1. Just curious as to how much time and effort each nurse puts into charting. Last year our facility took our beloved flowsheets away and gave us computerized charting, which in my opinion takes up more time and meltdowns occur when the computer decides to shutoff mid charting or the system is down for hours:spbox: Anyways I have noticed that every nurse has their own techniques as to how to chart. Some nurses chart their assessment then retype their assessment in their narrative. Some nurses chart by exception. Others over chart and repeat everything from their assessment and retype it all in their narratives; they also include everytime blood is drawn and sent to lab, a doctor rounds, gtts are titrated up and down, insulin coverage was given, a pt is watching TV no distress noted lol Other will write a line or two a shift and thats it! There is just so much conflicting information that I just do not know what is right anymore. I was told by informatics that we are to chart Q 2 hours and our vitals and assessments our apart of our Q2 hour charting. But then I hear from our educator that Q2 hour charting means writing a statement every 2 hours per ICU protocal and that our vitals and assessments do not count. I just feel that all this charting is taking away from pt care. To me my rule of thumb is to write a statement when I come in stating how the pt looks and that I received report from "Jessie RN" then I chart Q 2hours including if their is a change, when I paged the doctor, what I updated him on and what orders I received, pt education, when I turn and give oral and peri care, etc. etc. and when I leave I chart a statement on how the pt looks and that I gave report to "Mark RN." Sometimes I feel like just forget it all and chart the bare minimum but then there is the dreaded what if I go to court. I am just frustrated that if we could just stop spending so much time charting, pt care would prolly improve, and we nurses would stop feeling overwhelmed because its 1200 and I still haven't charted my morning assessment, vitals, narratives, etc. etc. etc.!!!! What are your thoughts and what are your techniques and rules for charting?!
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    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 90; Likes: 41


  3. by   RescueNinja
    At my hospital we are to chart by exception. In ICU we have in-depth flowsheets so we don't need long nsg notes, but most people usually do end up with at least 1/2 page of NN anyway. Do we need it? Probably not, but it's better to double chart than to under chart IMO.
  4. by   detroitdano
    We use Metavision which has an in-depth assessment for us to go through and pick out descriptive items for (i.e. breathing 1) labored 2) nonlabored, etc.). We can put a comment on anything in the assessment, and also put notes for doc notification, critical lab values, procedures, events, etc. It's pretty thorough and I think I've had to hand-write a note maybe once ever.

    Chart according your hospital's protocols, because that's what will save your butt if it ever goes to court
  5. by   Rabid Response
    I hate charting. In my ICU have computer charting, and we chart an assessment at least every 4 hours, vitals and I&O's every hour, turns and restraints every two hours. Of course we chart every point of care test, every med given, and every titration. Certain high risk drips require two nurses to chart a change of rate, which is really a pita. I hate having a patient on an insulin drip because we must take and chart blood sugars every hour and then find another nurse to double check our insulin rate changes before they can be charted in the MAR. Every shift we must also chart patients' plan of care and education on special spreadsheets. To top it off, within the first two hours of each shift we must access our mainframe and enter our GRASP scores for each patient. I'm sure I've forgotten to mention some aspect of our charting, just as I'm certain that I forget to chart stuff all the time at work. There is so much of it, and it seems that all of it must be accessed through a separate spreadsheet. I am used to it now, but it still takes a very long time to chart everything, and I know that there are times when time spent charting takes away from patient care. We are pushed to chart in real time, and the computer will register WHEN you chart something as well as the time you are charting about so charting everything at the end of your shift looks really really bad.

    What really makes me feel bad is that patients and family members see me charting (we must chart on carts in the room or just outside) and assume that I am ignoring them or their loved one. The patient is right in front of me, but I am face to face with the computer and can give them only a fraction of my attention. Ugh.
  6. by   ChadlyRN
    I'm a new grad working in an ICU. We have electronic charting. I actually like it, but maybe that's because I never had the paper version. My entire assessment, titrating of drips, lab draws, etc is charted by clicking in a box or a drop down menu. My preceptor wants me to start writing narrative notes throughout the shift but main to capture anything out of the ordinary such as disruptive behavior or something that is way out in left field. I've had a few docs tell me that they usually looks for a nursing note before scrolling through the rest of the chart because the narrative paints a better picture of what truly is going on with the patient.
  7. by   TangoLima
    We have paper flowsheets that are 8 pages long, then another sheet for our plan of care, another sheet for skin assessment, another sheet for restraints, another sheet for heparin gtt titration, another sheet for insulin gtt titration, a sheet for patient education. I'm probably leaving something out, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. So, a lot of stuff that I do throughout the shift is captured in one way or another on these documentation sheets. I have read/heard that it is not good to "double chart" i.e. write something on the flowsheet, then re-write it in your note. This is because any discrepancy could be used against you in court, i.e. on the MAR, you indicate you gave a med at 2015, and in your note, you write 2010.

