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Charting in patient rooms


Recently, we were informed by administration (who do NOT stand all day) that we are not to chart in the nurse's station or pods. That we are to do all charting at the bedside, and that sitting is for break time. This really frustrates me. It seems unrealistic, unfair to the patient who wants to rest, and unfair to make staff stand for hours at a time. Is this something anyone else has to do at work? Is my facility just late in adopting this practice? I believe they have moved to this practice because a: doctors are complaining that there is no where to sit (not true) and b: there is a perception that if staff is sitting at a computer, then they aren't caring for patients. I'm really frustrated by this.


Specializes in General medicine/geriatrics.

This became a "thing" at the hospital where I had my guest nursing job back in 2011. I worked on a busy ortho floor. Fortunately, I left shortly after. But I remember thinking it was absolutely ridiculous.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

Gotta love admins that know nothing of what we do. How dare they expect us to only sit during breaks as if we get those. I don't see myself following that policy unless they do as well. Guess I would be unemployed shortly.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

From a patient's perspective.....I don't like it when the nurse is standing in my room documenting our encounter. It makes me a little self-conscious and I don't share as much as I probably should. Besides, I don't like someone endlessly tapping on a keyboard while I'm telling them what I need them to hear, because I know they're only half-listening. And making someone stand through a 12-hour shift because of someone's "perception" that nurses working on computers aren't caring for patients is just plain cruel and unusual punishment.


Specializes in Perianesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

I would be dragging a chair in the room with me. If management didn't provide me with a chair, I'd be bringing in my portable tripod stool to perch myself upon.

No way am I going to make this half-a-century old body go for twelve hours sans breaks without being able to sit.


Specializes in PACU, pre/postoperative, ortho. Has 10 years experience.

We were told something similar, oh, about a year or so ago. Never really caught on...

I would anonymously send any written communication about said policy to the local news.


My hospital adopted this however they put a rolling backless chair in each patient room and encouraged us to sit in their room while we chart, the computers are on the wall and have height adjustments. We do not have computers on wheels. They also want us to sit when we are doing patient teaching etc. They believe it increases patient satisfaction and increases patient comfort having you at eye level. It took some getting used to but is not so bad now, except when another discipline is using the computer to chart and you can't get to it.

FurBabyMom, MSN, RN

Has 8 years experience.

I chart in my patient's room and am provided a chair/stool (generally). Generally, my patients are under general anesthesia though, so it's somewhat less of an issue what their perceptions are. On the other hand, I do frequently stand for nearly all of my 10-12 hour shift.


Specializes in Orthopedics, Observation/ED, L&D. Has 6 years experience.

I work on a Labor and Delivery unit where we have computers attached to the wall in every labor room and a small counter with a computer on it in each triage room. Plus, we have two nurses stations with three computers each. For the most part, I do not document things at the bedside, except admission stuff and during deliveries. I would much rather have my face-to-face time with the patient and then go out and document it. I think it is kind of rude to be talking to the patient and having my eyes glued to a computer screen (besides that, I have a difficult time listening/talking and typing at the same time...:). I don't think we have a lot of patients/families that complain about us sitting at the nurses stations while on the computers. And as for the physicians, they have two designated "dictation" areas and computers in their call rooms that they have been told to use if they need a computer :).

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

I am going to be the exception and say that I prefer to chart my initial assessment, VS and update the IV tab at the bedside. It goes a lot more quickly because there are no distractions, and it is only a step or two to go back and check something I missed in my initial assessment, such as the date on a line dressing or the suction guages. I also like to chart in the moment as much as possible especially with an unstable patient.

More nurses would do this if office chairs were provided. If administration told me that sitting is only for break time I would be lining up another job.

It would be impractical to chart at the bedside on the other units in which you have 5 people ringing the call bell for something as soon as you get out of report.

Edited by icuRNmaggie

I was looking back at my earlier post and realized I didn't elaborate. I don't mind charting at the bedside. Like icuRNmaggie said, it allows you to fill in the blanks.

I was mad about the no sitting until breaks. I'm one of the nurses who has to run-run-run and I don't get a break unless I just stop what I'm doing and take one. I'm not trying to be a martyr, but I feel like I don't get enough done if I stop all of the times I'm supposed to. It takes me forever to get back on track. I get interrupted enough by docs, case managers, physical therapy, nutrition, etc.

If a hospital official ever told me that sitting was only allowed on breaks, I would resign in his/her face at that moment and tell them that the members of the administration were poor excuses for human beings. Then I would report that policy and the person who told it to me to the nearest local news outlet.