Your post really brought back recent memories of my past year. Yeah, I felt my documentation wasn’t good enough either, I was always stressing about being behind and ‘covering myself’.
I worked the night shift, and after giving report to the next nurse I would try to catch up. Problem with nights, though, is most of us are ready for sleep NOW. And to sit down at a computer after running around for 12 hours, then sitting down, is almost impossible because I would be fighting to keep my eyes open.
I would have no choice but leave, and my charting would be half-*** done. I would be expecting to be called into the office, to be ‘called on the carpet’ for poor charting. I would reason ‘I’ll come back tonight and finish the charting’ (but rarely had the time to do that either). And it’s been over a year now, and I haven’t been called in. I still have shifts that I have to jockey my time over giving patient care or putting my “peeps” on hold and catch up on charting. Invariably I put off my charting because the patient should always come first. Then, depending on my level of exhaustion, I try to chart. But I definitely have days when my charting is ‘abbreviated’. I absolutely HATE it, but it’s something I have to choose in order to keep up my health. But always, I take care of the patient. Of course, if there are important events that I know might have to be covered on paper (falls, sentinel events, Dr Rapids) I never forget to chart on them. But everything else has to fall in line with 1. The patient, and 2. My level of exhaustion and how much more can I give.
It all came to a realization that my superiors do have better things with THEIR time than nitpick our charting (or lack of better). In this economically-strapped world, our superiors are ALSO pushed to do more with fewer resources, so they are over-whelmed too.
My advice is: Chill. If your patients are OK at the end of your shift, you've done your best and can leave without feeling bad. Good luck.