Docs, Nurses May Overestimate Quality of Their Care

  1. Doctors and nurses may overestimate the quality of the care they provide hospital patients in the hours leading up to a serious complication, according to a small new study. After reviewing the records of 47 patients, Dutch researchers found that for more than half there were delays in recognizing that the patients' conditions were deteriorating in advance of a crisis, such as an unplanned admission to intensive care. Meanwhile nurses, residents and specialists reported far fewer delays.

    Further reading from Medscape Nurses.

    Docs, Nurses May Overestimate Quality of Their Care
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    About Mas Catoer

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 70; Likes: 48
    Staff of Nursing Committee
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in General


  3. by   Ruby Vee
    We see nurses overestimating the quality of their care every day on AN. New grads assure themselves (and each other) that they're "awesome nurses" despite being brand new to the field and not even competent yet. Yes, I know they're trying very hard, but it's completely unrealistic to expect to ace the job right out of the gate. Nurses who've just been fired claim they know they were fired for "no good reason" because THEY know they're great nurses. People claim that they gave their "usual stellar care" even though the patient and his family were jerks. I think perhaps it's a generational thing, at least in part.

    Brand new RNS are not "awesome", "great" or even "good" nurses, although they may have the potential to be. They're on the unit to learn -- and it's mighty difficult to teach someone something when they're convinced that they already know everything. As far as us old biter nurses . . . most of us are competent, some are great and some not so much.

    As the article states, we all need to be critical of our care. Improvement occurs when we self-examine -- either on our own or because of some negative feedback we've received. If we're already convinced that we're the best, self-examination is less likely to be accurate or even to occur at all.
  4. by   whichone'spink
    Mindfulness is an acquired skill, one that is very hard to get because we are capable of deluding ourselves.
  5. by   Good Morning, Gil
    This should come as no surprise. Most people think they're above average intelligence, and many people think they're more awesome than they are. There are many great nurses, good nurses, average nurses, etc. Even if we provide great care, and great attention to detail, there's always room for improvement somewhere at some point. However, this was a small study, as well.

    RubyVee is spot on; new nurses can be good nurses in that they provide great care and know their limitations/what they don't know. If you know when you need help or when to ask a question (even experienced nurses qualify here), that is one of the most valuable assets in both nurses and doctors. Compromised care happens when pride gets in the way; just as a physician sometimes needs to consult another specialty, nurses need to ask each other, and sometimes even ask for consults if they feel a consult is necessary for their patient.