Just informed by environmental services that we have to shred our own dept papers!!

Nurses Activism


:( Our environmental services department just notified our floor that we will be responsible for shredding our own paper!! Sure, I will work that right in between my other important nursing duties such as checking the oxygen tanks, checking stock drugs for expiration dates, checking the fridge for the correct temp, etc. etc. Who knows, one of these days I may be able to get around to doing actual patient care! There would be an interesting concept! Oh, I forgot to mention in my high priority nursing duties about all the double charting I do because everything has to be charted at least twice!! I tell you, I really don't know what gets in these guys heads sometimes. Sure, lets go pay an RN $16.00 and hour to shred paper when some John Doe off the street could do it for $6.00 an hour. That is a great use of hospital resources!! I think somebody needs a brain transplant!!! Just had to VENT about this subject. Now I feel much better!! Thanks.


566 Posts

Specializes in ER, Hospice, CCU, PCU.

And we are shredding paper because.......?

All of our hospital trash goes straight to the incinerator, where does yours go and why is it necessary to shredd papers???:confused:

Shredding paper with patient sensitive information is not a new phenomenom here in VA. We have been shredding for years now. There are two methods available depending upon the facilities in the area....1. a large bin emptied daily and taken to an industrial sized shredder by environmental services; 2) small shredders on each unit where anything with a patient name or any other identification is shredded on the spot. The purpose is to protect the confidentiality of the patient and is a JCAHO recommendation. You might even want to invest in a personal shredder for home to shred any paper material with your own identifiers listed. Identity theft is a huge problem right now and you never know who might want a look at your trash.....




992 Posts

We are shredding paper because our incenrator was dismantled about 2 years ago. It did not meet EPA guidelines, so the hospital was faced with the decision to upgrade it to specs, or dismantle. Our haz material is hauled off by some company the hospital contracted. That leaves the paper disposal to the hospital. So, shredding is the answer. Of course the shredder is in a real convienent area-the old part of our hospital that isn't used for anything except to house old furniture and shredders. There have been rats and snakes seen in that part of the building. If I ever see a snake, you can just bring the code cart because I will require a full resusciatation effort. I just thought this shredding thing was a bunch of baloney!!

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Incinerators are not an environmentally good idea--I think most are banned in CA. All offices and nurses' stations have a shredder, and we use it. The RNs don't usually do it, ancillary personnel does, but if that's not an option, can you just save all the documents to be shredded, and do them all at once?

If you can see this as a serious pt confidentiality issue instead of just another "dump", it might help.

Management DOES have to spring for a BUNCH of shredders--you shouldn't have to be walking all over the place just to shred a piece of paper.


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