    At any rate, I am probably an "over-charter". I write a fairly lengthy note at the beginning of shift. It usually write "Received report from XXXXX RN, assumed care" then describe the patient's LOC i.e. "A/Ox3, with periods of confusion" or "Responds to vigorous verbal stimuli, follows commands, unable to assess orientation d/t intubation but responds appropriately to Y/N questions." I make sure to always address respiratory status i.e. "Lungs clear but dim in bases, resps even and unlabored, O2 per 2LNC" or "Vented per ETT at 40% FiO2, IMV 8/500/+5 PEEP." Then I describe any "abnormal" findings on assessment especially if they are related to admitting diagnosis i.e., "+3 edema to RUE, pedal pulses non-palpable, confirmed by doppler, ecchymosis to L orbit, decreased bowel sounds". I make sure to document any lines/tubes/drains i.e., "NGT to LIS with thin green drainage, or Gtube with Pulmocare at 40 mL/hr, or Foley draining cloudy amber urine with sediment, JP drain to midline incision with bright red thin drainage, AVF to RUE with +bruit/+thrill". I describe any gtts or IVF and where they are infusing i.e. "NS @ 150 mL/hr to RUA PICC dated 4/15/10, or Propofol at 40 mcg/kg/min to LIJ TLC dated 4/15/10." I also make sure to describe any wounds/incisions i.e., "midline abdominal incision, OTA, approximated with staples, edges dry and pink, no erythema or exudate observed" or "multiple area of skin sloughing to RLE, cold to touch, toes black, pedal pulse absent on doppler". Then I document any safety measures i.e, "SCDs to BLE, or soft wrist restraints to BUE, see restraint flowsheet, or bed alarm on, or Prevalon boot to LLE". I also document any education or instructions given to the patient i.e. "Reminded patient of NPO status after MN for stress test in AM, verbalized understanding" or "Instructed pt to call for assistance and rise slowly from bed, verbalized understanding, call bell in reach".

    Then, I chart anything significant (not routine turning, mouth care, or bath) I do during the shift such as:

    *Calling critical labs or changes in condition to the MD, what time I paged them, when they returned my call, if new orders are given, etc.
    *Changing dressings to wounds, central lines.
    *When I give PRN meds and why
    *When I initiate or titrate gtts and why
    *Trach care
    *Road trips
    *Any procedures, such as placing an NGT, foley, or INT
    *Changing O2 modes and why

    Then I write a brief note at end of shift i.e., "Pt asleep in bed, resps even and unlabored, cont on vent on same settings, pt remains NPO, VSS, NAD."

    Sorry for the long post. Hope it helps answer your question.
  8. by   dorie43rn
    My pet peeve is the bad charting nurses do. If you are computerized, you should not need lengthy notes. Every section, respiratory, GI, etc, has a tab for a little note. Charting is by exception! If you get hauled into court, all your long notes will get dragged through the mud. If you are sitting there for hours charting that a pt looks good, watching tv, then you are neglecting your patient and doing to much charting!
    A care plan is to be done on admission, then updated ONLY the next day. If something new happens on your shift, then start a new one, but some nurse start care plans for every area of the body.
    If you are in the respiratory section, and you check the box for 2l nc, then you don't need to write that anywhere else. Get back to your patients and stop overcharting!
  9. by   leesespieces
    We also have a very in-depth charting system, and our q 2hr charting includes, vitals, phys. assessment, vent settings, skin care/turning etc. We have separate interventions we can chart on as needed for gtt titration, MD calls, critical labs, etc. I chart narratives whenever a procedure was done, when I recieve an admission, any significant change in status.
  10. by   caliotter3
    I work in home health and just these past two weeks started a new case. I have had the eerie feeling that the patient's family must really think all I am interested in is writing on pieces of paper because when they make their constant trips into the room, there I am charting. But if I don't chart as I go, then it might not get done. Even with only one patient and an eight hour shift, there is only so much you can put off until the last minute. I am making a conscious effort to be attending to the patient when the family walks into the room and I feel constrained by my actions. I also keep remembering this and that that I forgot to chart, long after the shift is done. I wish there were a happy medium.
  11. by   iheartprisma
    i have been told by nurses who went to court and nurses who worked for law firms analyzing cases.... do not double chart. it gives them more room to nitpick if anything doesn't match exactly. i still think we have to chart way too many stupid thingss way too often....
    and i feel like having a positive interaction with patients and their families keeps me from even going to court in the first place... if i have made them feel important and that i care... they are less likely to take me down for being wronged.

    anyone share my same ideas?
  12. by   gcupid
    What does the law require as far as the bare minimum required?