Your nurse? Yes, they're drowning under paperwork somewhere...

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    This topic has probably been touched upon before. But the sheer volume of paperwork on our unit is really getting me down. And it's getting worse, I've been off for two weeks and come back to even more. Some of it not appropriate to our area (but trustwide, so we have to complete it) and some of it repetitive . And I wonder if anyone ever reviews the current paperwork.

    Of course I understand the importance of paperwork, documentation, risk assessments and care planning. We need to justify our care and recognise the needs of each individual. Paperwork is really important. Which is probably another reason it stresses me out. But it's at the point now that when I hear that I'm getting an admission, all I can think of is the 30+ pages of paperwork that will need to be done.

    Aaaaah I feel better for the rant. But ranting won't help manage my documentation time or leave shift on time, instead of getting off at least an hour late every day so I can write write write. I'd really like to try think of ways we can improve the issue, and help make the wards paperwork less daunting and more manageable.

    So I'm wondering if anyone has any examples of how they've helped manage the paperwork on the ward. I've thought of some...like keeping care plans by the bed so things can be documented there and then, having the MDT write in one set of notes so I'm not sending time reading several files of notes that all belong to one patient, and also maybe putting together admission packs so things don't get missed.

    Any ideas would be very welcome

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  2. 3 Comments...

  3. 0
    We have collaborative notes, which help a little but yes there is lots of paperwork and it does seem to be getting more and more. I am not sure what the answer is, the risk assessments, care pathways, bundles etc etc are all important in their own right but it does end up that you spend most of the shift filling in documentation and delegating nursing care to your unqualified.
  4. 0
    Here we are more computerised and I am definitely doing a lot less paperwork than I was in the UK. I don't fear the admission anymore - like I used to! I wish the UK Trusts would look at the ridiculous amount of form filling nurses do because I know that I have way more time to nurse now than I did there.

    I wish for your sakes that management would get a grip and understand the problem and in truth the RCN should be helping get the message across because it really does tie you up way more than it needs to.
  5. 0
    With admissions, I only do the most URGENT paperwork first. The next shift will have to complete everything else - you just CAN'T do everything.
    Many aussie hospitals aren't computerised, but we have standard, pre-printed care plans for each operation in most surgical wards, and we have codes for each day where we can write changes re the patients - perhaps you could suggest something like this to management.


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