I wonder if this common "mistake" is actually a result of too few nurses stretched thin "failing" to be able to pick up on subtle signs of patient failure"...
They can't expect nurses to be miracle workers, esp when they have too much charting and too many patients.
I agree - seasoned nurses have the expertise to detect when a patient could be failing, or that a status change has occurred that does not bode well.
Speaking of not boding well... if the experienced nurses are leaving the bedside due to bad working conditions, that does not bode well for new nurses, who will be even less able to tolerate those conditions due to 1) lack of mentors and 2) the normal stresses of being a newbie.
Not to mention the increasing acuity of patients, 12-hour shifts, high patient:nurse ratios, more demanding families, hospitals too focused on $ and presentation, etc., etc.
These are systemic problems rooted in the changing health care system. No easy answers; but I wish Congress could be braver about addressing health care reform such that hospitals/LTC would focus on RETAINING nurses, reducing charting requirements, and assigning fewer patients to a nurse.
Last edit by marie-francoise on Apr 8, '08