hours, so lots of my info goes there...
  11. by   CIRQL8
    Quote from obrnheather
    IV start - charted 4 different places - IV started with 18 guage accuvance, 1st attempt, left arm, 1% lidocaine used for analgesia, LR 1000ml at TKO.

    Newborn Hearing screen - charted 9, YES NINE, different places

    That, and everyone wants an excuse to sue, or we have to assume they will. Defensive Medicine.

    CRAZY!! the more places the same thing is documented (esp. if by different people), the greater the chance of contradiction. THAT is what makes the lawers happy.
  12. by   CIRQL8
    In God we trust - all others must document.
  13. by   RazorbackRN
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    I have a nice open flowsheet where I only chart on the bottom. I actually chart very little. I chart when I called Drs to inform them of pt changes, what their reponse was, when I started new IVs, or when new Central lines were placed. The only time I ever chart in a progress note is with a new admit. Then I just do an admit note.

    Othewise it is curt and to the point. 1100-Dr smith notified of HR, BP & UO, orders received.

    My flowsheet shows when the bolus started, as does the MAR. I don't need to write a note about it as well. But, I have to do a head to toe Q2 hours, so lots of my info goes there...

    Same here.
  14. by   BJLynn
    Ok, say I'm in my med room and a doctor rings up with a telephone order. I jot it down, then write it in the MAR or TAR. Then I have to go to that floor's case file room and write out a telephone order. While I'm in the resident's chart, I chart it in the nurses notes. Then I go downstairs to the nursing office and write out the order on the Physician Order Sheet. Then I turn around and write it on the shift report. If it is an antibiotic order, I write it on the antibiotic board (big ole dry erase board so we can see at a glance who's on antibiotics for what). Then I write it on the infection control log. I then have to check the emergency box provided by the pharmacy to see if the drug is there. If it is, I take out the needed dose(ages) and fill out that sheet. Then I get to chart in the nurses notes again that I initiated said drug. Oh, and I have to either fax the pharmacy, or ring the pharmacist to order the script.

    And if it's not an order, we still do narrative charting. Plus seizure logs.

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